Humira (Adalimumab)

Medically Reviewed By Brittany A. Duke, PharmD, RPh

This drug has boxed warnings, the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Boxed warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Risk of cancer. Humira may increase your risk of certain cancers, such as lymphoma. Although rare, some cancers may be fatal. In a few cases, certain children who took tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors developed cancer. And Humira is a TNF inhibitor.

Before starting Humira, talk with your doctor about your cancer risk. Be sure to tell them if you’ve had cancer in the past. This could increase your risk of developing cancer with Humira.

Risk of serious infections. In rare cases, Humira may increase your risk of serious infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Examples of these infections include tuberculosis (TB), and cellulitis (a serious skin infection). Infections with Humira may require treatment in the hospital. In rare cases, these infections may lead to death.

Your doctor will likely test you for TB before you start Humira treatment and while you’re taking the drug. Humira may reactivate TB, which could lead to symptoms of this condition. (Reactivation happens when a virus that’s already inside your body flares up and causes symptoms.) If you have TB before taking Humira, your doctor will treat it before you start taking this medication.

If you have TB or any serious infection while taking Humira, your doctor may have you stop the drug until your infection has been treated.

To learn more, see the “ Humira: Side effects” section below.

About Humira

Humira is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the conditions listed below.

In adults plaque psoriasis
psoriatic arthritis
rheumatoid arthritis
ankylosing spondylitis
In adults and children ages 12 years and older hidradenitis suppurativa
In adults and children ages 6 years and older Crohn’s disease
In adults and children ages 5 years and older ulcerative colitis
In adults and children ages 2 years and older uveitis
juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Doctors prescribe Humira for these conditions in certain situations. This drug also has certain limitations of use. For more information about these conditions and how the drug is used, see the “Humira: Uses” section below.

Key points

The following table provides key facts about Humira.

Active drug adalimumab
Drug class tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor
Form solution that’s given as a subcutaneous injection

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking this drug, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

Humira: Generic or biosimilar

Humira is a brand-name medication. It contains the active drug adalimumab, which is a biologic drug. Humira comes in several biosimilar forms: Abrilada, Amjevita, Cyltezo, Hadlima, Hulio, Hyrimoz, and Yusimry. However, these biosimilars aren’t currently available for use.

A biosimilar is a drug that’s similar to a brand-name biologic drug (the parent drug). Biologics are made from living cells. For this reason, it isn’t possible to copy biologics exactly. On the other hand, generics are made from chemicals. A generic is an identical copy of the active drug found in a brand-name medication.

Biosimilars are considered as safe and effective as their parent drug. Like generics, biosimilars often cost less than brand-name drugs.

Humira: Side effects

As with most drugs, it’s possible to have side effects with Humira. These can include some mild side effects, but also some serious ones.

To learn more about Humira’s side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may also provide information about managing certain side effects of this drug.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Humira, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild and serious side effects

Mild and serious side effects of Humira are listed in the table below. This table does not include all of Humira’s possible side effects.

Mild side effects* Serious side effects
• mild infections, such as a sinus infection or the common cold • conditions that cause damage to the protective covering around your nerves, such as multiple sclerosis
• skin rash blood disorders, such as aplastic anemia (a condition that happens when your body can’t make enough new blood cells)
headache heart failure
nausea or abdominal pain lupus-like syndrome, which is also known as drug-induced lupus
back pain increased level of liver enzymes (certain proteins), which can indicate liver damage
blood in urine • risk of cancer, such as lymphoma
• injection site reactions† • risk of serious infections
  allergic reaction

* This is not a complete list of Humira’s mild side effects. To learn about other mild side effects of this drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Or you can view the drug’s prescribing information.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Humira’s side effects explained” below.
Humira has a boxed warning for this side effect. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, see “Humira’s side effects explained” below.

Most times, mild side effects of a drug go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if any side effects become severe or don’t go away.

Serious side effects from Humira aren’t common, but they are possible. If you have serious side effects, call your doctor right away. However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Humira’s side effects in children

Humira is approved to treat certain conditions in certain children.

Most of Humira’s side effects in children are similar to those in adults. However, certain serious infections were reported in children and weren’t reported in adults. Examples include shingles and severe cold sores.

Keep in mind that Humira has a boxed warning about an increased risk of serious infections. This is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For details, see “Humira’s side effects explained” below.

