Frequently Asked Questions About HUMIRA
Whether you have already started on HUMIRA or are considering it, here are some questions you may have. Take a look below to find some answers to frequently asked questions and discuss your treatment options with your doctor. For further assistance, call 1.800.4HUMIRA (1.800.448.6472).
Patients with Aetna health insurance may require additional approvals for HUMIRA. Call 1.800.4HUMIRA (1.800.448.6472) and talk with one of our Insurance Specialists to better understand your plan’s coverage for HUMIRA and what options may be available to reduce the cost of your prescription.
A HUMIRA Ambassador is a registered nurse who is there to listen, to answer your questions about HUMIRA, and help you every step of the way.
Your HUMIRA Ambassador is fully dedicated to you. Your Ambassador understands that starting a new treatment may be challenging and is there to listen and provide you with the resources you need, when you need them. An Ambassador can also help empower you to navigate the insurance process, understand your benefits and potential ways to manage the cost of your prescription and develop a routine to support the treatment plan your doctor has prescribed.
HUMIRA Ambassadors are provided by AbbVie and do not work under the direction of your health care professional (HCP) or give medical advice. They are trained to direct patients to their HCP for treatment-related advice, including further referrals.
Your HUMIRA Ambassador
HUMIRA is a medicine called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker. HUMIRA targets and blocks TNF-alpha. TNF plays a role in the process that causes inflammation. Because TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, affect the immune system, they can lower the ability to fight infections and may cause other serious side effects.
You take HUMIRA by giving yourself an injection under the skin, every other week (one week after your initial starting dose). HUMIRA cannot be taken by mouth. Do not try to inject HUMIRA yourself until you have been shown the right way to give the injections. If your doctor decides that you are able to give your injections at home, you should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject HUMIRA.
Please remember: Your first HUMIRA injection should be given under the supervision of a nurse or health care professional. Always consult with your health care professional before you start taking HUMIRA. You can call your doctor or 1.800.4HUMIRA (1.800.448.6472) if you have questions about giving yourself an injection.
One of the most common side effects with HUMIRA is injection site reactions such as pain, redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising. These symptoms usually will go away within a few days. If you have pain, redness, or swelling around the injection site that doesn’t go away within a few days or gets worse, call your doctor right away.
Signs of a serious allergic reaction include hives, trouble breathing, and swelling of your face, eyes, lips, or mouth. Call your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
Your doctor will tell you how often to take an injection of HUMIRA. Do not inject HUMIRA more often than prescribed. If you need additional help with self-injecting, you can view an instructional video.
HUMIRA Citrate-free comes in several different packages. Look for the 29-gauge needle call-out and updated liquid volume on the package, and let your specialty pharmacy know if you have any questions or concerns about the HUMIRA you receive.
See the Patient Instructions for Use, located inside your HUMIRA carton, and within the Full Prescribing Information.
Do not try to inject HUMIRA yourself until you have been shown the right way to give the injections to your child. If your child's doctor decides that you are able to give the injections at home, you should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject HUMIRA. Your child's first injection should be given under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Here are some Tips for Creating a Positive Injection Environment you can try that may help the transition into your child’s injection routine.
Learn more about injecting HUMIRA from your HUMIRA Ambassador.
It may be a good idea to mark your calendar ahead of time with the dates of your HUMIRA treatment. This may help you remember when to take it. Always follow your doctor's instructions on when and how often to take HUMIRA.
If you forget to take HUMIRA when you're supposed to, inject the next dose as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose when your next scheduled dose is due. This will put you back on schedule. If you're not sure when to inject HUMIRA, call your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor will tell you how often to take an injection of HUMIRA. Do not inject HUMIRA more often than prescribed.
Yes, you can take certain other medicines if your doctor has prescribed them, or has told you it's okay to take them while you're taking HUMIRA. 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).
A rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, often resulting in death, has developed in some people. Most were male teenagers or young men with inflammatory bowel disease who were being treated with another medicine called IMURAN (azathioprine) or PURINETHOL (6‐mercaptopurine, 6‐MP).
HUMIRA needs to be stored in a refrigerator (2°C-8°C/36°F-46°F) in its original container and protected from light until it's used. HUMIRA should never be put in the freezer or frozen. Do not use HUMIRA if frozen, even if it has been thawed. Refrigerated HUMIRA may be used until the expiration date printed on the prefilled syringe or Pen. Do not use a Pen or prefilled syringe if the liquid is cloudy, discolored, or has flakes or particles in it. Care should be taken to avoid dropping or crushing the Pen and prefilled syringe as they contain glass.
If needed, for example when traveling, HUMIRA may be stored at room temperature up to a maximum of 77°F (25°C) for a period of up to 14 days, with protection from light. HUMIRA should be discarded if not used within the 14-day period.
When not traveling, your HUMIRA Pen or prefilled syringe should be stored in a refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) in its original carton until you are ready to use it.
Room temperature is up to 77°F (25°C). In addition, the HUMIRA Pen or prefilled syringe should be protected from direct sunlight and stored in its original carton until you are ready to use it. HUMIRA may be stored at room temperature for a period up to 14 days, with protection from light. HUMIRA should be discarded if not used within the 14-day period.
Once you remove your HUMIRA Pen or prefilled syringe from the refrigerator, it must be used within 14 days. If not used within the 14 days, it must be discarded.
Once your HUMIRA Pen or prefilled syringe has reached room temperature, it must be used within 14 days even if it is put back in the refrigerator. HUMIRA that has reached room temperature must be discarded if it is not used within the 14-day period.
