Can Biosimilars Be Used With Other Treatments
It is important to tell your health care provider about all treatments, medicines, vitamins or supplements that you are taking.
Like all biologics, biosimilars can be used with other treatment options including topicals and phototherapy. The biologics Enbrel, Humira and Remicade are shown to be safe and effective when taken with methotrexate. This means that their biosimilars, including Erelzi, Amjevita, and Inflectra, may be safe and effective when taken with methotrexate.
- With Inflectra being the biosimilar to Remicade, its use in combination with phototherapy may increase the risk for skin cancer.
- No drugs that interact with biologics should be combined with their respective biosimilars.
How Was Your Experience With Humira
Humira is a prescription medication used to:
- Reduce the signs and symptoms of:
- moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Humira can be used alone, with methotrexate, or with certain other medicines.
- moderate to severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children 2 years and older. Humira can be used alone, with methotrexate, or with certain other medicines. It is recommended that JIA patients should be up to date with appropriate vaccinations before starting Humira. Those taking Humira may receive vaccinations except for live ones.
- psoriatic arthritis in adults. Humira can be used alone or with certain other medicines.
- ankylosing spondylitis in adults.
- moderate to severe Crohns disease in adults and children when other treatments have not worked well enough.
- moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa in adults.
- moderate to severe ulcerative colitis
- non-infectious intermediate, posterior and panuveitis in adults
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What Should I Watch For After Starting Humira
HUMIRA can cause serious side effects, including:
Common side effects of HUMIRA include injection site reactions , upper respiratory infections , headaches, rash, and nausea. These are not all of the possible side effects with HUMIRA. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
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How Long Does It Take For Humira To Work For Plaque Psoriasis
It can vary. Some people notice Humira working as soon as 2 weeks after starting treatment. But some people take Humira for 4 months or longer before they notice significantly clearer skin.
If youre not seeing any improvement in your symptoms after a few months of Humira treatment, talk with your doctor. They can recommend if you should continue with Humira treatment.
How Well Humira Works
Current treatment guidelines recommend adalimumab as monotherapy for plaque psoriasis in adults. Adalimumab is the active drug in Humira.
If youre wondering whether Humira may be effective for your plaque psoriasis, talk with your doctor.
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If You Take More Than The Recommended Amount Of Humira
Call your doctor right away if you believe youve used too much Humira. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
How We Reported This Story
In order to examine the adverse events associated with biologic drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases of the skin , joints and the gastrointestinal system, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relied on two databases: The U.S. Food and Drug Administrations adverse events reporting system and a database of the autoimmune drug market supplied by IQVIA, a pharmaceutical market research firm.
The FDAs adverse events database is the largest publicly available data set that records reactions associated with prescriptions drugs. In recent years, the number of reports submitted to the agency has risen dramatically researchers, as well as the FDA itself, are increasingly using the data to detect potential problems.
The database has several limitations. While drug manufacturers are required to submit reports of adverse events to the agency, reports that come from medical professionals or consumers are voluntary. There is widespread agreement these reports are an undercounting of adverse events associated with prescription drugs. In part because of the voluntary nature of the reports, this data cannot be used in isolation to determine the incidence rates of certain outcomes or reactions or to establish a causal relationship between a drug and a reaction.
Two drugs that also are approved to treat autoimmune diseases, Rituxan for rheumatoid arthritis and Tysabri for Crohns disease, were not included in the adverse events numbers because they were not on the IQVIA list.
Monitoring While On Adalimumab
Regular follow-up visits to monitor the safety and efficacy of treatment are necessary. It is recommended that patients on biologic medications have routine blood tests every 6 months or so, including full blood count and liver function tests. TB testing should also be repeated from time to time.
Blood levels of adalimumab may be used to monitor adherence to therapy and determine the optimum dose in an individual.
What Are The Typical Dosages Of Humira
When used for certain conditions, your first dose of Humira will be higher than your normal dose. This is called a loading dose, and its given to help the drug start working quickly to treat your condition.
Then, your doctor will lower your dosage over time to reach the right amount for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The maximum dosage for Humira will depend on the condition its being used to treat.
The information below describes dosing schedules that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for ulcerative colitis
When Humira is used for ulcerative colitis in adults, treatment starts with a loading dose of 160 mg. This can be given as one dose in a single day or split into two doses over 2 days. For example, you might take 80 mg on day 1 and another 80 mg on day 2.
Two weeks after your loading dose , youll receive an 80-mg injection. And 2 weeks after that , youll start taking 40 mg every other week.
Humira is available in a starter kit that helps you follow this dosing schedule. The kit contains prefilled Humira pens.