Humira’s side effects explained

Below, you can find detailed information about some of Humira’s side effects. To learn more about other side effects of this medication, talk with your doctor.

Risk of cancer, such as lymphoma

Humira may increase your risk of certain cancers. To learn more about how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Although rare, some cancers may be fatal. Due to this risk, Humira has a boxed warning for an increased risk of cancer. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Below are examples of cancers that were reported in clinical studies of adults who took Humira:

In a few cases, certain children who took tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors developed cancer. And Humira is a TNF inhibitor. This risk was highest in children taking immunosuppressant drugs.

Immunosuppressants weaken the immune system, which can increase the risk of cancer. Examples of these medications include azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran) and mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan).

Symptoms of cancer vary depending on the specific type of cancer involved. For example:

  • lymphoma symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, and weight loss
  • skin cancer symptoms include skin changes such as irregularly shaped or discolored moles
  • breast cancer symptoms include lumps in the breast, nipple discharge, and changes in breast shape
  • colon cancer symptoms include changes in bowel habits, bloody stool, and abdominal pain
  • prostate cancer symptoms include trouble urinating or urinating more often than usual
  • lung cancer symptoms include chest pain, cough, and shortness of breath

What to do

Before starting Humira, talk with your doctor about your cancer risk. Be sure to tell them if you’ve had cancer in the past. This could increase your risk of cancer with Humira.

If you have symptoms of cancer while taking Humira, tell your doctor right away. They’ll advise whether you should continue taking Humira or switch to a different treatment instead.

Risk of serious infections

In rare cases, Humira may increase your risk of serious infections caused by virusesbacteria, or fungi. To learn more about how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Infections with Humira may require treatment in the hospital. In rare cases, these infections may lead to death.

For this reason, Humira has a boxed warning for an increased risk of serious infections. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Below are examples of serious infections that were reported in clinical studies of Humira:

Symptoms of serious infections vary depending on the type of infection involved. Generally, infections may cause symptoms such as fatigue, chills, fever, and weight loss.

What to do

Your doctor will likely test for TB before you start Humira treatment. And they’ll probably test again from time to time while you’re taking the drug. Humira may reactivate TB, which could lead to symptoms of this condition. (Reactivation happens when a virus that’s already inside your body flares up and causes symptoms.) If you have TB before taking Humira, your doctor will treat it before you start this medication.

Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of infection while taking Humira. They’ll likely order tests to check for an infection. If you have TB or any serious infection while taking Humira, your doctor may have you stop the drug until your infection has been treated.

Injection site reactions

Injection site reactions are common with Humira. To learn more about how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Injection site reactions are side effects that happen around the area where Humira is injected. Examples include:

  • discoloration
  • itching
  • bleeding
  • pain
  • swelling

What to do

Do not inject Humira in an area of skin that’s bruised, hard, or damaged. The drug may not work as well as usual if you inject it into these areas.

When injecting Humira, rotate injection sites each time you take a dose of the drug. This means you’ll use a different spot for each injection. Doing so helps lower your risk for injection site reactions. You can inject Humira under the skin of your thighs or lower abdomen. When injecting into your abdomen, be sure the injection site is at least 2 inches away from your belly button.

If you’re concerned about injection site reactions with Humira, talk with your doctor. They can suggest other ways to help ease your symptoms.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Humira. A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible.

Allergic reaction was a less common side effect in clinical studies of Humira.

Possible symptoms of mild and serious allergic reactions are listed in the table below.

Mild allergic reaction symptoms Serious allergic reaction symptoms
flushing • swelling under your skin, possibly in your hands, feet, lips, or eyelids
rash • swelling in your throat or mouth
• itching trouble breathing

If you have an allergic reaction to Humira, call your doctor right away. This is important to do because the reaction could become severe.

However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Humira: Dosage

Below, you’ll find dosages that are commonly recommended for Humira. However, you should take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll recommend the dosage that’s best for your needs.

In many cases, doctors start by prescribing a loading dosage of Humira. (A loading dosage is an initial dosage that gets a high level of the drug into your body.) Then, they’ll change the dosage over time to an amount that’s right for the condition being treated. Doctors typically prescribe the smallest dosage that gives the desired outcome.

The dosage of Humira that your doctor prescribes will depend on factors such as:

  • your age
  • any health conditions you have
  • the condition you’re using Humira to treat and the severity of the condition
  • body weight, for children using Humira

Humira’s forms and strengths

Humira is given as a subcutaneous injection. Your doctor will show you how to inject doses of Humira.

