Humira and Vision Impairment

Humira is a medication that reduces the effects of a substance that causes inflammation in the body, named the tumor necrosis factor alpha.  This drug is used to combat rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and plaque psoriasis. Humira is also used as a treatment for Crohn’s disease after other drugs have been proven unsuccessful, essentially as a last resort.

Severe Side Effects

Using Humira has been connected to a few severe side effects. While not everyone using the drug will be exposed, improper use could lead to some serious risks. A number of reports have surfaced linking the use of Humira to nerve damage, vision issues and other problems, including:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Neuropathy
  • Optic neuritis or Vision Impairment

Optic Neuritis

Recent evidence has led to the suggestion that Humira can cause optic neuritis, which is an inflammation of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is comprised of axons emerging from the retina of the eye. They serve to carry visual information from the primary nuclei, most of which is then relayed to the occipital cortex. This inflammation can cause swelling and destruction of the myelin covering within the optic nerve.

Abbott Pharmaceuticals has faced multiple lawsuits suggesting that they downplayed possible risks of Humira. They’ve also been accused of failing to give warnings of the potentially dangerous side effects such as optic neuritis and nerve damage as a result of CNS (central nervous system) demyelization.

Symptoms of Vision Impairment

If optic neuritis is left untreated, it can end up causing numerous issues such as blurred vision, perception loss, as well as blindness and sensitivity to light. The common symptoms that may occur with optic neuritis include:

  • Sore eyes
  • Dim vision
  • Reduced peripheral vision
  • Blind spots
  • Headaches
  • Pain with eye movement
  • Decrease in central vision
  • Decreased color perception
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