Diagnosed with Lupas yesterday. Caused by drugs?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 1/10/2009 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi I have Crohns disease.
I was taking Humira from September 08 to November 08 about 10 weeks. I was taken off Humira by my doc due to weird side effects, Rash on face, numbness and tingleing of face etc. I was told this was drug induced lupas and that the symptoms would go away when I was take off of the med. The symptoms went away after a week  or two after beweing taken off the med, this was the end of november.
Fast forward to mid december I started having severe joint pain accompanied with exaustion and arm swelling. After weeks of testing and agony I was diagnosed with lupas this week.
Did the drug Humira cause Lupas, and if so why did the lupas not go away after discontinuing the medication?
30yo male
Currently on LDN for Crohn's with good results
63cm resection in '08, exausted all meds except pred :)
Avascular necrosis of both hips, Degenerative Disk disease with 5 herniated disk, Asthma, etc etc....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 1/10/2009 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
redspot, I'm sorry to hear about what happened as a result of taking Humira and that your symptoms came beack even off of the med. I don't know much at all about drug induced lupus, but it looks like Kaser was able to give you some good information.

I see that you are on LDN. I've been reading some about it because I have also heard of people taking it for lupus. One member here had some really positive results using it.

Hopefully your rheumatologist can answer some more of your questions about your lupus and whether or not the symptoms might go away if it was drug induced.

Please let us know if you have other questions. I imagine this is a bit overwhelming on top of dealing with CD.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; UC 2008; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Doxepin 25-50mg; Prevacid; Evoxac; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Artificial tears



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Co-Moderator: Lupus and CFS Forums

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7160
   Posted 1/11/2009 7:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Redspot, your story is very similar to mine. I had been on remicade for some time, and developed odd symptoms that led my rheumy to test for lupus. I did have a positive anti-dsDNA titer but the titer was low. The symptoms resolved on their own and my rheumy and GI consulted and determined that the positive antibody titer was just like those that 35% of everyone taking Remicade developed during trials and was not cause for concern. I stayed on Remicade for another 1.5 years. Finally had to stop it because I felt worse after the infusions than before. I started Humira 8 weeks after my last Remicade infusion.

I started having a fever for 1-2 days after every Humira injection. Otherwise I felt fine though did not get the over-all improvement I used to see from Remicade. Two and a half months after starting humira, I took my next scheduled injection. I awoke the next day in excruciating pain, with a fever and joint and muscle aches. GI thought this was serum sickness. When at the ER I asked about a lupus flare but the ER docs were skeptical so did not draw any of the tests to check that.

So naturally stopped the Humira. That was December 2007. In February of 2008 I started having daily low grade fevers, extreme fatigue, and more joint pain than normal with my other diseases. My doctor thought is was likely a flare of the Ankylosing Spondylitis. Went on a short stint of prednisone which worked and I stayed good for 6 weeks. Then all the symtpoms came back plus the joints on my hands became very inflamed and swollen. I developed killer mouth sores and my hair started to fall out. More blood tests. And I got the word in June of 2008 that I had full blown Lupus.

All the information from clinical trials suggests that drug induced lupus will resolve in 4-6 weeks from the last dose. There were a few cases that took 4 months to resolve and the patient to no longer have lupus antibodies or symptoms. It has been OVER ONE YEAR for me so the doctors are not giving me much hope that this will clear. I had tests for lupus PRIOR to starting Remicade treatments because the rheumy was ruling out the possible causes of my joint pain. At that time I had a negative ANA and the other antibodies were negative.

My GI says the Remicade is the culprit. My rheumy will not say definitively that either the Remicade or Humira caused my Lupus.

If you want to talk to me more about all this, feel free to. Dunny from the CD forum also developed lupus from Humira [or was it Remicade].
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.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 1/12/2009 11:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Humira can cause a drug induced lupus but it will go away when humira is stopped.  Due to the complexity of auto immune diseases it is difficult to say that anything causes them.  Current thinking is that patients are born with a set of genes that predisposes their immune systems to disruption and something misdirects the immune response.  Sometimes that trigger could be a drug.  A drug induced AI disease should reverse itself in time.
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