Generic Name: adalimumab, Injectable Solution

Generic Name:

adalimumab, Injectable Solution

Humira

All Brands

  • Humira
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for adalimumab

Injectable Solution
1

Adalimumab is an injectable drug used to reduce inflammation in a variety of conditions. These include some types of arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

2

Adalimumab can lower your immune system. This may put you at risk for serious viral, fungal, or bacterial infections.

3

The most common side effects that occur with adalimumab include injection site reactions, common cold, and headaches.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Serious infections. Adalimumab can lower your immune system and put you at risk for serious infections. These include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. These infections can be fatal.

Your doctor may test you for TB before starting adalimumab and again during treatment.

Cancer. Adalimumab increases the risk of cancer. Children, teenagers, and young adults have sometimes gotten unusual cancers, such as hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, when using this type of drug. People with rheumatoid arthritis may have a higher chance of getting lymphoma.

Adalimumab also increases risk of the skin cancers basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. These cancers are generally not life threatening if treated promptly. Tell your doctor if you have a bump or open sore that doesn’t heal.

This drug has led to a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma in some people. This mostly occurred in male teenagers or young men and people being treated for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. This type of cancer often results in death.

Hepatitis B virus warning

If you carry the hepatitis B virus, it can become active when you use adalimumab. Your doctor may do blood tests before, during, and after treatment to check for the virus.

May cause heart failure

Call your doctor right away if you get new or worsening symptoms of heart failure while taking adalimumab. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, and sudden weight gain.

Nervous system problems

Rarely, serious nervous system problems have occurred in people taking adalimumab. Call your doctor right away if you experience:

  • numbness or tingling in parts of your body
  • problems with your vision
  • weakness in your arms or legs
  • dizziness

Drug Features

Adalimumab is a prescription drug. It’s available as a pen injection and injectable prefilled syringe.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs.

Why It's Used

Adalimumab is used to reduce inflammation in many conditions and prevent them from getting worse.

More Details

How It Works

Adalimumab blocks a substance in your body that causes inflammation and makes your immune system react.

More Details

Why It's Used

Adalimumab is used to reduce inflammation in many conditions and prevent them from getting worse.

It’s approved to treat:

  • rheumatoid arthritis – to treat symptoms and stop it from getting worse
  • moderate to severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis – to treat symptoms in children ages 2 years and older
  • psoriatic arthritis – to reduce symptoms and stop it from getting worse
  • ankylosing spondylitis – to reduce symptoms and stop it from getting worse
  • Crohn’s disease – to reduce symptoms in adults and children ages 6 years and older when other medications don’t work
  • moderate to severely active ulcerative colitis when other medications don’t work
  • moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

How It Works

Adalimumab blocks a substance in your body that causes inflammation and makes your immune system react.

It belongs to a class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. TNF is normally found in your body and causes inflammation. If you have a disease that causes your body to make too much TNF, adalimumab can work to block it. 

SECTION 2 of 5

adalimumab Side Effects

Injectable Solution

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with adalimumab include:

  • injection site reactions, such as redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising

  • common cold (upper respiratory infections)

  • headaches

  • rash

  • nausea

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • serious infections, such as tuberculosis. Symptoms may include:

    • cough that doesn’t go away
    • low-grade fever
    • unexplained weight loss
    • loss of body fat and muscle
  • hepatitis B virus infection and liver problems. Symptoms may include:

    • muscle aches
    • clay-colored stools
    • feeling very tired
    • fever
    • dark-colored urine
    • chills
    • skin or whites of the eyes that look yellow
    • stomach pain
    • little or no appetite
    • skin rash
    • vomiting
  • allergic reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • hives
    • swelling of your face, eyes, lips, or mouth
    • trouble breathing
    • fever that doesn’t go away
  • nervous system problems. Symptoms may include:

    • numbness or tingling
    • problems with your vision
    • weakness in your arms or legs
    • dizziness
  • blood problems. Symptoms may include:

    • bruising or bleeding very easily
    • looking very pale
  • heart failure. Symptoms may include:

    • shortness of breath
    • swelling of your ankles or feet
    • sudden weight gain
  • lupus-like reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • chest discomfort or pain
    • shortness of breath
    • joint pain
    • rash on your cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun
  • psoriasis. Symptoms may include:

    • red, scaly patches
    • raised bumps that are filled with pus
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Adalimumab does not cause drowsiness.