It’s available as follows.

Humira pens

Humira pens come as listed below.

  • Form: solution inside single-use pens
  • Strengths:
    • 40 milligrams (mg) per 0.4 milliliters (mL)
    • 40 mg/0.8 mL
    • 80 mg/0.8 mL

Humira syringes

Humira syringes come as listed below.

  • Form: solution inside single-use syringes
  • Strengths:
    • 10 mg/0.1 mL
    • 10 mg/0.2 mL
    • 20 mg/0.2 mL
    • 20 mg/0.4 mL
    • 40 mg/0.4 mL
    • 40 mg/0.8 mL
    • 80 mg/0.8 mL

Humira vials

Humira vials come as listed below.

  • Form: solution inside single-use vials
  • Strength: 40 mg/0.8 mL

A healthcare professional will use Humira vials when giving doses of the drug. You won’t use Humira vials at home.

Humira’s recommended dosages

Recommended dosages for Humira in adults and children are described below. The drug’s dosage varies with the conditions it treats. For instance, the dosage for hidradenitis suppurativa is different than the dosage for psoriasis or the dosage for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

To help you follow these dosages, Humira is available in a starter kit. This kit includes several syringes or pens. Kits can help ensure that you use the correct syringe dosage or pen dosage when you start using Humira.

For some of its uses, doctors may prescribe Humira in combination with other medications. See the “Humira: Uses” section below for more information.

Adult dosage

Recommended dosages of Humira for treating these conditions in adults is as follows.

Condition Starting dosage Maintenance dosage
hidradenitis suppurativa 160 mg given once on day 1 or split into two doses on days 1 and 2, followed by 80 mg given once on day 15 either 40 mg or 80 mg every other week, starting on day 29
psoriasis 80 mg given once on day 1 40 mg every other week, on day 8
psoriatic arthritis none recommended either 40 mg every week or 40 mg to 80 mg every other week
rheumatoid arthritis none recommended either 40 mg every week or 40 mg to 80 mg every other week
ulcerative colitis 160 mg given once on day 1 or split into two doses on days 1 and 2, followed by 80 mg given once on day 15 40 mg every other week, starting on day 29
Crohn’s disease 160 mg given once on day 1 or split into two doses on days 1 and 2, followed by 80 mg given once on day 15 40 mg every other week, starting on day 29
uveitis 80 mg given once 40 mg every other week, starting 1 week after the first dose
ankylosing spondylitis none recommended either 40 mg every week or 40 mg to 80 mg every other week

To learn more about the conditions listed here, see the “Humira: Uses” section below.

Child dosage

Humira is approved to treat the following conditions in certain children:

To learn more about the conditions listed here, see the “Humira: Uses” section below.

Recommended dosages for Humira in children are described below. Dosages are based on a child’s body weight in kilograms (kg). One kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).

Child’s dosage for hidradenitis suppurativa

Humira’s recommended dosages for hidradenitis suppurativa in children are as follows.

  • Starting dosage:
    • body weight of 30 kg (about 66 lb) to less than 60 kg (about 132 lb): 80 mg given once on day 1
    • body weight of 60 kg or greater: 160 mg given once on day 1 or split into two doses on days 1 and 2, followed by 80 mg given once on day 15
  • Maintenance dosage:
    • body weight of 30 to less than 60 kg: 40 mg every other week, starting on day 8
    • body weight of 60 kg or greater: either 40 mg or 80 mg every other week, starting on day 29

Child’s dosage for ulcerative colitis

Humira’s recommended dosages for ulcerative colitis in children are as follows.

  • Starting dosage:
    • body weight of 20 kg (about 44 lb) to less than 40 kg (about 88 lb): 80 mg given once on day 1, followed by 40 mg given on days 8 and 15
    • body weight of 40 kg or greater: 160 mg given once on day 1 or split into two doses on days 1 and 2, followed by 80 mg given on days 8 and 15
  • Maintenance dosage:
    • body weight of 20 kg to less than 40 kg: either 20 mg or 40 mg every other week, starting on day 29
    • body weight of 40 kg or greater: either 40 mg or 80 mg every other week, starting on day 29

Child’s dosage for Crohn’s disease

Humira’s recommended dosages for Crohn’s disease in children are as follows.

