Using Humira for Crohn’s Disease

Using humira for crohn's diseaseUsing Humira for Crohn’s disease is something I’ve been hearing more about.  I lost my colon in 1981 because of this disease and can still remember the horrific symptoms of it.

Humira has been on the market for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis for several years.  It can also be used for the treatment of other autoimmune diseases like juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, chronic plaque psoriasis , and Crohn’s Disease.  An autoimmune disease is one where a person’s immune system attacks the healthy parts of the body and creates pain, inflammation, and damage.

Humira is given by injection, the first of which would be done in your doctor’s office. After that you can do your own and an injection can be done on the front of the thighs or abdomen.  If you use your abdomen be sure to stay at least 2 inches away from the naval.  The injections come in prefilled syringes so you don’t have to worry about drawing any medication and making a mistake in the dosage.

If you are using Humira for Crohn’s disease your doctor might tell you to use is more than once a week to start with.

You could go into remission by using Humira for Crohn’s disease.  Two separate studies have shown that many have gone into remission in just four weeks by using Humira. It has also shown to reduce symptoms in many of those who don’t go into remission and has been successful in patients who aren’t responding to the conventional methods of Crohn’s treatmens.   It is suggested that if you don’t see results in 12 weeks you should go back to your doctor for assistance.

There are some very serious side effects with Humira and if you experience any of them you need to contact your doctor immediately.

  • Serious infections including TB, fungus, and bacteria. TB symptoms are cough, weight loss, loss of fat and muscle, and fever
  • Heart Failure .  Shortness of breath, sudden weight gain, water retention.
  • Liver problems like jaundice, poor appetite, vomiting, extreme exhaustion, and pain on the right side of your stomach.
  • Allergic reactions like hives, swelling of the mouth, eyes, lips or face, and trouble breathing.
  • Hepatitis B in people that carry the virus.  Symptoms can be clay-colored bowel movement, rash, lack of appetite, jaundice, vomiting, dark urine, being really tired, chills, fever, and stomach discomfort.
  • Numbness, tingling, dizziness, vision problems, and weakness in the arms or legs.
  • Being pale, bruising easily, bleeding easily and a fever that won’t go away.
  • New or worse psoriasis.  Pussy, red, scaly bumps on the skin.
  • Immune reactions similar to lupus.  Rash on your arms or cheeks that gets worse in the sun, pain that won’t go away, shortness or breath, and joint pain.

As with any injection, you could experience a little redness, itchiness and soreness at the injection site.  This is nothing to worry about.

You might want to consider using Humira for Crohn’s disease if you haven’t responded or have stopped responding to the more conventional treatments.  Here is a link to a discussion board on Humira on a Crohn’s Disease Support Group web site.  You can talk with people who have used or about to use Humira and share thoughts with them about this drug.

Like I said earlier,  I remember well the symptoms of this disease; the cramps, fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, no appetite or not being able to eat because food either came back up or went straight through, needing to know where every bathroom is, creating your own bathrooms along the road, taking changes of clothing along (just in case). It’s been many years ago now and I’ve watched the advances in treatment.  I wouldn’t wish this disease on my worst enemy but also feel that those of you going through it now are much better off than we were in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.  So, hang in there, know you are in my prayers, and be grateful for the treatments you have now.

When I was dealing with this the most effective treatment was lomotil for diarrhea, prednisone for pain, and diet, or lack there of, depending on what you could tolerate.  Before I had my colon removed I was eating mashed potatoes and baby food – period.  It was almost a year after surgery before I could get mashed potatoes to taste good again 🙂

Using Humira for Crohns Disease

 

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