Humira is a drug that is used to treat inflammation in people with autoimmune disorders. Created using protein antibodies through DNA technology Humira is able to treat immune reactions at the molecular level. It has become useful in treating a number of issues due to its immune blocking and anti-inflammatory abilities. Humira is used to treat conditions such as psoriasis, certain types of arthritis, and Chron’s disease. Humira must be injected, and Patents can take Humira at home by a syringe or a pen device. While being helpful to many people, Humira side effects are something patients should be aware of while deciding if this drug is right for them.
What Is Humira?
Humira is a biologic drug that was created to relieve inflammation caused by autoimmune disorders. A biologic drug means that Humira is not created with man-made compounds but instead comes from natural sources. These sources are usually human and animal proteins. Because it is a biologic, Humira reacts differently with various patients. Humira side effects can be more severe for some users, check with your doctor before using. Humira works by blocking the immune systems tumor necrosis factor.
Though experts are still not sure what causes autoimmune diseases, they have discovered a relationship between inflammation and TNF. While TNF is a natural defense in the body, if a person produces too much TNF it can cause the body’s immune system to attack otherwise healthy cells, therefore, causing inflammation. It has been found that some people with specific types of autoimmune diseases produce too much TNF causing this inflation reaction. Humira does not stop the body from producing TNF, but instead binds to the TNF molecules and blocks them from attaching to cells.
By not allowing all the TNF to bind it prevents the body’s immune system from overreacting and attacking cells. This reduces the inflammation and damage caused by it. For patients with an autoimmune disorder, it can balance the body’s reactions and help improve their comfort.
Humira Side Effects-The Good
Humira, as a biologic drug, can provide long-term relief for patients. Though it is more costly than more short-term treatments for inflammatory illnesses, Humira's ability to stop the inflammation versus just treat the symptoms, it is able to not only provide relief but stop damage. Humira, in the long run, helps in reducing further damage, and even with some cases can bring on remission and healing.
Humira was originally released to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis and has been successful at reducing inflammation in joints. Humira side effects, beyond pain relief, include reducing further structural joint damage and increased mobility in patients. It has been shown to slow the degenerative effects of. RA. These same Humira side effects have also been found in the treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.
Humira has also been used to treat severe to moderate Chron’s disease. Caused by inflammation in the intestines Chron's disease can be painful and hard to manage. Humira had been proven to help reduce relapses and can even bring on remission in some patients with Chron's disease.
People who suffer from Ulcerative Colitis know it is a difficult illness to manage and does not respond to many treatments. Patients who have not responded well to other immunosuppressants have had success with Humira in managing the symptoms of their illness.
Plaque psoriasis is a skin condition that can cause itchy, cracked, flaky skin. Patients who have not been able to find relief for their Plaque Psoriasis with other methods have been able to find relief with Humira. They are advised to monitor their use closely to avoid Humira side effects.
Moderate to Severe Hidradenitis Suppurativa
This condition can cause ulcers and sores on the skin and is painful as well as unsightly. Patients taking Humira have long had difficulty managing this condition, but with antibiotics and Humira they have started to find relief.
This condition that affects the eye and causes inflammation and does not respond well to most medication. Humira has shown relief of this condition though patients should be closely monitored for infection.
For people who have an autoimmune disorder, there are many drugs that treat inflammation and pain and can reduce symptoms. Humira seeks to stop the damage and the pain before it starts. In this approach, Humira is often successful in treating patients who have not had great results with other medications. Make sure to discuss Humira side effects with your doctor before starting treatment.
Before starting any new medication, patients should be aware of all the Humira side effects and discuss them with their doctor. By being a biologic drug, Humira is an effective treatment because it responds to the body. Yet this also means that often it has more severe side effects than more traditional medications. Patients should go over all risks and decide with their doctor if Humira is right for them. New patients wanting to start Humira must be tested for tuberculosis first. Patients should not start taking Humira if they have any kind of infections unless approved by their doctor.
According to the FDA, the most common Humira side effect is an increased risk for developing serious bacterial, viral or fungal infections. Infections, especially of the respiratory tract and sinuses, are common Humira side effects. Some infections can lead to serious illness including hospitalization or death. Patients should be monitored for any signs of infection or sepsis and stop taking the medication immediately if infection occurs.
In some juvenile and child patients Lymphoma and other malignancies, have been reported as a Humira side effect. Rare types of cancer such as T-Cell Lymphoma have been reported as Humira side effects. Children and juvenile users of the drug should be advised of the increased risk of developing these cancers.
Some users in clinical trials experienced severe allergic reactions as a Humira side effect. These reactions occurred in about 5% of patients and include rashes, hives, and trouble breathing. Anyone with this reaction should seek medical attention immediately. Humira is administered through a pen or syringe, and some people have reported irritation at the injection site.
Other Humira side effects that have been recorded include liver damage, including heightened enzymes. Patients should be monitored for yellow skin or eyes and report any pain in the right abdomen as signs of liver problems.
Heart issues were also reported as a Humira side effect causing worsening heart failure in patients with the condition. Some instances of new congestive heart failure symptoms have also been reported.
Nervous disorders, including dizziness, tingling, weakness in legs and arms, as well as shortness of breath, are also side effects reported from the drug.
One of the Humira side effects is low platelet counts that can cause higher risks of bleeding. Also, Lower white cell counts can occur and lower the body's ability to fight infection are also Humira side effects. Patients may also find they run fevers as well as bruise and bleed more easily.
Lupis like symptoms have been reported as a Humira Side effect. Joint pain chest pain and shortness of breath may occur along with rash and sun sensitivity.
Side effects vary based on the condition being treated. All Humira side effects should be considered before beginning the medication. Doctors and patients should continue to monitor for Humira side effects throughout the use of the medication.
Humira is a breakthrough drug in its ability to treat a wide range of autoimmune diseases. By blocking the attachment of tumor necrosis factor to the cells the drug is able to prevent the immune response that causes inflammation. This prevents the inflammation from ever occurring reducing further damage and reducing pain for patients. Because it stops the damage and allows the body even to heal, and its long-term effects are improved mobility and comfort for patients. This makes it unique from other short-term drugs that just treat the inflammation.
Humira can also help many who have not had success with other immunosuppressant drugs. Yet as a biologic drug, Humira side effects are carried and can be severe. For people with infections or who are prone to infections, Humira side effects are most common. Juvenile and children starting Humira should know all Humira side effects especially risks of cancer. As in starting any drug patients should be monitored for infection and allergic reactions. Yet for many who live with chronic pain and illness from an autoimmune disorder, Humira may be a great tool in controlling their illness.
With DNA engineering Humira seeks to stop the damage and the pain before it starts. In this way, Humira may be the relief patients have been looking for who have not had great results with other medications. As with starting any new medication doctors and patients can review Humira side effects and determine if the benefits and risks are appropriate for the patient.