Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Humira/Adalimumab » Humira... my trek (a diary)


 
10-15-2007, 07:48 PM   #1
katiesue1506
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Humira... my trek (a diary)

Hello all. I was propositioned with the opportunity to make a diary about the happy world of Humira. So I decided to... in case anyone is thinking about starting it.

First off, I will start with how it feels. The form in which I take Humira is in a pre-loaded pen. I just place it up against my skin and press the button on the top and the happiness is injected into me. You can do it on the tops of your legs or in the area around your belly button (2 inches away). The needle isn't bad at all, however, I'm not going to sugarcoat the feeling... it hurts! It is the medicine that stings beyond belief. The first dose, you typically have to take four shots, the second dose (two weeks later) usually you take two shots, and then after that its one shot every two weeks. I take mine on Thursdays.

Ok!

I've been on Humira for about 3 months now... and it was going well until about a month ago. It just seems like I start to decline in the days right before my next injection. Also, I've been getting a huge swollen, itchy, red, and hot lump in the area I inject it into and it won't go away for usually 3-4 days.

As far as how I'm doing personally... stools are formed and I go about 2 times a day. I have been feeling pretty run down lately, but I'm not sure if this is due to college or not. I got really lightheaded after my workout the other day. As I've been feeling pretty good lately, I've started a workout routine... also to lose some weight since this summer when I got better I pretty much ate all the food I could to make up for not being able to eat

My next injection is not this Thursday but next... so I guess I'll post further news then! I hope this diary is of some use to people who are either considering taking it or on it right now!
10-16-2007, 12:44 AM   #2
shoe_fanatic708
 
Humira does sting horribly . I was on it for a while about two years ago, it seriously felt like a semi truck was running over my arm. I did find that it helps if you ice down the area with an ice pack for about a half hour before the injection, it helps to numb the area and the medicine isnt as painful. :]
10-16-2007, 08:11 AM   #3
Kev
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Hey Katiesue. Great post. You may not realize it, but you've provided a lot of info there. Like, I wonder how many people, myself included, assumed humira meant a trip to a clinic or hospital, and treatment by IV infusion that took hours.
The fact that it's also available in a self injecting pen could make a world of difference to someone trying to decide between remicade, humira or metho...
And you haven't provided too much info... like, we all know there's a level of pain involved, but I think you said it best when you said "and the happiness is injected into me'. I couldn't think of a better way to sum up all the good and bad and provide a synopsis. I for one am looking forward to your next post.
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10-17-2007, 09:14 AM   #4
katiesue1506
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Well I hope it helps someone. I noticed my big welt from the injection disappeared yesterday... so it only takes 5 days... ha!
10-20-2007, 07:07 PM   #5
kpratte
 
katiesue1506 said:
Well I hope it helps someone. I noticed my big welt from the injection disappeared yesterday... so it only takes 5 days... ha!
That is definitely an "ouch", but good info none the less.

- Ken
10-21-2007, 02:23 AM   #6
soupdragon69
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This is a great thread Katiesue please keep it up!

My Gastro nurse told me when I was starting Remicade that they may swap me over down the line to Humira as it isnt available here yet for Crohn's patients...

Am really interested in hearing your thoughts on this. Thanks so much for sharing them!
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10-21-2007, 09:46 AM   #7
katiesue1506
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Hey guys... I just thought I'd let you know that i'm not allowed to take my next Humira dose because I've been put on Cipro for 2 weeks... due to an infection.... but I will definitely post my next dose.

Anyhow... for those who don't know... you can't take humira and antibiotics at the same time... kinda useless to anyways.
10-21-2007, 03:30 PM   #8
Kev
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Hmmm, is it a drug interaction thingy, or is it (my guess) that they don't want to put you on immuno suppressors while your body is trying to fight off what you are taking the cipro for? I'd figure the last thing theyd' want to do is lower your immunity while fighting an infection, and you must have an infection to be given the cipro... Just a WAG (wild assed guess) on my part though..
10-21-2007, 04:11 PM   #9
katiesue1506
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Well antibiotics are supposed to work in conjunction with your immune system... and if it is suppressed, then it's not going to do any good taking them.... kinda like trying to put out a raging house fire with a water gun. You know? And yes, they wanted me to have a temporarily strong immune system for the fight.

