Humira Reaction - PLEASE HELP!

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 3/19/2009 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
So, I started Humira on March 10th (Tuesday). I *thought* I was noticing an improvement already (less pain pills, a tad less pain, etc).

Well, last night after a normal day at around 6:30pm, I started shaking uncontrollably. I had 2 blankets and a heating pad just trying to get warm. My lower back was killing me and every joint and muscle in my body felt very heavy and painful. To sit upright, it took everything in me. By around 8:30-9pm, my husband had called my mom and she had come over after looking up possible drug reactions from Humira. I honestly glanced at them and then ignored them because I didn't want to get wrapped up in them. Well, wouldn't you know it states if you are having flu-like symptoms to call your doc asap. So, we did. Go the fellow GI on call and he told me to go to the ER.

The ER found that I was severely dehydrated (which surprised me), and had a VERY slight urinary tract infection (again, huge surprise!). They gave me a dose of Dilaudid (2mg), a dose of phenergan (25mg), and Pepsid? I had severe joint/muscle pain alongside a VERY high fever (between 101 & 103), nausea, abdominal pain. They discharged me with Loratabs, but at the 10mg/500 dose instead and phenergan.

I'm still having TONS of joint/muscle pain. The fever seems to have broken, but I'm still very weak and out of sorts.

I was actually thinking Humira was the drug for me..but I guess not. Has anyone else had a similar reaction? I have to call the GI in the morning.. we didn't get back from the ER until somewhere between 4-5am and so I went straight to sleep and didn't have a chance to call the GI..

Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Failed Remicade, moving onto a Clinical Trial called ABT-874 - Tentative start date - 10/2/08 - 10/16/08  - Infusion, every 4 weeks.
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 13 months old

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 3/19/2009 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
So sorry to hear about your awful experience!!  Wow, I'm wondering if you may have had a hypersensitivity reaction to the Humira!  Did you have any type of rash with it?

54 year old female;
Have had Crohn's of terminal ileum for over 9 yrs, but finally accepted diagnosis when it was confirmed Feb. 2008.
Allergic/hypersensitivity to Pentasa, Entocort, and 6-MP.  Recently started Humira in December.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1343
   Posted 3/19/2009 10:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Could it be something else besides the Humira? It's odd that it happened so late. I thought that Humira only stayed in your system for 10 days (which is why some people start feeling worse a few days prior to the next shot).

about 1 to 1 and 1/2 months after I started Humira, I did end up in the hospital. If I recall, I also had severe joint pain. I remember it was really hot, but I couldn't tolerate the air from the fan blowing over my body (it actually hurt). My parents took me to the ER, where I had nausea and vomiting. My skin was extremely sensitive to touch. My white blood count came back high. They admitted me and did a cat scan and small bowel series, which showed my small bowel was very inflamed. They sent me home with antibiotics after a few days, with instructions to take my Humira as scheduled that weekend. It wasn't much longer after that, maybe a couple weeks, when I started to feel better. I haven't had much in the way of crohn's pain since then, mostly just fatigue.

The only reactions I've had are injection site reaction, and the last few times I've gotten very anxious, almost close to a panic attack. That could be all mental though, because I'm always afraid of getting the shot (I fear a bad reaction like I had with remicade).

I hope you and your doctors figure out what happened, and that Humira isn't the culprit!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7122
   Posted 3/20/2009 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Kaycie, I had very similar symptoms to yours when I had a severe reaction to Humira. However, my reaction came on the third day after my injection. I had a fever, 101, joint pain so severe I could only walk with assistance, and felt very flu-like. At the time my GI thought I was having a serum sickness reaction to the Humira and so he started me on prednisone. It took two days before the symptoms got down to the "dull roar" phase. My rheumy later discovered that I had an extreme lupus flare to the Humira. It would be really great if your doctor would order blood tests to determine if this could be a lupus reaction - ANA, anti-dsDNA antibodies, and anti-Smith antibodies tests.

You really need to get in touch with your GI. It is possible that you might need medication besides pain meds to deal with this if it is a Humira reaction. I hope this resolves soon.
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.

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