  • Starting dosage:
    • body weight of 17 kg (about 37 lb) to less than 40 kg (about 88 lb): 80 mg given once on day 1, followed by 40 mg given once on day 15
    • body weight of 40 kg or greater: 160 mg given once on day 1 or split into two doses on days 1 and 2, followed by 80 mg given once on day 15
  • Maintenance dosage:
    • body weight of 17 kg to less than 40 kg: 20 mg every other week, starting on day 29
    • body weight of 40 kg or greater: 40 mg every other week, starting on day 29

Child’s dosage for uveitis

Humira’s recommended dosages for uveitis in children are as follows.

  • Maintenance dosage:
    • body weight of 10 kg (about 22 lb) to less than 15 kg (about 33 lb): 10 mg every other week
    • body weight of 15 kg to less than 30 kg (about 66 lb): 20 mg every other week
    • body weight of 30 kg or greater: 40 mg every other week

Child’s dosage for juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Humira’s recommended dosages for juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children are as follows.

  • Maintenance dosage:
    • body weight of 10 kg (about 22 lb) to less than 15 kg (about 33 lb): 10 mg every other week
    • body weight of 15 kg to less than 30 kg (about 66 lb): 20 mg every other week
    • body weight of 30 kg or greater: 40 mg every other week

Dosage considerations

Below are some things to consider about Humira’s dosage.

  • Missing a dose. If you miss a dose of Humira, take it as soon as you remember. Then inject your next dose at its regular time. If you aren’t sure whether to take a missed Humira injection or skip it, call your doctor. They can advise you on what to do next. View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm, use a timer, or download a reminder app on your phone.
  • Length of treatment. Doctors typically prescribe Humira as a long-term treatment. You’ll likely take it long term if you and your doctor feel it’s safe and effective for your condition.

Humira: Uses

Prescription drugs, such as Humira, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain conditions. Doctors sometimes prescribe drugs off-label for other conditions. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Using Humira for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)

The FDA has approved Humira to treat hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) in adults and children ages 12 years and older.

HS is a condition that causes painful, oozing bumps that are similar to acne. These bumps typically occur in places where skin rubs together, such as the groin or under the arms.

Doctors prescribe Humira for HS that’s moderate to severe. For this use, your doctor will recommend whether to use Humira on its own or in combination with other treatments.

Using Humira for plaque psoriasis

The FDA has approved Humira to treat plaque psoriasis in adults.

Plaque psoriasis is a condition that causes scaly, discolored skin plaques that bleed, crack, or itch. These plaques typically occur on the elbows, knees, and scalp.

Doctors prescribe Humira for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis that can be improved by systemic therapy or phototherapy. (Systemic therapy is a type of treatment that affects the whole body. Phototherapy is also known as light therapy.)

For this use, your doctor will recommend whether to use Humira on its own or in combination with other treatments.

Using Humira for psoriatic arthritis (PsA)

The FDA has approved Humira to treat psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in adults.

PsA is a condition that causes scaly, discolored skin plaques of psoriasis along with painful, swollen joints.

Doctors prescribe Humira to reduce damage to bones and cartilage that’s caused by PsA. (Cartilage is tissue that covers joints in your body.)

For this use, you may take Humira alone or in combination with certain disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). An example is methotrexate (Trexall).

Using Humira for rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

The FDA has approved Humira to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults.

RA is a condition that causes stiff, painful, and swollen joints on both sides of the body.

Doctors prescribe Humira to reduce damage to bones and cartilage caused by moderate to severe RA. (Cartilage is tissue that covers joints in your body.)

For this use, you may take Humira alone or in combination with certain disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). An example is methotrexate (Trexall).

Using Humira for ulcerative colitis (UC)

The FDA has approved Humira to treat ulcerative colitis (UC) in adults and children ages 5 years and older.

UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. The condition causes inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine. (The large intestine includes the rectum and colon.)

Doctors prescribe Humira for moderate to severe UC that’s causing symptoms. Symptoms of UC can include:

For this use, your doctor will recommend whether to use Humira on its own or in combination with other treatments.

Humira’s limitations of use

The manufacturer of Humira has noted some limitations to the drug’s use. These are situations in which doctors may not prescribe this drug.

Doctors aren’t likely to prescribe Humira for UC that hasn’t improved after treatment with other tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. (Humira is a TNF inhibitor.)

