October 31, 2014
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Drug Factsheets

 Health Home >> Medications 

Humira

(adalimumab)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02258595 HUMIRA 40 MG/0.8 ML SUBCUTANEOUS SOLUTION

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Your doctor can help you find an appropriate treatment so you can enjoy a better quality of life. See the Psoriasis Treatment Options Chart.

Make an appointment with your doctor.
Use the Doctor Discussion Guide to help you prepare for your visit. At your appointment, you can also:

  • Tell your doctor about your questions and concerns, what you are feeling, and what you want out of treatment.
  • Ask your doctor whether you should see a dermatologist who specializes in psoriasis.

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However, it is still important to keep your regular appointments with your doctor to monitor your psoriasis treatment. Keep in mind that things may change, so if you do have questions or concerns about your treatment in the future, talk to your doctor.

You can use the Doctor Discussion Guide to help you prepare for your visit. You can also locate a dermatologist in your area.


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How does Humira work? What will it do for me?

Adalimumab belongs to the class of medications called biological response modifiers ("biologics") or TNF blockers (tumor necrosis factor blocker). It is used to treat:

  • moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis
  • severely active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis for children and adolescents from 4 to 17 years of age who have not responded adequately to other treatments
  • active psoriatic arthritis that has not responded to treatment with methotrexate
  • ankylosing spondylitis in adults who have not responded to other treatments
  • moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease in adults who have not responded to other treatments
  • severely active Crohn's disease in adolescents 13 to 17 years of age, weighing more than 40kg, who have not responded adequately to other treatments
  • moderate-to-severe psoriasis in adults

People with these immune conditions produce extra amounts of an inflammatory protein called tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), causing pain, inflammation, and cellular damage. Adalimumab works by blocking the production of TNF-alpha to reduce the inflammation in the joints and on the skin. Depending on what adalimumab is being used to treat, it can take 4 to 12 weeks for you to notice an improvement in your condition.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use Humira?

This medication is given by subcutaneous (under the skin) injection, usually in the front of the thigh or abdomen. The dose depends on the condition being treated.

For rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, the recommended dose for adults is 40 mg every other week.

For adults with Crohn's disease, the recommended dose is a first dose of 160 mg, then 80 mg 2 weeks after the first dose, then 40 mg every second week starting 4 weeks after the first dose.

For psoriasis, the recommended dose is a first dose of 80 mg, then 40 mg every other week starting one week after the first dose.

When treating Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, the dose is based on body size and calculated as 24 mg per square metre of body surface area, to a maximum of 40 mg every other week.

For Crohn’s disease affecting children (13 – 17 years of age weighing more than  40 kg the dose is a  starting dose of 160 mg the first week, 80 mg given at Week 2 and then 20 mg every other week, starting on Week 4. The dose may be increased to 40 mg every other week depending on your child’s response. 

Adalimumab is used with the guidance and supervision of a doctor. Your doctor or nurse will assist you in the preparation and injection of your first dose (or first few doses). Do not attempt to inject this medication on your own until you completely understand how to inject a dose. If you are having difficulty giving yourself injections, ask a family member or other caregiver for help if they are willing to become involved with your treatment and are willing to learn how to give you your injections.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, administer it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication in the refrigerator at 2°C to 8°C, protect it from light, and keep it out of the reach of children. Do not freeze it. This medication may also be stored at room temperature (up to a maximum of 25°C) for a single period of 14 days. If it is stored at room temperature and is not used within 14 days, it must be discarded.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does Humira come in?

Prefilled syringes
Each 0.8 mL of sterile solution for subcutaneous administration contains adalimumab 40 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: citric acid monohydrate, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, mannitol, monobasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, polysorbate 80, sodium citrate, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide (added as necessary to adjust pH), and water for injection. Cartons containing 2 dose trays: in addition to one alcohol pad, each dose tray consists of a single-dose, 1 mL prefilled glass syringe with a fixed 27-gauge ½-inch needle with a gray natural rubber (latex) needle cover, providing 40 mg adalimumab dissolved in 0.8 mL sterile solution (50 mg per mL) OR a fixed 29 gauge ½ -inch needle with a black needle cover that does not contain latex, providing 40 mg adalimumab dissolved in 0.8 mL sterile solution (50 mg per mL).

Prefilled pens
Each 0.8 mL of sterile solution for subcutaneous administration contains adalimumab 40 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: citric acid monohydrate, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, mannitol, monobasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, polysorbate 80, sodium citrate, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide (added as necessary to adjust pH), and water for injection. Cartons containing 2 dose trays: in addition to 2 alcohol pads, each dose tray consists of a single-use pen containing 1 mL prefilled glass syringe with a fixed 27-gauge ½-inch needle with a gray natural rubber (latex) needle cover, providing 40 mg adalimumab dissolved in 0.8 mL sterile solution (50 mg per mL) OR a fixed 29 gauge ½ -inch needle with a black needle cover that does not contain latex, providing 40 mg adalimumab dissolved in 0.8 mL sterile solution (50 mg per mL).

Vials (for pediatric use)
Each mL of sterile solution for subcutaneous administration contains: adalimumab 50 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: citric acid monohydrate, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, mannitol, monobasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, polysorbate 80, sodium citrate, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide (added as necessary to adjust pH) and water for injection. Cartons containing two boxes: in addition to two alcohol pads, each box contains one empty sterile injection syringe, one sterile 30 gauge ½ inch needle with a needle cover that does not contain latex, one sterile vial adapter and one single-use vial providing 40 mg of adalimumab dissolved in 0.8 mL sterile solution (50 mg per mL).

Who should NOT take Humira?

Do not take adalimumab if you:

  • are allergic to adalimumab, latex, or any ingredients in the medication
  • are taking other biologics (TNF blockers) or anakinra
  • have a severe infection such as sepsis, tuberculosis, and opportunistic infections (infections that strike people with weakened immune systems)
  • have moderate to severe heart failure

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