Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Humira.
It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you using
this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Read this leaflet carefully before you use Humira and keep it with the medicine.
You may need to read it again.
What Humira is used for
Humira is used for the treatment of:
Humira is used to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severely active rheumatoid
arthritis, a painful disease of the joints, as well as slow down and protect against
damage to joints. Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include joint pain, tenderness,
swelling and stiffness.
Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Humira is used for reducing the signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active
polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which is an inflammatory disease involving
multiple joints, in patients 2 years of age and older.
Humira is used to treat enthesitis-related arthritis, an inflammatory disease of the
joints in children.
Humira is used to reduce the signs and symptoms, as well as inhibit the progression
of joint damage of moderate to severely active psoriatic arthritis, a disease of the
joints and skin, with some similarities to rheumatoid arthritis, as well as psoriasis
and other factors.
Humira is used to reduce the signs and symptoms in patients with active ankylosing
spondylitis, an inflammatory disease of the spine. Signs and symptoms of ankylosing
spondylitis include back pain and morning stiffness.
Humira is used for the treatment of moderate to severe Crohn's disease, an inflammatory
disease of the digestive tract, in adults and children aged 6 years and above to reduce
the signs and symptoms of the disease and to induce and maintain periods where the
symptoms are no longer present. Humira can be given to patients who have not responded
well enough to conventional therapies, or who have lost response to or are intolerant
to infliximab (another medicine used to treat Crohn's disease).
Humira is used for the treatment of moderate to severe ulcerative colitis an inflammatory
bowel disease, in patients who have not responded well enough to conventional therapy
or who are intolerant to or have medical contraindications for such therapies. Patients
should show a response within 8 weeks to continue treatment.
Humira is used to treat chronic plaque psoriasis, an inflammatory disease of the skin.
Plaque psoriasis can also affect nails, causing them to crumble, thicken and lift
away from the nail bed which can be painful. Humira is used for moderate to severe
forms of the disease in adults and severe forms in children and adolescents from 4
years of age who have not responded well enough to topical therapy and phototherapy,
or who cannot be given those treatments.
Humira is used for the treatment of adult and adolescents from 12 years of age with
active moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa (acne inversa), a chronic and often
painful inflammatory skin disease. Symptoms may include tender nodules (lumps) and
abscesses (boils) that may leak pus. It most commonly affects specific areas of the
skin, such as under the breasts, the armpits, inner thighs, groin and buttocks. Scarring
may also occur in affected areas. Your doctor will schedule follow-up appointments
to check on your progress to continue treatment.
Humira is used to treat non-infectious intermediate, posterior and pan-uveitis, an
inflammatory disease of the uveal tract of the eye. Humira is used in adults who have
not responded well to corticosteroids or whose disease flares when they taper off
corticosteroids. Signs and symptoms include inflammation, vision impairment and pain.
The active ingredient in this medicine is adalimumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody.
Monoclonal antibodies are proteins made by a type of blood cell to fight a foreign
protein in the body. Adalimumab recognises and binds to a specific protein (tumour
necrosis factor or TNF-alpha), which is present at increased levels in inflammatory
diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis,
enthesitis-related arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's
disease, ulcerative colitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, psoriasis and uveitis.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
This medicine is not addictive.
This medicine is only available with a doctor's prescription.
The long term effects of Humira on the growth and development of children is not known.
Before you use Humira
When you must not use it
Do not use Humira if:
You have an allergy to any medicine containing adalimumab or any of the ingredients
listed at the end of this leaflet. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
hives, itching or skin rash
You have a severe infection including infection of the bloodstream, active tuberculosis
and other infections that can occur when the body's natural defences are lowered.
You are already using anakinra (Kineret) - a medicine for rheumatoid arthritis.
You have moderate to severe heart failure.
Do not use this medicine after the expiry date printed on the label / blister / carton
or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
Return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
Before you use it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
an infection, including a long-term or localised infection (for example, leg ulcer)
a history of recurrent infections or other conditions that increase the risk of infections
a history of tuberculosis, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has
If symptoms of tuberculosis (persistent-cough, weight loss, listlessness, mild fever),
or any other infection appear during or after therapy, tell your doctor immediately.
As cases of tuberculosis have been reported in patients treated with Humira, your
doctor will check you for signs and symptoms of tuberculosis before starting this
medicine. This will include a thorough medical history, a chest x-ray and tuberculin
the hepatitis B virus (HBV) if you are a carrier of, or you have active HBV or you
think you might be at risk of contracting HBV.
