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Adalimumab Solution for injection

It is used to treat several types of arthritis

Generic Name: adalimumab  |  Brand Name: Humira Pen Crohn's Disease Starter Package

Brand Names: Humira Pen Crohn's Disease Starter Package, Humira, Humira Pen

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 09/07/2011] ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that the Boxed Warning for the entire class of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF) blockers has been updated to include the risk of infection from two bacterial pathogens, Legionella and Listeria. In addition, the Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions sections of the labels for all of the TNF blockers have been revised so that they contain consistent information about the risk for serious infections and the associated disease-causing pathogens.

Patients treated with TNF blockers are at increased risk for developing serious infections involving multiple organ systems and sites that may lead to hospitalization or death due to bacterial, mycobacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic, and other opportunistic pathogens.

BACKGROUND: The class of TNF blockers are used to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and/or juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

RECOMMENDATION: The risks and the benefits of TNF blockers should be considered prior to initiating therapy in patients with chronic or recurrent infection and patients with underlying conditions that may predispose them to infection. See the Drug Safety Communication for a listing of recommendations for healthcare professionals and patients, as well as a data summary. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

[Posted 04/14/2011] ISSUE: FDA continues to receive reports of a rare cancer of white blood cells (known as Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma or HSTCL, primarily in adolescents and young adults being treated for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with medicines known as tumor necrosis factors (TNF) blockers, as well as with azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine. TNF blockers include infliximab (Remicade), etancercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia) and golimumab (Simponi).

BACKGROUND: HSTCL is an aggressive (fast-growing) cancer and is usually fatal. The majority of cases reported were in patients being treated for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but also included a patient being treated for psoriasis and two patients being treated for rheumatoid arthritis. FDA is now updating the number of reported cases of HSTCL.

Although most reported cases of HSTCL occurred in patients treated with a combination of medicines known to suppress the immune system, including the TNF blockers, azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine, there have been cases reported in patients receiving azathioprine or mercaptopurine alone.

  • Educate patients and caregivers about the signs and symptoms of malignancies such as HSTCL so that they are aware of and can seek evaluation and treatment of any signs or symptoms. These may include splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, abdominal pain, persistent fever, night sweats, and weight loss.
  • Monitor for the emergence of malignancies when a patient has been treated with TNF blockers, azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine.
  • Know that people with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis may be more likely to develop lymphoma than the general U.S. population. Therefore, it may be difficult to measure the added risk of TNF blockers, azathioprine, and/or meracaptopurine.

Read the Drug Safety Communications for other specific recommendations for Healthcare Professionals and Patients and the Data Summary for additional information. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

REMS:

FDA approved a REMS for adalimumab to ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks. The REMS may apply to one or more preparations of adalimumab and consists of the following: medication guide and communication plan. See the FDA REMS page ([Web]) or the ASHP REMS Resource Center ([Web]).

What is this medicine?

ADALIMUMAB (a dal AYE mu mab) is used to treat several types of arthritis. It is also used to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and plaque psoriasis.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • hepatitis B or history of hepatitis B infection
  • immune system problems
  • infection or history of infections
  • multiple sclerosis
  • recently received or scheduled to receive a vaccine
  • scheduled to have surgery
  • tuberculosis, a positive skin test for tuberculosis or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tuberculosis
  • an unusual reaction to adalimumab, other medicines, mannitol, latex, rubber, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection under the skin. You will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 4 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

The manufacturer of the medicine offers free information to patients and their health care partners. Call 1-800-448-6472 for more information.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. Give the next dose when your next scheduled dose is due. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are not sure how to handle a missed dose.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • abatacept
  • anakinra
  • etanercept
  • infliximab
  • live virus vaccines
  • rilonacept

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • vaccines

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

You will be tested for tuberculosis (TB) before you start this medicine. If your doctor prescribes any medicine for TB, you should start taking the TB medicine before starting this medicine. Make sure to finish the full course of TB medicine.

Call your doctor or health care professional if you get a cold or other infection while receiving this medicine. Do not treat yourself. This medicine may decrease your body's ability to fight infection.

Talk to your doctor about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medicine.


Last Updated: September 29, 2012
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