* Used to treat Psoriasis, Psoriatic arthritis, rhuematoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and Crohn's Disease.
Adalimumab (brand name: Humira) is a fully human recombinant antibody to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) utilized in the treatment of autoimmune disorders, including Psoriasis of the skin or joints. It works by directly binding to TNF molecules in the blood and tissue, moderating inflammation that would have resulted from unbound TNF.Studies have indicated that up to 70 percent of patients who use Adalimumab may experience 75 percent reduction of the skin plaques of Psoriasis within four months, while 10 to 15 percent may clear completely. Although its success rate is high, like all other treatments for chronic disorders, Adalimumab does not cure the condition but only controls or suppresses the disease, and must be used on a long-term basis.
Adalimumab is administered by subcutaneous injection every two weeks. It is available as a pre-filled syringe or an "auto-injector" pen. Patients, after counseling, can usually self-inject at home into the thigh or abdomen, rotating injection sites to reduce potential soreness.
Adalimumab functions by suppressing an immune response, which unchecked, can damage a patient's own tissue resulting in clinical disease. Although this range of immune suppression is narrow and not likely to lead to problems, infection remains the most important cause for concern with this type of "biologic" medication, especially if combined with other immune suppressing medicines. Your doctor will likely order a tuberculosis (TB) skin test prior to starting therapy with Adalimumab and will be repeated yearly. There may be an increased risk of upper respiratory infections, and soreness may occur at the site of injection. You should discuss any planned immunizations with your doctor if taking Adalimumab. Other reported side effects have included headache, sinusitis, rash and nausea. Rarely neurologic problems, lymphomas, leukemias and other cancers have been reported in patients taking TNF blockers like Adalimumab. As with all new medications, advise your doctor of all your current medicines if prescribed Adalimumab.
Notes of Precaution
* Adalimumab should be kept refrigerated and warmed to room temperature 15 minutes before injection
*Advise your doctor if you have ever been treated for tuberculosis, hepatitis, or cancer before beginning Adalimumab
* If you are pregnant or plan to be pregnant, you should discuss thoroughly with your physician the potential benefits and risks of therapy
* Patients with congestive heart failure or multiple sclerosis should use caution while taking Adalimumab.
* Consult with your doctor prior to taking any immunizations, especially live vaccines