Injection site reactions are common after taking a dose of adalimumab. However, call your doctor right away if you have a reaction that doesn’t go away within a few days or if a reaction gets worse.

Other mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

adalimumab May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable Solution

Adalimumab may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Biologic drugs

Biologic drugs come from a range of natural sources. They include vaccines, blood and tissue components, and gene therapy. Adalimumab is a biologic drug. Others include anakinra, abatacept, rituximab, and rilonacept. 

You may have a higher chance of getting a serious infection if you take adalimumab with other biologics.

Live vaccines

These include:

  • varicella (chickenpox)
  • measles, mumps, rubella vaccine

Don’t receive a live vaccine while taking adalimumab. Your immune system may not be strong enough to receive a live vaccine while taking adalimumab.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with tuberculosis

Adalimumab affects your immune system and may make it easier for you to get an infection. Your doctor may check you for tuberculosis (TB). If your doctor feels that you’re at risk for TB, you may be treated with medicine for TB before and during treatment with adalimumab.

Even if your TB test is negative, your doctor may carefully monitor you for TB infections. You may still develop a TB infection while you’re taking adalimumab, even if you had a negative TB test.

People with hepatitis B virus infection

If you carry the hepatitis B virus, it can become active while you take adalimumab and damage your liver. Your doctor may do blood tests to check for the virus before, during, and after you take adalimumab.

People with nervous system problems

Adalimumab can make nervous system problems worse. Use this medication with caution if you have one of these diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barre syndrome.

People with heart failure

Adalimumab can make heart problems worse. Call your doctor right away if you get new or worsening symptoms of heart failure while taking adalimumab. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, or sudden weight gain.

People with psoriasis

Adalimumab can make psoriasis worse. Tell your doctor if you develop red scaly patches or raised bumps that are filled with pus. Your doctor may decide to stop your treatment with adalimumab.

Pregnant women

Adalimumab is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown risk to the fetus.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show the drug poses a risk to the fetus. 

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Adalimumab should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

Adalimumab can pass through breast milk in small amounts. However, babies who were exposed to adalimumab through breast milk did not have any side effects. You and your doctor should decide if you’ll take adalimumab or breastfeed.

For Seniors

If you’re over the age of 65 years, you may be at higher risk for a serious infection or certain types of cancers while taking adalimumab.

For Children

The safety and effectiveness of adalimumab haven’t been established in children, other than for polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and pediatric Crohn’s disease.

Syringes and needles are used to inject this medicine. Don’t throw out needles in trashcans or recycling bins, and never flush them down the toilet. Ask your pharmacist for a needle clipper and a safe container for disposing used needles and syringes.

Allergies

Adalimumab can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take adalimumab (Dosage)

Injectable Solution

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Rheumatoid arthritis

Brand: Humira

Form: Self-injectable pen
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL
Form: Self-injectable prefilled syringe/solution
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL, 20 mg/0.4 mL, and 10 mg/0.4 mL
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

The dose is either 40 mg taken once every 2 weeks or 40 mg taken every week. The dose of 40 mg every week may be used in some people who aren’t taking methotrexate.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been determined for this age group.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Brand: Humira

Form: Self-injectable pen
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL
Form: Self-injectable prefilled syringe/solution
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL, 20 mg/0.4 mL, and 10 mg/0.4 mL
Child Dosage (ages 2 years and older)
  • The dose is based on a child’s weight.
  • The dose may range from 10 mg to 40 mg taken once every 2 weeks.
Child Dosage (ages 0-1 year)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been determined for this age group.

Psoriatic arthritis

Brand: Humira

Form: Self-injectable pen
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL
Form: Self-injectable prefilled syringe/solution
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL, 20 mg/0.4 mL, and 10 mg/0.4 mL
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

The dose is 40 mg taken once every 2 weeks.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been determined for this age group.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Brand: Humira

Form: Self-injectable pen
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL
Form: Self-injectable prefilled syringe/solution
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL, 20 mg/0.4 mL, and 10 mg/0.4 mL
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

The dose is 40 mg taken once every 2 weeks.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been determined for this age group.

Crohn’s disease

Brand: Humira

Form: Self-injectable pen
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL
Form: Self-injectable prefilled syringe/solution
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL, 20 mg/0.4 mL, and 10 mg/0.4 mL
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The first dose (day 1) is 160 mg. This can also be split up into 2 days with 80 mg on day 1 and 80 mg on day 2.
  • The second dose is taken 2 weeks later (day 15). The dose is 80 mg.
  • The third dose is taken 2 weeks after that (day 29). Begin taking 40 mg every other week from then on.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)
  • The dose is based on child’s weight.
  • Your child’s doctor will determine their dose.

