RA Patient Stories

On Screen:

Susie's story will begin in a moment

The following story is from an actual HUMIRA Patient. Individual results may vary. Please see Safety Considerations at the end of this presentation. Please see full prescribing information, including the Medication Guide for HUMIRA on this website.

Voiceover and On Screen:

HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used alone, with methotrexate, or with certain other medicines to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults, may prevent further damage to your bones and joints, and may help your ability to perform daily activities.

SUSIE:

My name is Susie and I'm from Glen Ellyn. At one point when I thought I broke my hand. I had a lot of pain in my thumb and down into my wrist and it was very swollen. I went to my general practitioner and they had me do an xray and they said, "We'll do some blood tests, but we think you'll probably be fine". They sent me home with some over-the-counter something or other and it actually got better. The swelling went down, it stopped bothering me and about maybe six weeks later, a nurse called me and said "you have RA".

She said that I needed to go to a rheumatologist. So I went when I could get in. I still was without symptoms, other than that I'd still occasionally have this swollen thumb. Then, the swelling would go down so I didn't really think there was really a lot I needed to do. Within about six or eight weeks, maybe two months of me seeing that first rheumatologist, I ended up with both wrists swollen, both thumbs swollen and then my hands. It kind of went very quickly from there. My hands would swell up so big that my fingers looked like sausages—like the insides were trying to get out from the skin.

I couldn't pick things up or open cabinets. Touching things was so painful and I work on a computer. It was excruciating. I couldn't even drive myself to work. I would have my husband have to lean in the car and have to turn over the ignition because I couldn't make that turning movement. It really made life very challenging.

The worst days for me were days when I didn't even want to get out of bed, knowing that everything would be difficult. Turning on the shower. To put on my own clothing. I remember my mother coming to visit and having to dress me. I had girlfriends who just got into the habit of cutting up my food for me.

I was very fearful of the future. What was going to happen next and what level of pain I was going to be in and how much my life was going to change.

After I had been on medications for about a year, we determined that whatever recipe I had wasn't really working. I had severe fatigue. The hands were really bad. I felt like—and my doctors felt like—I needed to make some pretty important decisions about my future.

After I started on HUMIRA, the swelling in my hands started to reduce. And able to do more of the fine motor things I hadn't been able to do before. I can do crafts. I can do cooking. I can do things with my son like tying his shoes or blowing bubbles or playing in the playground. Taking this medicine was the turning point for me. Gave me my hands back.

Whenever I've made decisions about medications or therapies, I've worked with my rheumatologist and my physician's assistant to look at anything else going on with me that might affect medications or lifestyle. They always let me have a lot to do with that decision. I've always felt pretty empowered to be able to make decisions about my own health.

My doctor discussed all of the possible risks for HUMIRA with me before I started taking it. Every time I've ever heard something about it, I will call them or ask them when I go back in and we talk about all those things.

When I first learned that HUMIRA was by injection, I was a little intimidated by it. I went home, talked to my husband about it, and he said, "No problem, I'll give you the injection." For five years he's been giving me the injection. I think I can now, but it really makes us feel like we're in this together. I don't talk about the RA every day and I don't live a life full of a lot of pain. I don't feel like I have a lot of restrictions, but by him giving me the shot, I really feel like we're in this together and that he really understands. He feels the same way.

I would recommend HUMIRA to other RA patients, and I have. When you find something that works for you, you want to share it. For me, HUMIRA has done wonders.

On Screen:

One of the most common side effects with HUMIRA is injection site reactions such as redness, rash, swelling, itching or bruising. Do not try to inject HUMIRA yourself until you have been shown the right way to give the injections.

Voiceover and On Screen:

Safety Considerations

Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. HUMIRA may increase the chance of getting lymphoma, including a rare kind, or other cancers. HUMIRA can cause serious side effects including hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus, allergic reactions, nervous system problems, blood problems, heart failure, certain immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome, liver problems, and new or worsening psoriasis.

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Important Safety Information About HUMIRA® (adalimumab)1

What is the most important information I should know about HUMIRA?

You should discuss the potential benefits and risks of HUMIRA with your doctor. HUMIRA is a TNF blocker medicine that can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. You should not start taking HUMIRA if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor says it is okay.

  • Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before starting HUMIRA, and check you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with HUMIRA. If your doctor feels you are at risk, you may be treated with medicine for TB.

  • Cancer. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, the chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. There have been cases of unusual cancers in children, teenagers, and young adults using TNF blockers. Some people have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of cancer often results in death. If using TNF blockers including HUMIRA, your chance of getting two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) may increase. These types are generally not life-threatening if treated; tell your doctor if you have a bump or open sore that doesn’t heal.


What should I tell my doctor BEFORE starting HUMIRA?

