Adalimumab

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Brand Name: Humira

Why is this drug prescribed?
Adalimumab is used to treat moderate to severe Crohn’s disease if the patient has had an inadequate response to corticosteroids or immunosuppressants.

How is this drug taken?
Adalimumab is given as injections under the skin (subcutaneous injections) using preloaded syringes or pens. The first dose usually involves giving a totally of 4 injections on one day followed by 2 injections two weeks later. After that, injections are usually given once every 2 weeks. After appropriate training patients can often given the injections themselves or with the assistance of a properly trained family member or friend.

What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking this medication, talk to your doctor and pharmacist about:

Allergies Pregnancy/Breastfeeding
  • if you are allergic to budesonide or any other drugs
  • Although not officially approved for use in pregnancy or during breastfeeding there have been many reports of adalimumab being used safely and effectively during after pregnancy. However, the potential benefits and risks of using adalimumab during pregnancy should be fully discussed with an IBD specialist before planning a pregnancy.
Other medications Medical conditions
  • what prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking (including vitamins and herbal products)
  • any current or past medical conditions you have experienced (especially tuberculosis (TB), congestive heart failure (CHF) or any active infection)


What are the side effects of this medication?

Although side effects from infliximab are uncommon, they can occur. Check with your doctor or IBD nurse as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Most common:

  • skin reaction (pain, redness) at injection site
  • cough
  • dizziness or unusual tiredness/weakness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • nasal congestion or runny nose
  • nausea and or vomiting
  • sore throat

Rare:

  • skin rash
  • abscess (swollen, red, tender area of infection containing pus)
  • infection
  • bone or joint pain
  • infection
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea


How should this medication be stored?

This medication must be stored in the refrigerator and must not be frozen. Keep this medication out of reach and sight of children.

Special Instructions

  • before receiving this medication all patients should be tested for latent tuberculosis infection (a TB skin test and possibly a chest x-ray)
  • if a patient receiving adalimumabtreatment is scheduled to undergo surgery, appropriate precautions may need to be taken
  • do not receive any live vaccines while taking this medication (check with your doctor about whether a vaccine is live before taking it)

Adalimumab is an expensive treatment. Some insurance companies will cover part or all of the cost of the drug (check with your insurance company first). If you do not have private drug insurance coverage, ask your doctor or IBD nurse for alternative coverage options.

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