Humira can cause reactivation of HBV in people who carry this virus. In some rare
cases, especially in you are taking other medicines that suppress the immune system,
reactivation of HBV can be life threatening.
a fungal infection, or have lived or travelled in countries where some fungal infections
are common. These infections may develop or become more severe if you take Humira.
If you suffer from uveitis, your doctor may check for signs and symptoms of neurologic
disease before starting this medicine.
multiple sclerosis a disease of the nervous system or other demyelinating disease
allergic reactions such as chest tightness, wheezing, dizziness, swelling or rash
low resistance to disease
heart conditions including congestive heart failure, heart attack or worsening of
existing heart conditions
cancer or autoimmune disease
a lung disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
kidney or liver problems
Tell your doctor if you are scheduled for any vaccines.
It is recommended that children, if possible, be brought up to date with all immunisations
in agreement with current immunisation guidelines prior to initiating Humira therapy.
Patients receiving Humira should not receive live vaccines.
Tell your doctor if you are a psoriasis sufferer who has undergone phototherapy.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
There is only limited experience in the effects of Humira in pregnant women. The use
of this medicine in pregnant women is not recommended. Women of childbearing age are
advised to use contraception to avoid falling pregnant.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
It is not known whether Humira passes into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding,
your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding while you are using this medicine.
If you have not told your doctor or pharmacist about any of the above, tell them before
you start using Humira.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any
that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket naturopath or
health food shop.
Some medicines and Humira may interfere with each other. Your doctor and pharmacist
have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while using this medicine.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking anakinra (Kineret) or abatacept (Orencia),
other medicines used to treat some forms of arthritis.
Taking the two medicines together may increase the risk of infection.
Humira can be taken together with medicines used to treat arthritis, such as: methotrexate,
steroids or pain medications including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
such as ibuprofen.
Tell your doctor or if you are taking any other medicines to treat your condition.
How to use Humira
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully. They may
differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the label or in this leaflet, ask your
doctor or pharmacist for help.
Always use Humira exactly as your doctor has instructed you.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure.
How much to use
The usual dose for adults with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing
spondylitis is one 40mg injection fortnightly.
The usual dose for adults with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis is an initial
dose of 160mg (given as four injections on one day or two injections a day over two
days), followed by 80mg two weeks later (given as two injections on one day) then
40mg starting two weeks later and continuing every two weeks.
The usual dose for adults with psoriasis or uveitis is an initial dose of 80mg, followed
by 40mg given fortnightly starting one week after the initial dose.
For adults with psoriasis, depending on your response, your doctor may increase the
dose frequency to 40mg every week.
The usual dose for adults with hidradenitis suppurativa is an initial dose of 160mg
(given as 4 injections in one day or 2 injections per day for two consecutive days),
followed by an 80mg dose (as 2 injections on the same day) two weeks later. After
a further two weeks, continue with a dose of 40mg every week.
Your doctor may prescribe other medicines for your condition arthritis to take with
The usual dose for children with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis or enthesitis-related
arthritis depends on body weight:
with a body weight of 30kg or above, the usual dose is 40mg given fortnightly.
with a body weight of 15kg to less than 30kg, the recommended dose is 20mg fortnightly.
with a body weight between 10kg to less than 15kg, the usual dose is 10mg fortnightly.
The usual dose for children with Crohn's disease depends on body weight and the severity
of disease. Treatment will begin with a larger dose on day 1 and continue with a smaller
dose every two weeks. Your doctor will tell you what dose to take and when. Treatment
of Crohn's disease in children should be supported by good nutrition to allow appropriate
The usual dose for children with psoriasis depends on the body weight:
with a body weight between 40kg or above, the usual dose is 40mg given once weekly
for the first two weeks, then fortnightly.
with a body weight of less than 40kg, the usual dose is 20mg given once weekly for
the first two weeks, then fortnightly.
The usual dose for adolescents (from 12 years, weighing at least 30kg) with hidradenitis
suppurativa is an initial dose of 80mg (two 40mg injections in one day), followed
by 40mg fortnightly starting one week later. If you have an inadequate response, your
doctor may increase the dose to 40mg every week.
It is recommended you use an antiseptic wash daily on the affected areas.