Dosage for hidradenitis suppurativa
Two weeks after your loading dose , youll receive an 80-mg injection. And 2 weeks after that , youll start taking either 40 mg weekly or 80 mg every other week.
Dosage for rheumatoid arthritis
Dosage for plaque psoriasis
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Continue Taking Humira As Directed By Your Doctor
Remember, HUMIRA is a treatment, not a cure. Your doctor can tell you if and when you should stop taking HUMIRA.
If you experience any adverse reactions or discomfort when taking HUMIRA, discuss them with your doctor right away.
Common side effects of HUMIRA include injection site reactions , upper respiratory infections , headaches,rash, and nausea. These are not all of the possible side effects with HUMIRA. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Does Humira Cause Eye
Its possible. Although Humira is not known to specifically cause eye-related side effects, it may cause other side effects that can affect your eyes. For example, Humira can cause nervous system problems. Symptoms of some nervous system problems may include changes in your vision.
Humira can also cause liver damage. One symptom of liver damage is jaundice, which can cause the whites of your eyes to become yellow.
Some people may have an allergic reaction to Humira. In certain cases, allergic reactions may cause your eyes to swell.
If you notice any vision changes or other changes in your eyes while using Humira, call your doctor right away.
Learn more about some of the side effects Humira may cause.
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Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation
Use of TNF blockers, including Humira, may increase the risk of reactivation of hepatitis B virus in patients who are chronic carriers of this virus. In some instances, HBV reactivation occurring in conjunction with TNF blocker therapy has been fatal. The majority of these reports have occurred in patients concomitantly receiving other medications that suppress the immune system, which may also contribute to HBV reactivation. Evaluate patients at risk for HBV infection for prior evidence of HBV infection before initiating TNF blocker therapy. Exercise caution in prescribing TNF blockers for patients identified as carriers of HBV. Adequate data are not available on the safety or efficacy of treating patients who are carriers of HBV with anti-viral therapy in conjunction with TNF blocker therapy to prevent HBV reactivation. For patients who are carriers of HBV and require treatment with TNF blockers, closely monitor such patients for clinical and laboratory signs of active HBV infection throughout therapy and for several months following termination of therapy. In patients who develop HBV reactivation, stop Humira and initiate effective anti-viral therapy with appropriate supportive treatment. The safety of resuming TNF blocker therapy after HBV reactivation is controlled is not known. Therefore, exercise caution when considering resumption of Humira therapy in this situation and monitor patients closely.
How Long Do People Take Humira For Plaque Psoriasis
In clinical trials, Humira was used to treat plaque psoriasis for up to 12 months. If you and your doctor decide that Humira is an effective treatment, and you dont develop any serious or bothersome side effects, its likely that youll continue taking it long term.
If you have questions about how long youll need to take Humira, talk with your doctor.
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What Are The Risks Of Biosimilars
The risks and side effects of biosimilars are the same as those associated with their biologic reference product. Anyone considering taking a biosimilar should talk with their health care provider about the short- and long-term side effects and risks. It is important to weigh the risks against the benefits.
Biologics and biosimilars act on cytokines, which are specific proteins released by the immune system that can cause inflammation. Biologics suppress the function of the overactive immune system. When on a biologic or biosimilar, you may have a higher risk of infection. If you develop any signs of an infection, contact your health care provider right away.
Signs of infection include:
- Damp, sticky feeling or sweating
Whats The Dosage Of Humira For Children
The dosage of Humira for children depends on the condition the drug is used to treat. It also depends on the childs body weight in kilograms .* Below are the recommended Humira dosages for children.
* One kg is equal to about 2.2 pounds .
Dosage for juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Humira is prescribed to treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children ages 2 years and older.
For this purpose, the typical Humira dosages are as follows:
- In children who weigh 10 kg to 14 kg : 10 mg every other week
- In children who weigh 15 kg to 29 kg : 20 mg every other week
- In children who weigh 30 kg or more: 40 mg every other week
Childrens dosage for Crohns disease
Humira is used to treat Crohns disease in children ages 6 years and older.
The typical Humira dosages for this use are as follows:
- In children who weigh 17 kg to 39 kg :
- On day 1: 80 mg
- On day 15: 40 mg
- Starting on day 29: 20 mg every other week
- On day 15: 80 mg
- Starting on day 29: 40 mg every other week
Childrens dosage for hidradenitis suppurativa
Humira is prescribed to treat hidradenitis suppurativa in children ages 12 years and older.
For this purpose, the typical Humira dosages are as follows:
- In children who weigh 30 kg to 59 kg :
- On day 1: 80 mg
- Starting on day 8: 40 mg every other week
- On day 15: 80 mg
Childrens dosage for uveitis
- On day 8: 40 mg
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What Is Humiras Dosage
Humira is a medication thats injected under your skin. The drug comes in different forms and strengths.