Using Humira for Crohn’s disease (CD)

The FDA has approved Humira to treat Crohn’s disease (CD) in adults and children ages 6 years and older.

CD is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. The condition causes inflammation in the small or large intestine (colon).

Doctors prescribe Humira for moderate to severe CD that’s causing symptoms. Symptoms of CD can include:

For this use, your doctor will recommend whether to use Humira on its own or in combination with other treatments.

Using Humira for uveitis

The FDA has approved Humira to treat uveitis in adults and children ages 2 years and older.

Uveitis is a condition that causes inflammation in the uvea, which is the middle layer of the eye. Symptoms can include eye pain, blurry vision, and sensitivity to seeing light.

Doctors prescribe Humira to treat uveitis that affects certain parts of the uvea and isn’t caused by an infection. For this use, your doctor will recommend whether to use Humira on its own or in combination with other treatments.

Using Humira for ankylosing spondylitis

The FDA has approved Humira to treat ankylosing spondylitis in adults.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. Symptoms include pain and stiffness that usually start in the lower back. However, these symptoms may spread to other areas of the body as well, including the upper back and jaw.

Doctors prescribe Humira for moderate to severe ankylosing spondylitis that’s causing symptoms. For this use, your doctor will recommend whether to use Humira on its own or in combination with other treatments.

Using Humira with other drugs

For psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may take Humira alone or in combination with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). An example is methotrexate (Trexall).

Your doctor will recommend whether to use Humira on its own or with other drugs for your condition.

Using Humira in children

Humira is approved to treat the conditions listed below in certain children:

For details about these conditions, see the sections above.

In addition, Humira is approved to treat a certain type of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in children. Read on to learn more about Humira’s use for this condition.

Using Humira for juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children

The FDA has approved Humira to treat a certain type of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in children ages 2 years and older.

JIA is a condition that causes stiff, painful, and swollen joints on both sides of the body.

Doctors prescribe Humira for moderate to severe polyarticular JIA. “Polyarticular” means the condition affects at least five joints.

For this use, children may take Humira alone or in combination with methotrexate (Trexall).

Finding a healthcare professional for Humira

If you’re interested in taking Humira, you can find a doctor who may prescribe it by searching here. To prepare for your appointment, you may find it helpful to visit Healthgrades’ appointment guide for these conditions:

Humira: Cost

Like other medications, prices for Humira may vary. The drug’s price will depend on factors such as:

Humira’s price will also vary depending on the form of the drug you’re prescribed. For instance, Humira pen costs may differ from Humira syringe costs.

The injection’s cost with and without insurance will also vary. If you have additional questions, such as whether this drug is covered by Medicare or other plans, talk with your pharmacist.

Cost considerations for Humira

Here’s a list of things to consider when looking into the cost of Humira.

  • Option for a 90-day supply. For some drugs, it’s possible to get a 90-day supply. If this option is approved by your insurance company, it can help lower the cost of the drug. It can also help you avoid frequent trips to your pharmacy. If you’d like to learn more about this option, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company.
  • Need for prior authorization. Before insurance coverage for Humira is approved, your insurance company may require prior authorization. In this case, your doctor and insurance company will communicate about your prescription for Humira. Then, the insurance company will decide if the drug will be covered. To find out if you need prior authorization for Humira, contact your insurance company.
  • Possible patient assistance program or copay card. Financial assistance to help lower the cost of Humira is available. AbbVie, Inc., the manufacturer of the drug, offers the Humira Complete program. Through this program, you may have access to a savings card for Humira as well as other resources. To learn more and see if you’re eligible for support, call 800-4HUMIRA (800- 448-6472) or visit the manufacturer’s website. Also, check out this article to learn about ways to save on prescription drugs.
  • Use of a mail-order pharmacy. Humira may be dispensed through mail-order pharmacies. Getting your prescription through a mail-order pharmacy could lower its cost. It can also allow you to get the drug without leaving home. To find out more about this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company.
  • Availability of a biosimilar form. Humira is a biologic drug. It comes in several biosimilar forms: Abrilada, Amjevita, Cyltezo, Hadlima, Hulio, Hyrimoz, and Yusimry. However, these biosimilars aren’t currently available for use. A biosimilar is like a generic drug, which is an identical copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Unlike drugs made from chemicals, it isn’t possible to copy biologics exactly. So instead of generics, biologics have biosimilar forms. Biosimilars often cost less than brand-name drugs.