But yeah I received a nice little ear infection... apparently bad enough for antibiotics? The cipro is working quite well though.
11-08-2007, 11:50 AM   #10
mrsk
 
Katie,
I'm on Humira too and your posts are very helpful. I had a terrible flair and nothing would work almost 2 weeks after taking the humira everything was back to normal. I like it a lot but it is a quite a pain...literally :P I didn't know about the anti biotic thing though, it makes sense. Hope you are feeling better
11-12-2007, 07:50 PM   #11
katiesue1506
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So apparently I'm lagging in my updates... I had a shot this past Thursday... it went alright although I think I may have freaked myself out a bit. Or maybe it was the Humira, but after I took it I got really hot and flush. Then it felt like someone was sitting on my chest and I couldn't breathe. Like I said, it could have been purely psychological, but I dunno. Maybe it was due to the fact that I hadn't taken it in a while. However, the welt went away quicker this time... so thats a plus.

Although I do have some sad news... I had a bad poo today... first one in a REALLY long time. I'm hoping it was a fluke or something, but it was accompanied with stomach pains.

Keeping my fingers crossed. My next update should be on Thanksgiving actually (next thursday) but it will prolly be a little after that.
11-13-2007, 04:57 AM   #12
saidinstouch
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Katie do you rotate the shots between both legs and both sides of your abdomen? I was told that ideally you should wait 2-3 injections between using the same area again, though moving at least 1 inch apart is the minimum. It sounds like you might be having injection site reactions caused by using a site too often or something along those lines. If you don't rotate around then that might be causing the welts. You might try calling the myHumira people and see what they say about your flushing and the welt, they've been really helpful for me. You could also ask your doctor about taking a benadryl or something to help with the welts and flushing if it continues.
11-13-2007, 04:24 PM   #13
katiesue1506
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Well I switch legs... but I'm too big of a baby to try my tummy yet... I mean... the TUMMY... its sensitive...

However I am running out of room on my legs....
11-13-2007, 10:31 PM   #14
Rosemarie
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Hello Katie! I've been taking the (loaded pen) Humira shots for a few months as well... I just want to say, dont be afraid to try the belly area. I started off sticking them in my thighs, but I found that the lower belly dosent hurt as much as the upper thighs. MY thighs are kinda bony though (haha =) so that MIGHT have a little to do with it.... If you do decide to give it a try, remember to SIT DOWN, so your stomach is relaxed and the skin isnt stretched across your stomach. (helps alot... took me a few shots to figure that out!)Afterwards just sit there for a minute cause if you stand up right away it will pull the muscle tight and make it hurt more. So anyway... just wanted to give you a little advice on the tummy area. Hope you are well =)
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11-14-2007, 10:32 AM   #15
TammySue62
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Hi Katie
I cant take Remicade no more so they are gonna put me on Humria.
The only bad decission abouy this is once you stop taking Remicade and try the clinicle study on Humria your beat for Remicade cant go back.
I am just waiting for the paper work to go through.

TTYL TAMMY
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11-14-2007, 12:15 PM   #16
Kev
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I knew a young lady years ago who was an aspiring model, specializing in swim suits. She was also diabetic, took insulin shots multiple times a day. Apparently it's prone to visibly breakdown the skin tone and muscle in the injection sites, so she opted to self inject in areas covered by even the skimpiest swim suits. It never ceased to amaze me the self fortitude it must have taken to do that. I won't, for the sake of the really squeamish or the prudent, divulge the exact locations she choose, but suffice it to say she was fortunate to be blessed the way she was, as the marks never showed.
11-19-2007, 06:39 PM   #17
kellyc
 
My son is 13 and about to begin injections monday, your info was great, i hope this works for him, if not he's looking at surgery. are you seeing results?
11-19-2007, 06:58 PM   #18
lamor32twigs
 
Just wanted to let you know that the humira shots in the tummy aren't too bad. I have been on it for 11 months now and have started using my abdomen finally.

It still stings like heck sometimes, but it is really no worse, and almost better than my thighs. Try it!

Good luck!
11-19-2007, 07:06 PM   #19
Kev
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As for the stinging, anyone tried numbing the location first with baby orajel or anbesol? Applied 15 - 20 minutes before injecting, it might alleviate/mitigate the stinging sensation. As these are used for infants, orally, as a very mild, safe anesthetic, it probably wouldn't pose a problem for adults. But that is strictly a S.W.A.G.! (Stupid, wild assed guess). If you try it, try it at your own risk.
11-19-2007, 10:35 PM   #20
katiesue1506
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Well I do make sure that I ice the area VERY THOROUGHLY before I go shooting myself up... still hurts... maybe a topical anesthetic would be beneficial? Kev... you make a lot of SWAGs and WAGs... but I think they are very educated.
11-20-2007, 02:19 AM   #21
Jvstin
 
