Just started Humira, several questions?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 12/7/2007 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
My GI just prescribed Humira, off-label, for my Ulcerative Colitis since I had a severe reaction to during my second Remicade infusion.  I am sensitive to all the 5-ASAs drugs, increased Diarrhea, bleeding, more frequent BMs, etc.  I have been slowly tapering prednisone with a few bumps along the way, down from 60mg/day in August to 20mg now.  The plan is to taper down by 2.5mg every two weeks after my second dose of Humira.  I had the initial loading dose (4 injections on 5 December) and will have the second dose (2 injections) on the 19th.  Then a single dose every other week.

My current symptoms are 1-3 BMs per day, mostly soft and formed with the occasional (1-2 per week) loose stool.  I tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for one month, but did not see significant changes except I lost 8 pounds.  I stopped SCD on Thanksgiving and am trying to gain back the lost weight.  (I am 5'9", 144 lbs).  During my first flare in June 2007, I lost 40 lbs, left the hospital after 28 days at about 130 lbs.  I had been hovering between 152-155 since leaving.  My goal is to get to 160, but I'll be happy with minimum UC symptoms and no weight gain.   

I have several questions on Humira.  Are using it for UC or Chrohns?  What side effects did you have?  Did you see an increase in gas?  How long before you saw any positive effects?  Do you use the pre-filled syringes or the injector pen?  I used the syringes which were not too bad, slight burning for a few seconds after injecting.    

UC since April 2006; first flare May 2007, hospitalized 28 days.

Remicade infusion brought symptoms under control, but caught MRSA infection from PICC line.

2nd Remicade at 14 weeks, severe reaction, no more Remicade

currently tapering prednisone (20mg/day down from 60), will taper 2.5mg after second Humira injection, crossing fingers that Humira will help me get off the prednisone

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 12/7/2007 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome. I have been using Humira syringe injections for about 2 months now for my CD...I was also unsuccessful and had a bad reaction to Remicade about a year ago. Side effects I have noticed with Humira are an increase in gas, I belch a lot more than I ever have before...haha. I also had a lot of all-over itching a few days after my initial injections but it only lasted a day, I took Benadryl which helped. You are lucky you only feel a slight burning with the pre-filled syringes, mine burns something fierce thru the injection, goes away within seconds though, thank goodness. I haven't noticed any other side effects from the Humira but I do have my doubts that it's working...won't know for 100% until I am completely off of the Entocort, which will be in about another week, I have been tapering off of it slowly since I started taking the Humira...problem is that the less Entocort I take the worse I feel, even though my Humira dosing is right on target, makes me really think that Humira without the steroids won't help me much at all.
Anyway, don't know if my response helped you much but I do wish you the best of luck and hope it works for you and you get some relief. Have a great weekend!
Marci, 38 years old, Rockledge, FL
Dx with Crohn's disease March 2006, currently on bi-weekly Humira, daily 6mg Entocort, daily 2-3x 5mg hydrocodone (for pain), and daily 75mg Effexor, plus 3x per day heavy iron supplements for anemia

Aimee =)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 12/7/2007 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I take Humira for Crohns.

Absolutely no side effects noticed, and I'm always gassy so nothing new there.

I hadn't eaten a solid meal in 3 months before trying Humira as a last ditch effort before surgery (it hadn't been approved for Crohns quite yet then) and I noticed within a week that I wasn't having as much pain. So I slowly started adding in solid foods. Within 2 weeks, I was eating a fairly normal diet again.

I only use syringes - no way will I do that pen. It sometimes stings really badly, and sometimes doesn't at all. Weird how that happens. Letting teh syringe come to room temp beforehand helps a lot.

I hope it works quickly for you!
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