Humira: Questions you may have

Here are some common questions about Humira and brief answers to them. If you’d like to know more about these topics, ask your doctor.

Does Humira cause weight gain, hair loss, eye problems, neuropathy, or diarrhea?

Humira isn’t likely to cause weight gain, hair loss, eye problems, neuropathy, or diarrhea. (Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage.) These weren’t reported as side effects in clinical studies of the drug.

Weight loss can occur with some of the conditions Humira is used to treat, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. So, you may gain weight while taking Humira to treat these conditions. However, this is likely related to your condition improving rather than Humira itself.

Additionally, rapid weight gain is a symptom of heart failure. And heart failure is a possible side effect of Humira. If you gain weight suddenly while taking Humira, tell your doctor right away. They may check for other signs of heart failure.

Hair loss has been reported with Humira after the drug became available for use. Hair loss is also a symptom of certain conditions Humira is used to treat. This includes rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. If you have hair loss with Humira, talk with your doctor. They can help you figure out whether it’s a side effect of the drug or a symptom of your condition.

Humira is also used to treat an eye condition called uveitis. This condition causes eye problems, such as eye pain, blurry vision, and sensitivity to seeing light. So, you may have eye problems related to the condition you’re using Humira to treat instead of the drug itself.

Can I read reviews from people who’ve taken Humira?

Yes, the manufacturer of Humira has provided stories from people who’ve taken the drug. To access these stories, you can visit the drug manufacturer’s website.

To learn more about what to expect with Humira treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Keep in mind that each person’s experience with the drug may differ.

Will I have fatigue or a hangover feeling with Humira?

Fatigue and a hangover feeling weren’t reported as side effects in clinical studies of Humira.

However, there have been reports of these side effects by people who’ve taking Humira since the drug became available for use.

If you’re concerned about fatigue or a hangover feeling with Humira, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Does stopping Humira cause withdrawal? What’s to know about stopping and restarting the drug?

Probably not. Withdrawal refers to symptoms that may occur when stopping a drug your body has become dependent on. (With dependence, your body needs the drug in order to function like usual.) However, withdrawal wasn’t reported in clinical studies of the drug.

Keep in mind, if you stop using Humira, symptoms of your condition may come back or get worse.

Also, if you stop Humira and restart it, you may need to return to your original starting dosage. Your doctor will advise what to do in this case.

Is Humira used to treat lupus, sarcoidosis, or IBS?

Humira isn’t currently approved to treat lupus, sarcoidosis, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Doctors aren’t likely to prescribe Humira for lupus. That’s because Humira may cause lupus-like syndrome as a side effect. With this condition, your body attacks healthy tissues by mistake. This leads to symptoms that are similar to those caused by lupus. Examples include fever, muscle pain, and tiredness.

Doctors may prescribe Humira off-label for sarcoidosis and IBS. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Sarcoidosis is a condition that causes clumps of swollen tissue to form in your organs. The condition typically affects the eyes, lymph nodes, liver, and skin.

IBS is a condition that affects your intestines. It leads to abdominal pain, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.

If you’re interested in learning about treatments for lupus, sarcoidosis, or IBS, talk with your doctor.

Will Humira induce psoriasis or cause eczema? Is it used to treat eczema?

In rare cases, Humira may cause new or worsened psoriasis. (With psoriasis, you have scaly, discolored patches on the skin.) This side effect wasn’t reported in clinical studies of the drug. However, it has been reported since Humira became available for use. Keep in mind, Humira is approved to treat plaque psoriasis in adults.

Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is a condition that causes itchy, dry skin. Eczema wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Humira. Humira isn’t currently approved to treat eczema either. However, doctors may prescribe Humira off-label for this condition. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

If you’re concerned about psoriasis or eczema with Humira, talk with your doctor. They can also tell you about possible treatment options for eczema.

Humira: How to inject

Your doctor will recommend how you should take Humira. It’s important that you take the drug exactly as your doctor instructs.

Humira comes as a solution that’s given as a subcutaneous injection. It’s injected under your skin.

Humira injection sites

Humira can be injected into the following areas of the body:

  • abdomen, at least 2 inches away from the belly button
  • thigh

Your doctor will show you how to inject Humira. For detailed instructions about how to inject the drug, visit Humira’s manufacturer website.

Questions about taking Humira

Here’s a list of common questions related to taking Humira.