I should be starting Humira soon, and now you've made me all nervous. I've heard a lot of stories about the stinging, but I seem to get infections from everything so I'm afraid I may end up in the same boat as you. thanks for posting a diary about this though, I among others I'm sure really appreciate it.
11-26-2007, 09:31 AM   #22
katiesue1506
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Alright! My last injection... which was on Thanksgiving went ok. I had a big itchy welt... but whats new? I think it went away on Saturday or Sunday. I also had a flash headache right afterwords and the feelings of quick hotness. So I went and stood outside for a minute to cool down. Other than that, it was alright. I'm beginning to wonder if I need to ramp up my dose to once a week... I'm starting to get to the point where I KNOW when I need my shot. Mild pain... occasional bad poos (Big D) and just the dull achy feeling in my LRQ... for some reason I've also had a shift in pain to my LLQ... so I dunno if its just further into my intestines or what. The pain only comes once or twice a day, so its completely managable, and its not horrible pain... just dull and slight.


Jvstin-- yeah the sting it pretty bad, I'm not going to lie, but its a cheap price to pay for a painfree 2 weeks. I always use ice to numb the area... still stings like hell, but I dunno... guess it comforts me somehow? Just when you do start Humira and do inject yourself, don't tense up or hold your breath... you'll pass out. You have gotta be completely relaxed. It really isn't that bad though... you seem tough enough to handle it.


oh... and OT but, my puppy has an ear infection... I feel so bad for her
11-26-2007, 09:41 AM   #23
Kev
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well thanks, Katiesue.. but you know what they say.. a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You say that this is your last injection? As in final, or latest?
Just wanted to clarify that point... BTW, this is a great diary, thanks a lot, OK
11-26-2007, 09:43 AM   #24
katiesue1506
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My LATEST injection... lol sorry about that one!
11-26-2007, 03:50 PM   #25
lamor32twigs
 
Just wanted to let you know that as of last week I switched over to weekly humira because of fistula issues and will let you know how it goes.
My GI says that the studies for Crohns patients do not show much improvement between weekly or every other, but for arthritis there is a benefit between the two.

I'm willing to try to get the fistula closed and forego surgery right now.
12-01-2007, 12:39 AM   #26
milesrlv
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Hello, Katie my doctor is talking about starting me on Humira because nothing up till now has helped. The injection pen sounds the same as or at least similar to one that I was taking for blood thinners (Lovenox) which is administered in the abdomen specifically in this case. The first time I stuck myself in the belly I was in total dread just before sticking myself but it quickly became routine. The swapping up on injection sites deal is a must with this stuff because it has a tendency to leave massive bruises. Fortunately for me I have now stopped the blood thinner injections. I suspect the stinging from the Humira might be worse than what I felt with regard to the blood thinner injections. I am hopeful that the Humira will help me. Good luck to you.
12-06-2007, 04:06 PM   #27
katiesue1506
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Ok guys... I did it. Today... in my belly... and the verdict is... I don't think I'll EVER do it again. I had to have my boyfriend pinch the other side of my belly while I injected myself. Really... it hurt a lot. And now the red itchy welt is on my stomach so I look like a hillbilly when I scratch it... I did notice that it bled a lot more than my legs do.

It was kinda funny though, because I told Bruce to pinch me... and he did (before I even had the needle out) and I yelled at him and then he pinched me too hard... and then too light... so it took forever to find the right amount of pressure before I actually injected myself. It was a comical situation... all the while our dog watching and rolling her eyes.

Anywho... I've gotten it over with for another two weeks WOOO!
12-06-2007, 04:08 PM   #28
katiesue1506
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Although... now that I look back on it... I didn't take any advice from you guys who've tried it in the tummy... I was standing and I did it exactly two inches to the left of my belly button... maybe lower tummy doesn't hurt as bad?
12-06-2007, 07:31 PM   #29
flying4frogs
 
Hey katie...I am also on humera (6 months). I also get a reaction to the injection. My Doc has me taking a antihistemine 30 minutes before the injection. This keeps the ichy at bay.... Good Luck
12-06-2007, 07:59 PM   #30
katiesue1506
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Hmm... maybe I'll pop a Benedryl a little bit before I give myself the shot next time... I mean they have you take one before Remicade... why not Humira? Thanks for the suggestion flying4frogs... I will try to actually remember this bit of advice... because the welts are about 2 inches in diameter, itchy, and feel like a bruise when you touch them.
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