Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis and Humira Side Effects

November 12, 2012

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis and Humira Side Effects

Humira is a prescription drug that is used as a therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and currently being used off-label for psoriasis. This drug is actually a biologic which means it is made from proteins from animal sources. Humira works by blocking tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) which has been released by white blood cells in response to invasion by a pathogen or something that looks like a pathogen. TNF-alpha triggers cells to generate inflammation. Individuals that have psoriasis and arthritis have too much TNF-alpha in their skin and joints. Humira reduces inflammation thereby relieving stiffness and pain in the joints and swelling and plaque in psoriasis. However, there are a number of known humira side effects you should be aware of.

Humira is taken as a subcutaneous (just beneath the skin) injection and is done in the privacy of your own home. The injections are generally done in 1 to 2 week intervals. It is important that humira be injected on a regular basis to ensure overall effectiveness. This has been found to be a problem for some patients and ends up generating humira side effects.

The most common humira sides effects that have been reported by patients include: urinary tract infection (UTI), hypertension (high blood pressure), reaction at injection site, rashes, headache, abdominal pain and upper respiratory functions (lungs). These common humira side effects tend to occur when the first injection is given and subsides with later doses.

Other humira side effects include tuberculosis, severe fungal infections, central nervous system problems, autoimmunity and multiple sclerosis. If you have any preexisting medical conditions, you need to tell your doctor about your history before using humira as these conditions can worsen or come out of remission.

It has been reported that some individuals generate antibodies to humira. This is a prelude to developing an allergy to humira. These patients need to be closely monitored. If you experience a swollen facet, tongue lips or throat, skin rashes not unlike hives or have difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately and go to the emergency room. You need immediate medical attention.

Some patients have reported experiencing arrhythmias, blood in stools, mood swings, bleeding, liver dysfunction, tingling/numbness in feet or hands, muscle weakness, seizures, vision problems, fatigue, joint pain and rashes on nose and cheeks. Furthermore, humira has been known to generate a low sperm count in males. Given that humira side effects are many and in some can be serious you might want to consider other alternatives. After all, humira doesn’t cure anything and is only temporary in its application.

Although humira may work well for some patients with psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis others may not be so lucky. Humira side effects can be serious and possibly cause permanent damage. Make sure you do your homework and check out other avenues before you commit yourself to taking humira. Make sure to discuss you complete medical history with your doctor to avoid humira side effects associated with preexisting conditions.

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