  • When should I take Humira? You’ll likely inject doses of Humira every 1 to 2 weeks. View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses of Humira. You could also set an alarm, use a timer, or download a reminder app on your phone.
  • Is there a best time of day to take Humira? No, there isn’t a best time of day to take Humira. You can inject the medication any time of day.
  • Is Humira ever given as an infusion or only as an injection? Doctors won’t give Humira as an IV infusion. Instead, Humira is meant to be given as a subcutaneous injection.

Humira: Alternatives

Doctors may prescribe drugs other than Humira for your condition. Certain drugs may work better for you than others.

Humira is used to treat several conditions. Here are summaries of other drugs that doctors sometimes prescribe for:

To learn more about some alternatives of Humira, view the following articles:

Your doctor can tell you about other similar drugs, such as methotrexate (Trexall).

To learn more about alternatives to Humira, ask your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that could be prescribed for your condition.

Humira: How it works

Humira is approved to treat the conditions below in certain situations:

To learn more about these conditions, see the “Humira: Uses” section above.

The conditions listed above may be caused by inflammation in the body. A protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is thought to play a role in causing inflammation.

Humira belongs to a class of drugs called TNF inhibitors. The drug’s mechanism of action (the way it works) is to block the TNF protein. This helps reduce inflammation, which eases the symptoms of the conditions Humira is used to treat.

How long does Humira take to start working?

Humira starts working right after your first dose. However, it may take several weeks for your symptoms to ease.

What’s Humira’s half-life and how long does it stay in your body?

Humira’s half-life is about 2 weeks. (A drug’s half-life is the time it takes for half of a drug’s dose to leave your system.) This means it takes about 2 weeks for your body to get rid of half of a dose of Humira.

Generally, it takes about five half-lives for a drug to fully leave your system. For Humira, this means the drug stays in your system for about 10 weeks.

Humira: Using while pregnant

It isn’t known if Humira is safe to use while pregnant.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, talk with your doctor before starting Humira. They can discuss the risks and benefits of using the drug while pregnant.

Humira and birth control needs

Doctors aren’t sure whether it’s safe to take Humira during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about your birth control needs with Humira if you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant. Your doctor can recommend whether you should use birth control with this medication.

Humira: Using while breastfeeding

Humira passes into breast milk. However, it isn’t known for sure if this may cause side effects in a breastfed child.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before starting Humira. They can discuss the risks and benefits of using the drug while breastfeeding.

Humira: Consuming alcohol during treatment

There are no known interactions between alcohol and Humira. If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about whether there’s an amount that’s safe to consume while using this drug.

Humira: Expiration, storage, and disposal

Here’s some information about Humira’s expiration date, as well as how to store and dispose of the drug.

  • Expiration. Your pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on Humira’s packaging. This date is usually 1 year from the date the medication was dispensed to you. Expiration dates help ensure that a medication is effective during a period of time. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that you avoid using expired drugs. If you have an unused medication and it’s past the drug’s expiration date, talk with your pharmacist. They can let you know whether you might still be able to use the medication.
  • Storage. Many factors determine how long a medication remains good to use. These factors include how and where you store the drug. You’ll store Humira pens and syringes in the refrigerator at a temperature between 36°F and 46°F (2°C and 8°C). For short periods, such as when traveling, you can store Humira pens and syringes at a room temperature of up to 77°F (25°C). However, this can only be done for up to 14 days. Avoid storing Humira in areas of extreme heat or extreme cold, including the freezer. The medication should be kept away from light, inside its original carton. Only healthcare professionals will use Humira vials. You won’t store and use Humira vials at home.
  • Disposal. Dispose of any used syringes, needles, or autoinjectors right after using them. You can safely dispose of these items in an FDA-approved sharps container. Doing so helps prevent others, including children and pets, from accidentally taking the drug. It also helps them avoid harm from needles. If you’d like to buy a sharps container, you can find options online. Or ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health insurance company where you can purchase one. Your pharmacist can give you more information about disposing of Humira. Also, check out this page for several tips on safe medication disposal.

Humira: Interactions

Humira may interact with other medications. It is not known to interact with any supplements or foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. Some interactions can interfere with a drug’s effectiveness. Others can increase a drug’s side effects or cause them to be severe.

If any of the interactions listed below might pertain to you, talk with your doctor. They can tell you what you need to do to avoid the interaction.