If Humira has no effect on the child's condition after 16 weeks, your doctor may tell
you to stop using Humira.
How to use it
Humira is injected under the skin. The injection can be self-administered or given
by another person, for example a family member or friend after proper training in
injection technique, or your doctor or his/her assistant.
Instructions for preparing and giving an injection of Humira if you are using the
Humira Pre-filled Syringe:
Read these instructions carefully and follow them step by step. These instructions
explain how to self- inject this medicine.
Do not attempt to self-inject until you are sure that you understand how to prepare
and give the injection.
Your doctor or his/her assistant will also show you best how to self-inject.
Do not mix the injection in the same syringe or vial with any other medicine.
Wash your hands thoroughly
Set up the following items on a clean surface
One pre-filled syringe of Humira for injection.
One alcohol pad.
Look at the expiry date on the syringe. Do not use the product after the month and
year shown. Check the colour has not changed and that there are no particles in the
solution. If it is cloudy or discoloured or has flakes or particles in it, you must
not use it. Do not use it if the solution is frozen.
2. Choosing an injection site
Choose a site on your thigh or stomach (except the area around the navel).
Change the place that you inject each time so that you do not become sore in one area.
Each new injection should be given at least 3 cm from the last injection site
Rotate between thigh and stomach
3. Preparing an Injection Site
Do not inject in an area where the skin is tender, reddened, bruised, or hard. This
may mean there is an infection.
Wipe the injection site with the enclosed alcohol pad, using a circular motion.
Do not touch the area again before injecting.
Do not shake the syringe
The presence of one or more bubbles in the syringe is normal.
Remove the cap from needle syringe, being careful not to touch the needle or let it
touch any surface.
With one hand, gently grasp the cleaned area of skin and hold firmly.
With the other hand, hold syringe at 90-degree angle to skin, with the grooved side
With one quick, short motion, push needle all the way into skin
Release the skin with the first hand
Push plunger to inject solution - it can take from 2 to 5 seconds to empty the syringe.
When the syringe is empty, remove the needle from skin, being careful to keep it at
the same angle as when it was inserted
Using your thumb or a piece of gauze, apply pressure over the injection site for 10
seconds. A little bleeding may occur. Do not rub the injection site. Use a plaster
if you want to.
5. Throwing away supplies
The Humira syringe should never be reused. Never recap a needle.
After injecting Humira, immediately throw away the used syringe in a special 'sharps'
container as instructed by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Keep this container out of the reach and sight of children
How long to use it
Keep using Humira for as long as your doctor tells you.
Humira will not cure your condition but should help control your symptoms.
Ask your doctor if you are not sure how long to take this medicine for.
If you forget to use it
If you forget to give yourself an injection, you should inject the next dose of Humira
as soon as you remember. Then inject your next dose as you would have on your originally
scheduled day, had you not forgotten a dose. Do not try to make up for missed doses
by taking more than one dose at a time.
If you use too much (overdose)
If you accidentally inject Humira more frequently than told to by your doctor, immediately
telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (Australia: Telephone 13 11
26), or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital. Do this even if there
are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention. Always take the outer carton of the medicine
While you are using Humira
Things you must do
Check with your doctor before you receive any vaccines.
It is recommended that children, if possible, be brought up to date with all immunisations
in agreement with current immunisation guidelines prior to initiating Humira therapy.
Some vaccines, such as oral polio vaccine, should not be given while receiving Humira.
If you become pregnant while using Humira, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, tell your doctor you are using
Tell all doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who are treating you that you are using
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you are using
Humira. Your doctor may recommend temporary discontinuation of Humira.
Keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.
Things you must not do
Do not give Humira to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not use Humira to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not stop taking Humira, without checking with your doctor.
Do not take Humira and anakinra (Kineret) together.
Do not take Humira and abatacept (Orencia) together.
Anakinra and abatacept are other medicines used to treat certain forms of arthritis.
Things to be careful of
It is important to tell your doctor if you get symptoms such as fever, wounds, feeling
tired or dental problems.
You might get infections more easily while you are receiving Humira treatment. These
infections may be serious and include tuberculosis, infections caused by viruses,
fungi or bacteria, or other opportunistic infections and sepsis that may, in rare
cases, be life-threatening. Your doctor may recommend temporary discontinuation of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Humira affects you.