You may receive your first dose of Humira in a doctors office or clinic. After that, you may give yourself Humira injections at home. You and your doctor will decide together whether using Humira at home is right for you.
How Does Humira Work
Humira is a monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha is a small type of protein called a cytokine. Cytokines are used by the immune system to cause inflammation. Normally, release of cytokines like TNF-alpha is how the immune system cells communicate with each other. When the immune system cells detect an infection, they release TNF-alpha to alert other cells in the body that an infection is present. This communication pathway causes the inflammation that is necessary for the body to kill the infection. In certain autoinflammatory diseases, TNF-alpha is released without an infection being present, causing inflammation in a variety of tissues in the body.
Drugs like Humira that specifically bind to TNF-alpha are called TNF-blocking agents. By binding to TNF-alpha, clinical studies have shown that Humira neutralizesor blocksthe inflammatory activity of TNF-alpha. The drug also causes cells in the body that express too much TNF-alpha to die.
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How Does Adalimumab Work
Adalimumab is a recombinant monoclonalantibody that contains only human peptides. It works by directly binding to TNF molecules in the blood and diseased tissue. TNF bound to adalimumab is prevented from causing the inflammation that results in psoriasis plaques.
Adalimumab is also effective for other inflammatory skin diseases it is registered for the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa. In New Zealand, it is funded to treat some cases of Behçet disease and pyoderma gangrenosum.
What Drugs Interact With Cosentyx
Cosentyx may interact with warfarin, cyclosporine, or “live” vaccines. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use and all vaccines you recently received. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before using Cosentyx. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
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Steroid Creams Or Ointments
Steroid creams or ointments are used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis in most areas of the body. The treatment works by reducing inflammation. This slows the production of skin cells and reduces itching.
Topical corticosteroids range in strength from mild to very strong. Only use them when recommended by your doctor.
Your GP can prescribe stronger topical corticosteroids. These should only be used on small areas of skin or on particularly thick patches. Overusing topical corticosteroids can lead to skin thinning.
What To Do If You Miss A Dose
If you forget to take HUMIRA, inject a dose as soon as you remember. Then, take your next dose at your regular scheduled time. This will put you back on schedule. In case you are not sure when to inject HUMIRA, call your doctor or pharmacist.
Injection Training Kit
Request an Injection Training Kit for Pen or syringe that walks you through the injection steps. Includes a demonstration device and visual aid.
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How Should I Use Humira
Use Humira exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Humira is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider will teach you how to properly use this medicine by yourself.
Do not start using this medicine if you have any signs of an infection. Call your doctor for instructions.
Read and carefully follow any instruction sheet provided with your medicine. Do not use Humira if you do not understand the instructions for proper use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
The dose schedule for Humira is highly variable and depends on the condition you are treating. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully.
Prepare your injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed color, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Humira affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Your doctor will need to examine you on a regular basis.
Store this medicine in its original carton in a refrigerator. Do not freeze. If you are traveling, carefully follow all patient instructions for storing your medicine during travel. Avoid extreme heat or cold.
Throw away any Humira that has become frozen.
Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Plaque Psoriasis Or Adult Uveitis
The recommended subcutaneous dosage of Humira for adult patients with plaque psoriasis or Uveitis is an initial dose of 80 mg, followed by 40 mg given every other week starting one week after the initial dose. The use of Humira in moderate to severe chronic Ps beyond one year has not been evaluated in controlled clinical studies.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Humira
Whether you have already started on HUMIRA or are considering it, here are some questions you may have. Take a look below to find some answers to frequently asked questions and discuss your treatment options with your doctor. For further assistance, call .
Yes, HUMIRA Citrate-free is the same HUMIRA youve come to count on with less pain immediately following injection.*
The active ingredient is the same as it has been for over 15 years, with the same results of HUMIRA youve come to count on.
Learn more about HUMIRA Citrate-free.
*Compared to HUMIRA 40 mg/0.8 mL.
Whether youre just starting HUMIRA or have been continuing on treatment, HUMIRA Complete offers a range of resources and tools to support you at no additional cost. You can choose the resources and tools that are most useful to you, including: help with injections, on-call nurse support, medication reminders, and the HUMIRA Complete Savings Card.
For eligible patients, the HUMIRA Complete Savings Card may help you reduce the amount you have to pay for your HUMIRA. Learn more here.
If your pharmacy is unable to process your HUMIRA Complete Savings Card for instant savings, you may still be able to save on HUMIRA by receiving a rebate for the amount you paid out of pocket for your prescription. Simply call and speak to one of our Insurance Specialists to see if this option is right for you.
Unfortunately, there are no current medicines available that can cure your disease.