Do not use it and call your pharmacist immediately to let them know that your HUMIRA Pen or prefilled syringe has been stored out of the refrigerator for more than 14 days. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you on how you may obtain a new HUMIRA Pen or prefilled syringe.
Yes. Record the date when HUMIRA is first removed from the refrigerator in the spaces provided on the carton and dose tray.
If more comfortable, take your HUMIRA Pen or prefilled syringe out of the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes before injecting to allow the liquid to reach room temperature. Do not remove the cap or cover while allowing it to reach room temperature. Do not warm HUMIRA in any other way (for example, do not warm in a microwave or under hot water).
Always follow the doctor's instructions about when and how often to take HUMIRA. Do not inject HUMIRA more often than prescribed. If you need additional help with self-injecting, you can view an instructional video.
Unfortunately, there are no current medicines available that can cure your disease.
HUMIRA comes in single-use, prefilled Pens or in prefilled syringes. The needle is not removable or reusable. You should always check with your health care provider for instructions on how to properly dispose of used Pens and syringes. You should follow any special state or local laws regarding the proper disposal of Pens and syringes.
Here are some tips that you may find helpful:
Place your Pen or syringe in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container right away after use. DO NOT throw away (dispose of) the Pen or syringe in your household trash or recycle the sharps disposal container. If you do not have a sharps disposal container, you may use a household container made of heavy-duty plastic, able to be closed with a tight-fitting, puncture-resistant lid, without sharps being able to come out; upright and stable; leak-resistant; and properly labeled to warn of hazardous waste inside.
You should always keep the sharps container out of the reach of children.
You can sign up to receive sharps containers for HUMIRA Pen or syringe disposal at no additional cost.
When the container is almost full, you should follow your community guidelines for the right way to dispose of your sharps container. For more information about safe sharps disposal, and for specific information about sharps disposal in the state you live in, go to the FDA's website at http://www.fda.gov/safesharpsdisposal.
Items used in preparation of your injection, such as gauze or cotton balls, may be placed in the trash, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. The dose tray and cover may be recycled.
If you or your child is taking HUMIRA, you should discuss the potential benefits and risks of HUMIRA with your doctor. HUMIRA is a tumor necrosis factor (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.
Please see "What are the possible side effects with HUMIRA?" for additional information regarding possible side effects. Also, please read the Medication Guide and discuss it with your doctor.
It is important that you make your child's school nurse and teachers aware that your child is taking HUMIRA. They should inform you of any infections (chicken pox, mumps, measles, etc.) that your child might be exposed to at school. You should call the prescribing doctor if this occurs.
Discuss your concerns with your child's prescribing doctor. Your child should be brought up to date with all immunizations prior to starting HUMIRA. Live vaccines should not be given with HUMIRA. Except for live virus vaccines, your child may still receive vaccines while on HUMIRA.
Warning signs of a serious allergic reaction may include hives, swelling of your face, eyes, lips, or mouth or trouble breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor or seek emergency care immediately.
The needle cover on the prefilled syringe contains natural rubber latex. Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to rubber or latex.
The black needle cover for both the HUMIRA Citrate-free Pen and prefilled syringe is not made with natural rubber latex.
HUMIRA has been studied in clinical trials in patients young as 2 years old. Currently, there are not enough data to assess the effect of HUMIRA on the growth, development, and maturation of a child. If you are concerned about these issues, talk with your child's prescribing physician.
Learn more about HUMIRA Citrate-free for non-infectious uveitis.*
Studies have not been done to see how HUMIRA interacts with food. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.
Studies have not been done to see how HUMIRA interacts with alcohol. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.
As you may know, HUMIRA affects the immune system and can lower your or your child’s ability to fight infections like the seasonal flu. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most effective way to prevent the flu is to get an annual vaccination.
There are currently 2 types of vaccines available for the seasonal flu:
- An injectable form, given with a syringe, does not contain a live form of the virus
- An intranasal form, which is administered as a mist in your nose, contains a weakened live form of the virus
The intranasal forms are live vaccines, and patients receiving HUMIRA should not receive live vaccines. Always tell any doctor who is treating you about all medications you are taking, including HUMIRA. Consult the doctor who prescribed your HUMIRA before getting any vaccination.
You or your child should not use HUMIRA if you or your child has an allergy to HUMIRA or to any of the ingredients in HUMIRA (including sodium phosphate, sodium citrate, citric acid, mannitol, and polysorbate 80). The needle cover on the prefilled syringe contains natural rubber latex. Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to rubber or latex.
Learn more about HUMIRA Citrate-free for non-infectious uveitis.*
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
- Have a baby and you were using HUMIRA during your pregnancy. Tell your baby's doctor before your baby receives any vaccines
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).
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show your doctor and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine.
If you are not sure or have any questions about any of this information, ask your doctor.
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). These problems can lead to liver failure and death.
- Psoriasis (new or worsening). Symptoms include red scaly patches or raised bumps that are filled with pus.
Call the doctor or get medical care right away if you or your child develop any of the above symptoms.
Common side effects of HUMIRA include injection site reactions (pain, 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, call the doctor right away if you or your child have an infection or any signs of an infection, including:
- Fever, sweats, or chills
- Muscle aches
- 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
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to breastfeed. HUMIRA should only be used during a pregnancy if needed. Women who are breastfeeding should talk to their doctor about whether or not to use HUMIRA. Women and their doctor should decide whether to breastfeed or use HUMIRA. You should not do both.
*HUMIRA (adalimumab) is approved for the treatment of non-infectious intermediate, posterior, and panuveitis in adults and children 2 years of age and older.