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What is Humira?

Humira is a medication that is used to treat various inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, and hidradenitis suppurativa, as well as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and uveitis in both adults and children. Humira works by blocking tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a substance in the body that causes inflammation.

However, Humira affects the immune system, making it easier for the body to get infected. Serious infections, caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria, can occur, and in some cases, have caused death. Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious infection that is often associated with Humira, and patients should be tested for TB before and during treatment. Patients who have signs of infection, such as fever, cough, skin sores, or diarrhea, should inform their doctor before taking the medication. People who are allergic to adalimumab, the active ingredient in Humira, should not take this medication.

Humira may cause a rare type of cancer of the liver, spleen, and bone marrow that can be fatal, particularly in teenagers and young men with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Patients with inflammatory autoimmune disorders may be at higher risk of developing this cancer. Humira’s dosing instructions are highly variable and depend on the condition being treated. The medication is injected under the skin, and patients should be taught how to administer it correctly. Humira must be stored in the refrigerator and must not be frozen. Patients should dispose of the needle and syringe in a puncture-proof container after one use.

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