Calms down your immune system. Humira (Adalimumab) is very effective at calming down your immune system, but it's expensive, you have to take into account the hassle of injections and traveling with the medication.
Reduces inflammation. Cimzia (Certolizumab) is an effective medicine to calm down your immune system, but it can be expensive and it requires a lot of monitoring while you're taking it.
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Humira (Adalimumab) is a biologic response modifier. It works in the immune system to block a protein called TNF (tumor necrosis factor). Blocking TNF relieves symptoms and prevents disease progression.
Cimzia (Certolizumab) is a monoclonal antibody. It lowers inflammation in the body by blocking a protein called TNF (tumor necrosis factor).
› Treats certain types of arthritis and gastrointestinal conditions caused by an overactive immune system.
› Most people feel it's worth the hassle.
› Once you've learned the correct way to use Humira, you can inject the medicine yourself without going to your doctor's office.
› It's available in a single-use pen (Humira Pen) that may be more convenient and easier for some people to use.
› It's an alternative for people with Crohn's disease who stopped getting better on other TNF-blockers or had side effects that made them switch.
› In studies, people with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) taking methotrexate had improved symptoms when Cimzia (Certolizumab) was added to methotrexate.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) is as effective as other similar medicines for Crohn's disease. It can be an option for people taking other RA medications that have too many side effects of don't work anymore.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) lasts longer in the body than other RA medications, letting it work longer.
› Available in a prefilled syringe. This can make it easier to give yourself the injection.
Downsides and risks
› It's an injection.
› It's expensive because there's no generic available yet.
› Humira lowers your ability to fight infection and can cause serious life-threatening illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, have an active infection, diabetes, or had tuberculosis (TB) in the past.
› You're first dose of Humira will need to be given at your doctor's office. If you decide not to self-inject and don't have someone to do it for you, you'll need to continue to see your doctor for each dose.
› You'll need to properly dispose of the needle, syringes, or Pen in a special (FDA-approved) sharps container.
› Because it needs to be refrigerated until you use it, if you're traveling, you'll need to carry it in a cooler with an ice pack.
› Can lower your immune system's ability to fight infections. You can get serious infections such as TB (tuberculosis) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria.
› Can have a higher risk for causing bladder infections, rash, and upper respiratory infections (cold or flu) compared to other similar medicines.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) can increase the risk of lymphoma, leukemia, and other cancers.
› Requires routine tests to check for infections.
› Not a good choice if you have a history of heart failure, nervous system problems, or hepatitis B.
› There's no generic available and it can be very expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
› Humira (Adalimumab) is a medication that's injected under the skin (subcutaneous). Your doctor can give you your first dose, then let you self-inject it once so you learn how to do it correctly.
› Humira (Adalimumab) lowers the your immune system's ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you come down with a fever, cough, or notice flu-like symptoms.
› You'll need to have a TB test before you start using Humira (Adalimumab).
› Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to latex since the syringe needle cover has latex in it.
› Don't inject Humira (Adalimumab) into skin that's red, bruised, or irritated. Rotate your injection areas to avoid skin reactions.
› As with all injection medicines, store away from children and throw used syringes away in a protective container, and not in the trash.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) is a medicine that's injected just under the skin (subcutaneous). It can be given in your doctor's office or you can do it yourself at home.
› It can take multiple doses before you start to see any effects, so don't change your dose without talking to your doctor.
› Tell your doctor if you have night sweats, persistent fever, fatigue, weight loss, or swollen lymph nodes.
› You'll need to have a TB (tuberculosis) test before you start Cimzia (Certolizumab) and periodically during treatment.
› Don't get any live vaccines while you're taking Cimzia (Certolizumab) since they may not work as well. Wait at least 3 months after you've stopped taking Cimzia (Certolizumab) before getting a live vaccine.