One of the most important courses of medication that may be administered to an arthritis patient is Adalimumab. The brand name for this product is Humira and it is available on a commercial basis. It falls within the category of drugs that are known as anti tumor necrosis factors or TNF. In cases where the patient is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or RA, there might be an overload of the TNF protein. This will lead to damage within the cartilage, bones and general tissue. The use of Adalimumab can reduce inflammation in general terms but sometimes patients need medication that targets specific symptoms that they are experiencing as part of the progression in the condition. The prescription of Adalimumab is based on the development of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Children with idiopathic arthritis or JIA (JCA) may be prescribed this medication.
The use of Adalimumab in practical terms
The arthritis has to be active before the prescription is approved. In cases of RA the doctors will first begin with methotrexate and then progress to DMARD medication. Some of the branded medication may include gold injections and Sulfasalazine. It is only when these forms of treatment are impossible that the doctor will consider the progression to Adalimumab. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not prescribed this medicine because it tends to get into the breast milk and adversely affects the baby. An infection might be a contra indication for Adalimumab. For example ex tuberculosis patients might be excluded. The same rule applies to people with multiple sclerosis. Cancer patients are advised not to take Adalimumab. Likewise people with cardiac problems or lung infections should stay away from the medication.
The medication is only available through prescription on the advice of a rheumatologist. The dosage is about forty milligrams per fortnight. It might be administered through a subcutaneous injection. Where patients are trained or if their families have been instructed, these injections could be administered from home. A district may administer the injections if the immediate is unable to undertake the task. Patients that are on this medication should carry the relevant biological therapy alert card. In that sense, the emergency services will be aware of the existence of another form of medication in your system. The initial responses should occur between two and twelve weeks after starting the course of medication.
Side effects and implications of using Adalimumab
Some patients have reported local reactions near the skin where an injection has been administered. For example they may develop swelling, redness and pain. Nonetheless these symptoms are not serious enough to warrant medical attention. On a far more serious note, the use of Adalimumab might affect the immune system. Therefore the patient may develop infections and it is imperative that the clinician handling the case is informed at the earliest opportunity. If there are serious problems with the administration of Adalimumab then it is imperative that the family doctor is given this information. They can look for better alternatives for the patient.