Allergic reaction to Humira -- has anyone overcome it??

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FallColors
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/13/2008 10:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
 
Has anyone had an allergic reaction to Humira and been able to become desensitized to it so you can continue taking it?  Let me explain.  After 2 reactions to Remicade, my GI Dr. put me on Humira -- but he started me on just one pen (Crohns usually starts with 4). 
 
Nine days later, I got a lovely case of hives and an allergist confirmed it was a drug reaction.  The allergist and my GI are now looking to see if it is possible to desensitize me to Humira so I can continue taking it.  Sounds similar to allergies to cats, where they give small doses over time to get your body used to it. 
 
So my question is has anyone had allergic reaction to Humira and successfully completed a desensitization process so that they can now take it without flaming out?
 
I just posted this on the Arthritis forum since HUmira has been approved for it much longer than for CD.
 
This has been a trying several months for me -- if I can complain for a little bit.  I reacted to Remicade in mid-Dec.  At the end of January, I had another peri-rectal abcess -- actually it was 2 large abcesses -- and now have a second seton.  Another reaction to Remicade, and then a reaction to Humira.  The gaping hole from the abcesses is almost healed (praise God from whom all blessings flow!) and I am almost back to work full-time.  I'm hoping I've had my quota for 2008!!  Now I am waiting to hear from my Drs. if the desensitization is possible and/or what other meds they want me on.
 
Thanks!

Ides
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Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 6818
   Posted 3/14/2008 12:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I reacted to Humira - most likely a reaction to the foreign protein that Humira contains. So what the doctors need to determine is what component of Humira you reacted to. As my GI explained to me today, I will likely react to ANY medication that contains a protein that is foreign to the human body. There is no way to "desensitize" the type of reaction that I had.

Hives can be the only reaction a person might get to a medication. Or hives can be the precursor to other, potentially more severe and serious, reactions a person gets to a medication. Have your doctors discussed premedicating you with steroids prior to, and after your injection for a couple days to see if that keeps you from reacting?
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?
 


FallColors
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/14/2008 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Ides, for the great information. I am waiting for a call from the allergist Dr. She said she wants to try something, and I am curious what that is. I think its worth a shot to try to keep the drug. The biologics appear to be the best for fistulas. And I will certainly ask about using pre-meds.

Thanks again!

LynnRN
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 3/14/2008 1:05 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello,I get a rash from Humira,my GI wants me to start premedicationg with Benedryl prior to the injection,I actually called a few Humira reps,and they ALL said most people get a rash from the Humira. I know you said you have hives,I hope the desensitation works,I know I was nervous, because my inflammation is gone,if I have to go off of Humira,I'm probaly up a creek without a paddle!!

 

Good luck :-)


dunny2
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 3/14/2008 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
My Liver is reacting to humira, I'm allowed only 2 more doses, and that's it. I have to admit I think I've felt slightly
worse on Humira...

I've also just found out that my triglycerides have soared again, they are at 1200. This happened to me when I took
6mp, and went on to have pancreatitis, which has now left me with chronic pancreatitis, due to the scarring....

I'm now wondering if there might be a connection in my case... Right now I'm on fluids only to make sure that my
pancreas doesn't inflame too much, but I'm already getting upper gastric pain. Please keep your fingers crossed
for me. I don't think I can handle another attack...
Vicky

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.


Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts


FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/14/2008 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Vicky. You poor thing! I truly hope your pancreas behaves itself!!

And thanks LynnRN. My reaction was full-body hives. Fortunately not too itchy. They put me on the 6-day steriod pack and the hives still tried to persist. It turns out that Humira stays in your system 10-20 days, which is why the hiveyness didn't stop right away.

I heard from my Drs. and my GI doesn't want me to try the Humira desensitzation. He says he will put me on something else when I see him next week.

Thanks for your emails everyone!!

Keah
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Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 3/15/2008 9:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I had horrible injection site reactions to Enbrel and then went on to reject a dental membrane which was coated in protein. We expected that my immune system would have this problem with anything that contained foreign proteins but I've been on Humira for over a year with no reactions at all. At first, I was surprised, now I'm just puzzled. I even had severe allergic reactions to allergy shots, so I had really expected at least injection site reactions to Humira. When they bumped me up to weekly shots, I couldn't believe that allw ent well.

