What is Humira&Reg;?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2020
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Humira® is a brand name drug used in the treatment of individuals with arthritis and psoriasis. It has been found to be successful in even severe cases of conditions such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and plaque psoriasis. Humira® acts to suppress the immune system and block some of the proteins that contribute to the symptoms associated with these diseases, at the same time easing pain and reducing swelling.

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a protein present in cells of the body's immune system. TNF is responsible for the swelling that is a trademark symptom of conditions such as arthritis. Conditions treated by Humira® are considered autoimmune disorders, as the root cause is a malfunction in the body's own immune system that causes damage to tissues and joints. Also known as adalimumab, Humira® blocks the reception of TNF cells into the tissues where they cause swelling, fever, and erosion. This makes it a versatile medication suitable for a number of very different conditions.


In those suffering from rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis, the liquid contained in the injection goes to work in the joints impacted by the immune system malfunction. Humira® can be used to treat joint pain in any area of the body, and is sometimes prescribed for those with anklosing spondylitis, a condition that manifests itself with arthritis-like symptoms in the spine. The TNF proteins can also attack organs, as in Crohn's disease; this is another condition Humira® can be administered for.

The medication is injected under the skin, usually in the abdomen or thighs. Areas should change with each dosage. Typically receiving injections every seven or 14 days, individuals can show signs common with any such procedure, such as redness or soreness at the site. Instructions about the frequency and amount of the dosage can vary throughout the treatment.

As the medication impacts the immune system, individuals taking the drug can become more susceptible to colds and infections. Taking precautions, from regular hand washing to using sanitizing wipes on frequently touched objects, can help protect patients from illness. Other side effects are rare, but development of chest or stomach pain, difficulty breathing, fever, or numbness can result. Some individuals can have an allergic reaction to the drug, especially if there are other medications they already know they are allergic to.



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