  • Humira and other medications. Because Humira may interact with the following drugs, your doctor may recommend that you don’t take it with these drugs. Examples include:
  • Humira and herbs and supplements. No herbs or supplements are known to interact with Humira. However, before taking any of these products with Humira, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Humira and foods. Humira isn’t known to interact with any foods. If you have questions about eating certain foods with Humira, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Humira and vaccines. It’s recommended that you don’t receive live vaccines* while taking Humira. Examples of vaccines that should be avoided with Humira include those for:

* Live vaccines contain a weakened form of the bacterium or virus the vaccine is meant to protect against.

Humira: Precautions

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warnings

This drug has boxed warnings, the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA. Boxed warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Risk of cancer. Humira may increase your risk of certain cancers, such as lymphoma. Although rare, some cancers may be fatal. In a few cases, certain children who took tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors developed cancer. And Humira is a TNF inhibitor.

Before starting Humira, talk with your doctor about your cancer risk. Be sure to tell them if you’ve had cancer in the past. This could increase your risk of developing cancer with Humira.

Risk of serious infections. In rare cases, Humira may increase your risk of serious infections caused by virusesbacteria, or fungi. Examples of these infections include tuberculosis (TB) and cellulitis (a serious skin infection). Infections with Humira may require treatment in the hospital. In rare cases, these infections may lead to death.

Your doctor will likely test you for TB before you start Humira treatment and while you’re taking the drug. Humira may reactivate TB, which could lead to symptoms of this condition. (Reactivation happens when a virus that’s already inside your body flares up and causes symptoms.) If you have TB before taking Humira, your doctor will treat it before you start taking this medication.

If you have TB or any serious infection while taking Humira, your doctor may have you stop the drug until your infection has been treated.

To learn more, see the “Humira: Side effects” section above.

Other precautions

Tell your doctor about your health history before starting treatment with Humira. Your doctor may not recommend this medication if you have certain factors affecting your health or specific medical conditions.

These factors and conditions include those listed below.

  • Hepatitis B. Before taking Humira, tell your doctor if you have hepatitis B. The drug may reactivate the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which is the virus that causes this condition. Reactivating HBV could lead to symptoms of hepatitis B. (Reactivation happens when a virus that’s already in your body flares up and causes symptoms.) If you have hepatitis B, your doctor can advise whether Humira is right for you.
  • Heart failure. Before using Humira, tell your doctor if you have heart failure. Humira may worsen this condition. Your doctor can recommend whether Humira is a safe treatment option for you.
  • Problems with your nervous system. Before taking Humira, tell your doctor if you have problems with your nervous system. This includes conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Humira may damage the protective covering around your nerves, which could worsen these conditions. Your doctor will likely watch your condition closely while you take Humira.
  • Latex or rubber allergy. If you have a latex or rubber allergy, tell your doctor before starting Humira treatment. The Humira pens and certain syringes contain a form of rubber that’s similar to latex. It’s possible that people who have this allergy may not be able to use these forms of Humira. Talk with your doctor to learn whether a different form of Humira may be better for you.
  • Allergic reaction. Your doctor will likely not prescribe Humira if you’ve had an allergic reaction to it or any of its ingredients. To find out about other treatment options, talk with your doctor.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known whether Humira is safe to use during pregnancy. If you’d like to learn more about taking Humira while pregnant, view the “Humira: Using while pregnant” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. Humira passes into breast milk. If you’d like to learn more about taking Humira while breastfeeding, view the “Humira: Using while breastfeeding” section above.

To learn more about effects of Humira that could be harmful, see the “Humira: Side effects” section above.

Humira: Overdose

For some drugs, taking more than the recommended dosage may lead to unwanted symptoms or overdose. Do not use more Humira than your doctor advises.

What to do if you take too much Humira

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Humira: Questions for your doctor

If you have questions about Humira, talk with your doctor. They can advise whether Humira could be a good treatment option for you.

Here’s a list of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Am I at risk for long-term side effects with Humira?
  • What is the effectiveness of Humira for treating my condition?
  • Am I taking any medications that interact with Humira?

Your doctor may also tell you about other treatment options for your condition. You may find these articles helpful in learning about alternative drugs for:

And check out our selection of videos on these conditions:

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Medical Reviewer: Brittany A. Duke, PharmD, RPh
Last Review Date: 2022 Apr 8
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.