I hope that whatever your Doc has in mind will be the answer you need.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
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Beachy Mom
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 3/26/2008 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I had  a reaction to Humira after my second dose (2 injections). I have a extremely itchy rash all over my body, most extreme on chest, face, and arms and on the scar tissue on my bottom ( from fistula repair). The doctor does not think I should try Humira again and since I also had reactions to Remicade ( rash and extreme joint pain) we are just trying to keep the Crohn's under control with 6MP. I am thinking about trying The Makers Diet, but this would be a huge adjustment for my family.
I am looking for any sugggestions!!!!
Thanks-
Just "Beachy"


FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/26/2008 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Beachy,

Sounds like you had the drug reaction I had -- full body hives. At least mine didn't itch! I thank God for his small blessings! I also reacted to Remicade, which is a relative of Humira's. I met with an allergy doc and she was willing to try to desensitize me to the protein (she says you can do it for anyrhing, although some things are more difficult). But my GI says he wants to start me on something else. I have an appointment soon to discuss. My disease is active and he wants to get me on something fast. The desensitization will take awhile. We will see if we try it at all...

I am totally with you in wondering what's next. The remicade/humira group of biologicals are now out -- and this is the newer group of drugs and many have good success with them! So are we left with the older stuff? I'm only a year into this disease myself and have only been on Remi and Humira (well, 1 pen). I don't have any experience with the other drugs. I am wondering what my GI will prescribe for my rectal-only fistulizing CD. I really would love to stop this disease from progressing!! All the surgeries, intestinal distresses, and dietary restrictions I read on this Forum makes me really want to be aggressive in treatment. I think I am going to try Helminth/hookworm therapy because it sounds like it doesn't effect taking other drugs and the studies look quite promising. It just takes a while to take affect so I want to get it started.

I hope you find the right path forward for you!

Beachy Mom
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 3/26/2008 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Fallcolors-
I am glad that during the Remicade and a very horrible surgery my rectal/vaginal fistula is repaired. I do not have many crohn's symptoms just lots of fatigue and now this irritating rash. Have you tried any of the organic diets (The Makers Diet, etc) that have worked for you?
Just "Beachy"


FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/26/2008 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Beachy -- I'm glad the repair worked for you! No, I haven't tried special diets. Like you, I have no other CD symptoms except fatigue. I know fatigue means inflammation which means active disease -- but if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't know I was sick (well, except for the setons!). I can eat anything and have no GI problems. I'll let you know what my GI Dr says is next for me.

avor928
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/14/2008 7:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I usually get my shot of Humira in my thigh. I get a severe reaction at the site of the shot.  It gets swollen and red and covers most of my thigh.  It itches uncontrollabley and the area is very tight. It usually lasts a week. Its to the point that I don't want to take the shots anymore.  Has anyone else experienced this? 

Ides
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 6818
   Posted 7/14/2008 5:47 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to Healing Well, avor928! I'm sorry you are having such bad site reactions with the Humira. That is one of the side effects that is listed and other members here have complained about it.

Have you tried giving the injection in your abdomen? I found that the injections in my abdomen did not cause a reaction. Others bothered by the stinging of the injection say that the ones in the abdomen sting less too. It is possible that the abdomen has a larger fat layer and that helps the problem.


Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.
 


Sandi316
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/25/2010 12:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I am thinking of SUING the makers of Humira and my RA doctor! I took ONE Humira injections the first of June and still have a horrible, itchy rash on my chest and neck...it was all over my body, went away and came back on my chest and neck...it is so terrible...I am not taking MORE drugs to stop this itch, but if anyone has any NATURAL cure ideas, please let me know...I advise NO ONE to take Humira! My skin is also so dry, nothing moisturizes it...so terrible...thank you.

isergodur
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 820
   Posted 9/25/2010 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I got allergic reactions to Remicade and my doc wanted to wait for 8-12 weeks before I started Humira.
I started with 4 pens and now I get a little reaction to Humira but I just take allergic meds before injecting the Humira.
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