Ulcerative colitis

Brand: Humira

Form: Self-injectable pen
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL
Form: Self-injectable prefilled syringe/solution
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL, 20 mg/0.4 mL, and 10 mg/0.4 mL
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The first dose (day 1) is 160 mg. This can also be split up into 2 days with 80 mg on day 1 and 80 mg on day 2.
  • The second dose is taken 2 weeks later (day 15). The dose is 80 mg.
  • The third dose is taken 2 weeks after that (day 29). Begin taking 40 mg every other week from then on.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been determined for this age group.

Plaque psoriasis

Brand: Humira

Form: Self-injectable pen
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL
Form: Self-injectable prefilled syringe/solution
Strengths: 40 mg/0.8 mL, 20 mg/0.4 mL, and 10 mg/0.4 mL
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The first dose is 80 mg.
  • The second dose is taken 1 week later. Begin taking 40 mg every other week.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been determined for this age group.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, take the next dose only. Don’t take double or extra doses.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

You may be able to tell if this drug is working if you experience less inflammation from your condition.

For arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, you may be able to tell it’s working if you have less joint pain and can move better.

For Crohn’s disease, you may be able to tell it’s working if you have less stomach pain and diarrhea.

For ulcerative colitis, you may be able to tell it’s working if you have less diarrhea, bloody stools, and stomach pain.

For plaque psoriasis, you may be able to tell it’s working if your skin looks better.

Adalimumab is a long-term treatment.

Store adalimumab in the refrigerator

Keep in temperatures from 36–46°F (2.2–7.7°C). If you can’t refrigerate it, you can store it at room temperature (up to 77°F, 25°C) for up to 14 days. Don’t use this drug if it has been frozen. Don’t freeze adalimumab, and don’t use it after it’s been frozen, even if it’s thawed.

Keep it in its original carton until you use it to protect it from light. Keep it away from extreme heat or cold. Don’t use it after the expiration date printed on the label.

Disposal:

Don’t throw used needles or syringes in your household trashcan. Put them in an FDA-cleared needle disposal container immediately after use. When the container is almost full, follow your community guidelines for the right way to throw out the container.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original prescription-labeled box with you when traveling.
  • This medication normally needs to be refrigerated. When traveling, you can store it in temperatures up to 77°F (25°C) for up to 14 days.
  • Needles and syringes need to be used to take this medicine. Check for special rules about traveling with medicine, needles, and syringes.
  • Be sure that you have enough medicine when you travel. It may be difficult to buy this medicine while you’re traveling since it’s not always stocked.

Self-Management

Your doctor may decide that you or a caregiver can give your injections at home. You or your caregiver should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject adalimumab. Don’t try to inject the drug until your doctor or nurse shows you the right way to give it.

If you’re using the adalimumab pen:

  • You’ll hear a loud ‘click’ when the plum-colored activator button is pressed. The loud click means the start of the injection.
  • Continue holding the adalimumab pen against your squeezed, raised skin until all of the medicine is injected. This can take up to 10 seconds.
  • You’ll know the injection is done when the yellow marker fully appears in the window view and it stops moving.

For the adalimumab injection, you’ll need:

  • sterile alcohol wipes
  • a needle clipper
  • a container for throwing away used needles and adalimumab pens

Clinical Monitoring

Tuberculosis test:  Your doctor may test you for tuberculosis (TB) before and during your treatment.

Some symptoms of TB include:

  • cough that doesn’t go away
  • low fever
  • unexplained weight loss
  • loss of body fat and muscle

Hepatitis B virus infection test: If you carry the hepatitis B virus, your doctor may do blood tests before, during, and after you take this drug.

Hidden Costs

Besides the medicine, you’ll need to buy:

  • sterile alcohol wipes
  • a needle clipper
  • a container for throwing away used needles and adalimumab pens

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for adalimumab.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does adalimumab Cost?

Injectable Solution
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

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Lowest price for adalimumab

Membership warehouse $3,242.21
Publix $3,253.57
Kroger Pharmacy $3,255.02
These represent the lowest cash prices for adalimumab and may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 21, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline 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 other 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.

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