Adalimumab: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Precautions, and More

Medically Reviewed
Shannon Miller
Written by Shannon Miller on March 07, 2022Medically Reviewed by Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD

About | Uses | Who can and can not take it? | How should it be taken? | Side effects | Precautions | Interactions | Missed dose | Overdose | Pregnancy | Breastfeeding

Generic name: Adalimumab
Brand names: Humira, Amgevita
Drug classes:  Antipsoriatics, Systemic, DMARDs, TNF Inhibitors, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Agents
Available forms: Prefilled syringe and pen

Adalimumab is used to reduce the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation. Adalimumab is a monoclonal antibody used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc.

Uses:

Adalimumab is used to treat inflammation of joints in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It is also used for skin problems like plaque psoriasis and hidradenitis suppurativa.

Adalimumab is also used to treat certain bowel conditions (Crohn’s disease) and certain eye diseases (uveitis) in adults and children.

Who can and can not take it?

Children younger than 2 years old (or 6 years old if treating Crohn’s disease) should avoid taking adalimumab. Any person suffering from some type of infection such as T.B also should avoid taking it.

Adalimumab can be taken by persons with Crohn’s disease, Uveitis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Herpes Simplex Iridocyclitis.

Adalimumab may interact with some other prescription medications, so check with your doctor or pharmacist about potential drug interactions before you start taking adalimumab.

How should it be taken?

Adalimumab is taken as a subcutaneous injection. Consult a pharmacist or nurse so then you can give yourself or others injections at home.

Side effects

Common side effects by taking Adalimumab are:

● Injection site reactions (redness, swelling, pain)
● Headache
● pain in stomach
● muscle pain

Some serious side effects are:

● Blood in stools,
● Mental and mood changes
● Dyspnea

Sometimes an allergic reaction can be caused however it may happen in some rare cases. Seek immediate medication attention if there are any symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Precautions:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have a chronic infection, hepatitis B, cancer, diabetes, numbness, and muscle-nerve disorder, as the dose may need to be adjusted. If you have recently undergone surgery or you are planning for a schedule to have major surgery, consult your doctor.

Interactions

Some drugs should not be used with adalimumab. Adalimumab can interact with other drugs such as abatacept, etanercept, anakinra, azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, certolizumab, golimumab, infliximab, and rituximab.

This list is not a complete list. Other drugs may also interact with adalimumab. Therefore, before using this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all other drugs you use. 

Missed dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it and space out the rest of the day’s doses evenly. If it is almost time for the next dose, do not double up the dose.

Overdose

If someone overdoses on adalimumab, contact poison control immediately. There are 2 ways to reach poison control in the United States: go online to www.poison.org or call 1-800-222-1222.

Can it be taken during pregnancy?

It’s not known if adalimumab is safe during pregnancy as there are no controlled data in human pregnancy. If you are taking adalimumab and become pregnant, consult your doctor about the risks or benefits.

Can it be taken during breastfeeding?

Adalimumab does transfer into breast milk in small amounts but it is deemed safe during breastfeeding. There have been no adverse effects on the baby in reported cases.

Medically Reviewed
Shannon Miller
Written by Shannon Miller on March 07, 2022Medically Reviewed by Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD

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