Thursday, August 13, 2009

Humira Tales

The Humira Pen

Look at the medicine in the window. It's clear, no bubbles, good to go!

Terry prepares to release the button

Hello all. It's a sticky, dreary day in Rhode Island. Perfect weather for blogging. I want to take this opportunity to discuss Humira. While I will provide my humorous, patient perspective, please visit: to learn more.

For those of you who don't know me as well...Quick Recap: I have had Crohn's for almost 9 years. Traditional pill and maintenance methods had not worked to control it or send it into remission. A blockage in my ilium led me to surgery in 2004 where they removed 1 foot of diseased intestine. Reasonable for a few years on maintenance meds, then it got bad, I opted to try homeopathic methods (cause I want to have babies and rid myself of crazy chemicals). Bad idea for me, got worse. Traditional and maintenance methods (with the exception of prednisone) did not work and since no one should be on prednisone for a lengthy time...we have moved onto biologics.

Since I was a lovely rare case and had an allergic reaction to Remicade, I am now trying Humira, which is an injection that I take every two weeks. I have been on Humira for 3 months now.

*One dose is one pen (see above). Treatment 1 is 4 pens, Treatment 2 is 2 pens and every dose thereafter is just 1 pen. *Maintenance breaks down into 1 pen every two weeks.*

Where do you inject? Crohn's patients in ject either in their belly or their thighs. My mom started Humira the same week I did and she prefers her thighs while I prefer my belly. It is essentially, where does it hurt less?! Let us tell you- that injection hurts like a M*F*. Obviously, we can deal, cause we are still on it. I whine the 10 minutes prior and tend to pysch myself out (which is why you can see Terry in the picture- he is the one that actually pushes the button to inject). The actual injection only lasts a few seconds, it is over when you see neon yellow in the window of the pen. After you give yourself a safety of a few more seconds, you can remove the pen and discard in a "sharps container".

The injection site is not tender, within minutes the pain is gone and then...I start to feel like a wimp cause I whined for so long before hand.

The big question: Is it helping?

I think so...I will still on prednisone when I started Humira and we weaned me off of that in the first few weeks of the treatment. At the last doctor's visit, one month ago, my very cool and creative GI Doc decided to tag team my Humira up with another med for a short period of time since I was not showing as much improvement as he wanted- my options- prednisone (steroid), entocort (steroid) or Xiflaxan (antibiotic that only targets the intestinal tract). Can you guesss which one I chose?

Of course I chose Xifaxan! With their powers combined, I have had on average 4-5 bathroom trips a day, I still need 9-10 hours of sleep each night but I am not fatigued during the day and my activity level is up. In a few days I will be done with Xifaxan, let's see what happens with just Humira! Will I visit the bathroom more frequently? To be determined!

Note: If you would like to learn more about Crohn's Disease and biologics, this is a very helpful webcast from Everyday Health.


  1. Was "With their powers combined..." a Captain Planet reference? :) great blog post rose. wishing you the best.


    1. oi boa noite eu estou precisando de ajuda tem um ano que estou usando o remedio humira e preciso entra em contato com alguem que possa mim ajuda a saber mais sobre esse remedio

  2. I just started humira and I LOVE it!!!

  3. I have never hear of humira and will certainly be googling it now.
    I had 2 successful pregnancies with having Crohn's disease I went into remission when I was pregnant. it goes a 1/3 one way or the other.... stays the same , gets worse or remission during pregnancy. I am 43 now and I was diagnosed @ 21.

  4. I know how you feel about being freaked out before the injection. lol I'm the same way. :)

  5. Being female with ankylosing spondylitis was rare enough, but the pain in my lower back was bad. Humira was started in Nov 07 and the pain felt in walking was taken care of. It has halted the progression of the ankylosing spondylitis in my lower back.