Generic Name: Adalimumab
Product Name: Humira
Adalimumab is a relatively new medication that is being used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults who have had a poor response to other anti-rheumatic drugs. It may be used alone or in combination with methotrexate, which is another medication used for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
A substance made by the immune system called tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is involved in the immune and inflammatory processes that take place in inflammatory diseases. Similar to drugs such as Infliximab and Etanercept, Adalimumab works by blocking the activity of TNF, and in doing so reduces pain and inflammation. It had also been shown to slow down the progression of joint destruction.
- Treatment should be supervised and monitored by a rheumatologist experienced in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Standard treatment is 40 mg as an injection under the skin every second week.
- Other medications such as Methotrexate, steroid medications, aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be taken whilst on Adalimumab.
Common side effects
In clinical trials the majority of side effects to were mild to moderate in severity and stopped once Adalimumab was discontinued. The more common side effects noted included:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling, redness and irritation at the injection site
Uncommon side effects
- Urinary tract infections, thrush
- Blood abnormalities such as reduced numbers of white cells or platelets, or the development of auto-antibodies
- Mood changes such as depression, sleepiness or insomnia
- Chest pains, raised blood pressure
- Skin complications such as rashes, ulcers, fungal infections, and small benign skin tumours.
For further information talk to your doctor.