Tell your doctor about all of your health conditions, including if you:

  • Have an infection, are being treated for infection, or have symptoms of an infection
  • Get a lot of infections or infections that keep coming back
  • Have diabetes
  • Have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB, or were born in, lived in, or traveled where there is more risk for getting TB
  • Live or have lived in an area (such as the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys) where there is an increased risk for getting certain kinds of fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis
  • Have or have had hepatitis B
  • Are scheduled for major surgery
  • Have or have had cancer
  • Have numbness or tingling or a nervous system disease such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Have or had heart failure
  • Have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. HUMIRA patients may receive vaccines, except for live vaccines
  • Are allergic to rubber, latex, or any HUMIRA ingredients
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed

Also tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. You should not take HUMIRA with ORENCIA® (abatacept), KINERET® (anakinra), REMICADE® (infliximab), ENBREL® (etanercept), CIMZIA® (certolizumab pegol), or SIMPONI® (golimumab). Tell your doctor if you have ever used RITUXAN® (rituximab), IMURAN® (azathioprine), or PURINETHOL® (mercaptopurine, 6-MP).


What should I watch for AFTER starting HUMIRA?

HUMIRA can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Serious infections. These include TB and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Symptoms related to TB include a cough, low-grade fever, weight loss, or loss of body fat and muscle.
  • Hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus. Symptoms include muscle aches, feeling very tired, dark urine, skin or eyes that look yellow, little or no appetite, vomiting, clay-colored bowel movements, fever, chills, stomach discomfort, and skin rash.
  • Allergic reactions. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include hives, trouble breathing, and swelling of your face, eyes, lips, or mouth.
  • Nervous system problems. Signs and symptoms include numbness or tingling, problems with your vision, weakness in your arms or legs, and dizziness.
  • Blood problems. Symptoms include a fever that does not go away, bruising or bleeding very easily, or looking very pale.
  • Heart failure (new or worsening). Symptoms include shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, and sudden weight gain.
  • Immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome. Symptoms include chest discomfort or pain that does not go away, shortness of breath, joint pain, or rash on your cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun.
  • Liver problems. Symptoms include feeling very tired, skin or eyes that look yellow, poor appetite or vomiting, and pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen).
  • Psoriasis (new or worsening). Symptoms include red scaly patches or raised bumps that are filled with pus.

Call your doctor or get medical care right away if you develop any of the above symptoms.


Common side effects of HUMIRA include injection site reactions (redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising), upper respiratory infections (sinus 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.


Remember, tell your doctor right away if you have an infection or symptoms of an infection, including:

  • Fever, sweats, or chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood in phlegm
  • Weight loss
  • Warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
  • Diarrhea or stomach pain
  • Burning when you urinate
  • Urinating more often than normal
  • Feeling very tired

HUMIRA is given by injection under the skin.


This is the most important information to know about HUMIRA. For more information, talk to your health care provider.

 

Uses

 

HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used:

  • To reduce the signs and symptoms of:
    • Moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults. HUMIRA can be used alone, with methotrexate, or with certain other medicines. HUMIRA may prevent further damage to your bones and joints and may help your ability to perform daily activities.
    • Moderate to severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in children 4 years of age and older. HUMIRA can be used alone, with methotrexate, or with certain other medicines.
    • Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in adults. HUMIRA can be used alone or with certain other medicines. HUMIRA may prevent further damage to your bones and joints and may help your ability to perform daily activities.
    • Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in adults.
    • Moderate to severe Crohn's disease (CD) and to achieve and maintain clinical remission in adults who have not responded well to conventional treatments. HUMIRA is also for these adults who have lost response to or are unable to tolerate infliximab.
  • In adults, to help get moderate to severe ulcerative colitis (UC) under control (induce remission) and keep it under control (sustain remission) when certain other medicines have not worked well enough. It is not known if HUMIRA is effective in people who stopped responding to or could not tolerate anti-TNF medicines.
  • To treat moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis (Ps) in adults who are ready for systemic therapy or phototherapy, and are under the care of a doctor who will decide if other systemic therapies are less appropriate.

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Please see the Full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, for HUMIRA.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you cannot afford your medication, contact: www.pparx.org or call the toll-free phone number (1-888-4PPA-NOW) for assistance.

Safety Considerations1

Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. HUMIRA may increase the chance of getting lymphoma, including a rare kind, or other cancers. HUMIRA can cause serious side effects including hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus, allergic reactions, nervous system problems, blood problems, heart failure, certain immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome, liver problems, and new or worsening psoriasis.

Use1

HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used alone, with methotrexate, or with certain other medicines to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults, may prevent further damage to your bones and joints, and may help your ability to perform daily activities.

Related Information