Humira was first approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Since then, it’s gone on to be used to treat a range of autoimmune diseases.
It’s worth noting that as yet, autoimmune diseases have no cure. However, their symptoms can definitely be managed.
Humira is one of the treatments that can control pain in the long-term.
So what is it, and how does it work?
What is Humira?
It’s a TNFα inhibitor that can be used to treat ailments including;
- Chronic Plaque Psoriasis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
That’s not even the whole list. Makers AbbVie are also seeking approval to use Humira to treat a new set of conditions. That’s including ailments involving inflammation in both the eye and the groin.
And that’s essentially what Humira does. It reduces inflammation and can be used for pain relief.
It should be noted that there’s no guarantee around how fast Humira will work.
Some patients see a difference on day 1. Others need a couple of months to notice the effects.
You just need to keep up with your treatment plan to see the difference.
We offer a free coupon for Humira. You can save up to 80% on all of your Humira prescriptions!
How it works
Autoimmune diseases are still something of a mystery, even to experts. But studies indicate that TNFα (tumour necrosis factor alpha) is a contributor to the inflammation of these diseases.
When the body’s immune system swings into action, TNFα triggers inflammation as a response.
Inflammation is the body’s response to harmful stimuli. Increased blood flow to the area gets the healing process started. But it also causes inflammation as an unfortunate by-product.
If too much TNFα triggers inflammation, it means that healthy tissue is also affected.
TNFα is a small protein. Because it circulates through your bloodstream, it can affect various parts of your body. That can cause problems in your gut, skin, and even your finger joints.
This is where Humira comes in. It binds to this excess TNFα and blocks the inflammatory effect.
That means less pain or stiffness for you or your loved ones. That can mean you can live a more ordinary life, play sport, or enjoy hobbies without pain forcing you to take a time-out.
Humira derives from a protein so it can’t be taken orally as the digestive system destroys its active ingredients. Injecting it is currently the only way to administer Humira so that the body can use it.
Humira has been approved for use by sufferers of active ankylosing spondylitis. They endure a lot of pain or stiffness in the spine.
And if it isn’t treated, chronic inflammation can even cause the vertebrae to completely fuse. Pain can become unbearable.
But using Humira actually reduced the symptoms of the diseases for up to 3 years in 74% of patients.
And they’re not the only ones to benefit. Sufferers of chronic plaque psoriasis have very dry skin. It’s prone to itching and cracking – and it’s very painful.
Sufferers can have problems with self-confidence, leading to mental stress as well as physical pain.
But in 2010, Humira became the most efficient treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis.
Meanwhile, Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the digestive tract. For most people, it’s their small intestine that is worst affected.
It’s estimated that some 780,000 Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease.
The disease causes a lot of pain and often leads to diarrhea. That’s a lot of discomfort and potential embarrassment from one lifelong condition.
Yet a study of the use of Humira for Crohn’s disease sufferers showed the drug can lead to long-term remission.
With all of these benefits, you might want to get a prescription for Humira. Just remember to claim your free pharmacy discount card.
What you need to know
You do need to know that some Humira users have developed a rare type of cancer. If it does occur, then it usually affects teenagers or young adults with Crohn’s disease.
Humira can also affect your blood cells, making it more difficult for your body to fight infections. Your blood will take longer to clot.
Because of the effects on your immune system, it’s best to avoid spending time around those who are sick. You should also try to avoid injuries that might cause bleeding.
Your doctor will need to know about your recent health, including infections. If you’ve had cancer or a history of hepatitis B, he also needs to know about those. In particular, your doctor needs to know if you have tuberculosis.
There are some drugs that you can’t use with Humira. Talk to your doctor. Let him know what you’re already using. He can advise which ones you need to start or stop taking.
It’s also recommended that you avoid ‘live’ vaccines during your Humira treatment. That includes;
Humira can affect how well the vaccine works, so you might not get full protection. Given the depressed immune system during treatment, it’s best to get your vaccines before you start using Humira.
How do I use Humira?
It’s really important that you follow the instructions that your doctor gives you.
That means using the right dosage for the recommended period of time. The dosage will depend on a range of factors, including your condition.
Regular doses will give you the most benefit, so keep on top of your treatment.
The syringes are prefilled for you, and they’re designed for a single use. Don’t use it if the medicine looks cloudy.
It’s really important that you dispose of used syringes properly, so follow your local/state laws about that. A puncture-proof “sharps” container for disposal is an absolute must.
You’ll also need to inform the surgeon that you’re using Humira if you need surgery during your treatment.
Your first injection will be given by your nurse. But you’ll be shown how to inject Humira properly by your doctor so you can continue your treatment at home.
If you do forget a dose, don’t panic. Inject the dose as soon as you remember. Then you just need to take the next one when you’re scheduled to take it.
Just make sure you talk to your doctor and find out if Humira is right for you.
As with any prescription drug, costs can easily mount up. So try one of our RX prescription cards to help manage your spending.