ADALIMUMAB (Humira®): Patient Information
How does it work?
- Adalimumab is an arthritis-changing medicine. It reduces inflammation and helps reduce symptoms and protect joints from further harm.
How is it best taken?
- This medicine is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
- Wash hands before and after use.
- Move site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Throw syringe away after single use.
- Throw away needles in needle disposal box and return box to healthcare provider when full.
What do you need to do while taken this medication?
Reasons to call your doctor immediately:
- If you suspect an overdose, call your emergency department immediately.
- Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs or symptoms of infection. These include a fever, chills, severe sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, increased sputum or change in color, painful urination, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Severe headache.
- Swelling of legs or belly.
- Any rash.
How should I store this medicine?
- Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
What are some possible side effects of this medicine?
MORE COMMON side effects include:
- Mild skin reaction at the injection site (itchiness, redness, and mild swelling).
- Upper respiratory tract infections (such as sinusitis).
RARE side effects include:
- Adalimumab can cause a drop in the numbers of white blood cells (which are needed to fight infection) or red blood cells (which carry oxygen).
- There have been serious infections associated with the use of Etanercept. Any infections or fevers should be taken very seriously and reviewed by your doctor.
- There have been rare reports of some patients developing disorders that affect the nervous system while taking Adalimumab.
- Inform your doctor if you have congestive heart failure as this drug may make it worse.
- When used for long periods of time, Adalimumab may be associated with a small increased risk of lymphoma.
Do I need to have regular blood tests while taking Adalimumab?
Blood tests are not routinely required while you are taking this medication.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Adalimumab?
If you forget to take your Adalimumab contact your doctor to find out when to take your next dose.
Is Adalimumab safe in pregnancy?
- Adalimumab is a new medication and it is unknown if it is safe to use in pregnancy. Therefore, you should AVOID PREGNANCY while on Adalimumab.
- All women of child bearing potential taking Adalimumab must use reliable contraception.
- You should not breast feed while taking Adalimumab.
What is the usual dose of Adalimumab?
Adalimumab is taken by injection under the skin twice per month.
The standard dose of each injection is 50 mg.
Who should NOT take Adalimumab?
- Patients who have had a previous serious allergic reaction to Adalimumab.
- Possibly patients who have cancer or have had a past history of certain cancers.
- Patients who have severe or uncontrolled congestive heart failure.
- Patients who have multiple sclerosis.
- Patients with active infections (such as tuberculosis).
What should I AVOID while taking Adalimumab?
- You should discuss all vaccinations with your doctor, as some vaccines are not advisable while you are taking Adalimumab.
- If you are scheduled for surgery, please tell your doctor.
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