Humira psoriasis is used to treat psoriasis, which is a chronic skin disease that affects the immune system of both men and women. The exact cause for psoriasis is not known however the skin cells in people who suffer from the condition grow rapidly. This occurs when the body’s immune system sends out faulty signals.
Normally, skin cells mature and fall off within a month. However in case of people suffering from psoriasis, their skin cells mature rapidly and need only 3-4 days to surface. Moreover, instead of the skin cells falling off, they accumulate to form red and flaking skin patches.
Humira and plaque psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis which affects 80% of those suffering from psoriasis. It is characterized by raised and inflamed red lesions that are covered by a silvery white scale.
It occurs anywhere on the body, predominantly on the elbows, scalp, knees and lower back. Psoriasis sufferers are associated with other serious health conditions like psoriatic arthritis, which leads to joint pain and stiffness.
Humira psoriasis is used to treat adults suffering from severe cases of chronic plaque psoriasis under a doctor’s supervision. [note]Humira is also used to treat psoriatic arthritis alone or with some other medicine. [/note]It not only prevents further damage to the joints, but also helps improve your ability in performing your daily activities.
Humira psoriasis is a medicine that lowers your body immunity to fight infections by blocking TNF, which is a protein that triggers psoriasis. This is why it is not advisable to take HUMIRA if you suffer from any type of infection unless under a doctor’s prescription.
It is usually administered to patients who are ready to be treated with other psoriasis treatment options like phototherapy wherein the doctor determines which systemic therapy is less appropriate to treat the condition.
Humira is injected under your skin and is available as a single dose pen or a prefilled syringe.
Before starting humira psoriasis
You have to inform your physician about all the health conditions you suffer from before starting humira like:
- An infection or its symptoms, and if you are under medication for the infection.
- If you repeatedly suffer from infections.
- If you have diabetes and if you are infected with, or have been suffering from hepatitis B, cancer or heart failure.
- If you suffer from tuberculosis or were born with it, lived in or travelled with a person who had TB as it increases the risk of your getting TB.
- If you have to undergo a major surgery.
- You have lived or are living in places like Ohio where the risks for some types of fungal infections are high.
- If you have numbing or tingling or some nervous system disease like multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barre syndrome.
- If you are allergic to latex, rubber or any of the ingredients in humira.
- If you have ever taken or plan to get a vaccine as humira patients cannot take live vaccines.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you plan to breastfeed or become pregnant.
- 11. Inform your doctor about the medication you take as you cannot take humira if you are on drugs like orencia, remicade, kineret, Enbrel, cimzia or simponi.
- 12. Inform your practitioner if you have even taken Imuran, rituxan or purinethol.
Common side effects
The side effects that are common with humira psoriasis are injection site reactions like redness, swelling, bruising, itching and rashes, headaches, rash, nausea and upper respiratory infections. [note]As these are not the only possible humira side effects, inform your doctor of any other bothering side effects that do not go away.[/note]
Immediately inform your physician if you notice infection-like symptoms like muscle aches, weight loss, fever, sweating, chills, bloody phlegm, cough, burning urine, fatigue, frequent urination, warm and painful skin sores on the body and shortness of breath.
Serious side effects
As humira can lead to serious side effects, look for the following signs after starting humira:
- Symptoms of allergic reactions like hives, swelling in the eyes, mouth, lips or face and trouble in sweating.
- Serious infections like tuberculosis and infections that are triggered by bacteria, fungi or viruses. TB related symptoms to look out for are cough, weight or fat loss, muscle loss and low-grade fever.
- Any indications of nervous system problems like numbness or tingling, dizziness, vision problems and weakness in arms and legs.
- Heart failure with shortness of breath, sudden weight gain and swelling of ankles and feet.
- Blood problems with symptoms of recurring fever, easy bruising and bleeding and looking pale.
- Symptoms of liver problems like yellowish skin or eyes, poor appetite and vomiting, discomfort in the abdomen and overall fatigue.
- Immune problems that include symptoms of a lupus-like syndrome like persistent chest pain or discomfort, rashes on the arms and cheeks that worsen in the sun, joint pain and shortness of breath.
- Fresh or worsening symptoms of psoriasis like red scaly patches and raised pus-filled bumps.
- In case you develop and notice any of these symptoms, call your doctor for immediate medical care.
Important information worth knowing about Humira
People taking humira have suffered from serious infections which include tuberculosis and infections that are triggered by fungi, bacteria and viruses that affect the entire body. In fact, these infections have even lead to the death of some people.
This is why you have to undergo a test for tuberculosis before you take humira psoriasis. Make it a point to check for any indications of TB during your humira treatment as if you seem to be at a risk, your doctor will treat you for tuberculosis.
The chances of developing lumphoma or other cancers are higher in adults and adolescents taking humira and other TNF blockers. [note]Unusual cases of cancer have been reported in some people taking TNF blockers.[/note]
While hepatosplenic t-cell lymphoma can result in death, the chances of developing basal cell or squamous cell cancer is increased. These cancers are however not life-threatening so get it treated if you notice a bump or an open sore that doesn’t heal.