How Does Humira Work and What to Expect?

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If you are living a life with an autoimmune disease, you know the meaning of pain. The constant swelling and inflammation of your joints, skin, and sometimes even your organs is something that the average person can’t understand.

People suffering from these diseases know that there is no cure for what ails them. However, there is always hope.

Read on to find out a little more about autoimmune diseases and a medication called Humira that could drastically change the lives of patients today.

About Autoimmune Disease

First, let’s talk about exactly what an autoimmune disease is.

What is an Autoimmune Disease

Your immune system is in place to help guard against bacteria and viruses. When it senses a threat, it sends out a whole army battalion of fighter cells to attack them.

Normally, our bodies can distinguish between real threats, the invading cells, and our own cells. But sometimes it can’t.

An autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks your body instead of invading cells. It considers a specific part of the body, like joints or skin or certain organs, as the invading cells.

An example of this is type 1 diabetes. The body releases autoantibodies to attack healthy cells in the pancreas. This is an example of the immune system attacking one specific kind of cell.

However, in situations like lupus, it can target the whole body.

Why Does This Happen?

Doctors aren’t sure what causes your immune system to misfire like this. All we know for sure is that this disorder tends to impact some groups more than others.

Women are almost twice as likely to deal with these issues more than men. Lupus affects more black and Hispanic people than Caucasians. Multiple sclerosis tends to run in families, but not every family member will deal with these debilitating issues, but they will be susceptible to autoimmune conditions.

High-fat, high-sugar, processed foods are linked to inflammation. It is suspected, though not proven to be, a trigger.

Another unproven theory is the hygiene hypothesis, which states that because of the vaccinations we receive as children, our exposure to germs is greatly lessened. Without the exposure, our immune systems can overreact to even harmless bacteria.


Generally, most autoimmune disorders have similar symptoms in the early stages. These can include:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • redness
  • swelling
  • loss of hair
  • skin rashes
  • sore muscles
  • slight neuropathy
  • brain fog or trouble concentrating

However, each disease has its own set of symptoms. Some disorders have periods of increased symptoms called flare-ups, while others stick around for the long haul.

Treatments for Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases cannot be cured. However, some treatments and medications can be used to relieve the symptoms.

NSAIDs and immune-suppressing drugs are used most commonly to help make life with an autoimmune disease more manageable.


humira penThat’s where Humira comes in.

Humira, also known as adalimumab, is a medication that can help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Humira stands for Human Monoclonal Antibody in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Humira belongs to a class of drug called biologics. Biologics are medications that are derived from a living organism, like animals, microorganisms or yeast.

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Humira is developed by using genetic engineering.

This medication can be used in the treatment of many autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic plaque psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease.

How it Works

As we said before, when the body senses a false alarm and attacks anyway, it can cause permanent tissue damage and leads to autoimmune diseases.

And while, unfortunately, doctors and scientists aren’t positive what causes these horrific diseases, they do know that TNFa, or tumor necrosis factor alpha, seems to be a major contributor to this inflammation.

TNFa triggers inflammation when the body is under threat, but too much hurts healthy tissue.

Humira bonds with TNFa and stops it from causing inflammation, which reduces the pain and other side effects associated with autoimmune diseases.

How to Take Humira

Humira is a medication that is delivered via injection. It can’t be given orally, because our digestive system will destroy the active ingredients.

If you can give yourself Humira injections at home, you’ll need to be trained how to do it. Never be afraid to ask for more training!

When your doctor prescribes you Humira, it is essential to follow the directions given.

Store Humira at the appropriate temperature and absolutely do not use it if it has been frozen. Do not use Humira after its expiration date.

Sometimes, patients find it more comfortable to take their injection pen out of the refrigerator a few minutes before injection to let it reach room temperature. Humira can be stored at room temperature for up to 14 days.

Here are some quick instructions for a Humira injection:

  • Pull the cap off by pulling down the gray cap and pulling u on the plum cap. Do not do this until you are just about to take your injection.
  • Wash your hands to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Collect your supplies. You need your pen, something to clean the site with, your sharps storage box and something to place on the site in case of fluids.
  • Give yourself the injection by pressing the pen to your injection site at a 90-degree angle to your skin. Press it down firmly and push down on the plum trigger at the top of the pen. A loud click indicates that the medicine injection has begun. When the yellow marker appears in the window, the pen is empty.
  • Sit down and prepare the site. It is often easiest to inject in your stomach or your thigh. Expose this area and clean it up.
  • Remove the pen from the site and immediately place it in your sharps container. Use a cotton ball to stop any bleeding or any excess fluid, applying pressure for 30 seconds.

Side Effects

As with all medications, Humira has side effects. Some mild side effects can include a headache, stuffy nose, sinus pain, stomach pain, or irritation where the medicine was injected.

A few serious side effects are numbness, vision issues, leg weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and some others. If these symptoms occur, contact your doctor immediately.

Save on Humira Today

The cost of Humira has skyrocketed over the years, likely because the patent expired in 2016 in the US. The cost for Humira can exceed thousands of dollars, easily into the five-figure mark.

But there is hope.

eDrugSearch’s free medication search tool allows you to compare the prices of Humira in different reputable pharmacies. This promises that you will receive the best possible price for the medications you or your loved ones need.

Did we mention that this service is absolutely free?

Give us a try for your Humira needs today! When you spend less, you save more!

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.


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