The effects on your ability to drive and use machines whilst taking this medicine
are not known.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you have any problems while using Humira,
even if you do not think the problems are connected with the medicine or are not listed
in this leaflet.
All medicines have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most
of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side-effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any
Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital
if you experience any of the following:
Signs of an allergic reaction such as:
Shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
Hives, itching or skin rash
shortness of breath with exertion or upon lying down or swelling of the feet
signs and symptoms suggestive of blood disorders such as persistent fever, bruising,
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention
or hospitalisation. These side effects are uncommon.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
Signs of tuberculosis such as persistent cough, weight loss, listlessness, fever
Signs of infection such as fever, malaise, wounds, dental problems, burning on urination
You might get infections more easily while you are receiving Humira treatment.
Signs of nervous system disorders such as numbness or tingling throughout your body,
arm or leg weakness, double vision
Signs of soft tissue infection, such as a bump or open sore that doesn't heal
The above list includes serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention.
Serious side effects are rare.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
Injection site reactions (including pain, swelling, redness or itching)
Upper respiratory tract infections (including cold, runny nose, sinus infection, sore
Lower respiratory tract infections (such as bronchitis, pneumonia)
Eye inflammation, inflammation of the eye lid
Headache, dizziness, vertigo, sensation disorders
Increased cough, sore throat
Abdominal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain,
Mouth inflammation and ulcers
Muscle of bone pain
Increased heart rate
Viral infections (including the flu, cold sore blisters, chicken pox and shingles)
Bacterial infections (including Urinary Tract Infection)
The above list includes the more common side effects of Humira. They are usually mild
Some side effects observed with Humira may not have symptoms and may only be discovered
through blood tests. These include increased lipids in the blood, elevated liver enzymes,
and increased uric acid in the blood.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that is making you feel
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some people.
There have been cases of certain kinds of cancer in patients taking Humira or other
TNF blockers. People with more serious rheumatoid arthritis that have had the disease
for a long time may have a higher chance of getting a kind of cancer that affects
the lymph system, called lymphoma, or that affects the blood, called leukaemia. If
you take Humira your risk may increase. On rare occasions, a specific and severe type
of lymphoma has been observed in patients taking Humira. Some of those patients were
also treated with azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine. In addition very rare cases of
skin cancer have been observed in patients taking Humira. If new skin lesions appear
during or after therapy or if existing lesions change appearance, tell your doctor.
There have been cases of cancers other than lymphoma in patients with a specific type
of lung disease called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) treated with another
TNF blocker. If you have COPD, or are a heavy smoker, you should discuss with your
doctor whether treatment with a TNF blocker is appropriate for you.
After using Humira
Keep your pre-filled syringe in the pack until it is time to use it.
Keep Humira in a refrigerator (2°C-8°C). Do not freeze.
Keep Humira in the refrigerator in a way children cannot get to it.
This is important when travelling by car, bus, train, plane or any other form of transport.
Store a pre-filled syringe at room temperature (below 25°C) for a maximum period of
14 days, protected from light.
Once removed from the refrigerator and stored at room temperature, the syringe must
be used within 14 days or discarded, even if it is returned to the refrigerator.
Write down the date you first remove the syringe from the refrigerator on the label,
so you can check how long it has been.
After injecting Humira, immediately throw away the used pre-filled syringe in a special
'sharps' container as instructed by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
If your doctor tells you to stop using Humira or the expiry date has passed, ask your
pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.
What it looks like
Humira is a clear, colourless, sterile solution of:
40mg adalimumab in 0.8mL solution in a syringe (AUST R 199412) and
20mg adalimumab in 0.4mL solution in a syringe (AUST R 199411)
10mg adalimumab in 0.2mL solution in a syringe (AUST R 216038)
The following Pre-filled syringe packs are available:
2 pre-filled syringes with 2 alcohol pads (Humira 10mg, Humira 20mg and Humira 40mg
6 pre-filled syringes with 6 alcohol pads (Humira 40mg pre-filled syringe)
Humira contains adalimumab as the active ingredient:
It also contains other ingredients including:
Citric acid monohydrate
Monobasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
Water for injection
Humira is distributed in Australia by:
AbbVie Pty Ltd
ABN 48 156 384 262
241 O'Riordan Street
Mascot NSW 2020
This leaflet was prepared in:
Australian Registration Numbers:
AUST R 199412
AUST R 199411
AUST R 216038