Compare Humira vs. Stelara

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Humira
(adalimumab)

Stelara
(ustekinumab)

Calms down the immune system. Humira (adalimumab) is good for treating many autoimmune conditions, but it can also cause serious side effects.Treats moderate to severe psoriasis. Stelara (Ustekinumab) works for two psoriatic conditions. It may be somewhat of a hassle because of the injection, but after the first two doses, you only need to take it every 12 weeks.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.94Humira
Reviews for Humira
60%
of people (All ages) say Humira is worth it
51%
say it works well
26%
say it's a big hassle
182 reviews
Have you used Humira (adalimumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Stelara
48%
+12% better vs. Humira
42%
+9% better vs. Humira
20%
-6% worse vs. Humira
Have you used Stelara (ustekinumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
HumiraStelara
  • Upper airway infection 4%
  • Rash 6%
  • Headache 4%
  • Sinus infection 2%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Injection site reactions 7%
  • Urinary tract infection 3%
  • Flu syndrome 1%
  • Stomach pain 3%
  • High cholesterol 2%
More Humira side effects »
  • Headache 2%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Itching 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Throat pain 1%
  • Injection site erythema 2%
More Stelara side effects »
How it works
HumiraStelara
Humira (adalimumab) is a TNF blocker which stops inflammation.Stelara (Ustekinumab) is a biologic response modifier, or biologic. It blocks two immune system proteins called IL-12 and IL-23. This slows down new skin cell formation, and lowers inflammation for people with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
Type of medication
HumiraStelara
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
HumiraStelara
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for
HumiraStelara
Risk factors for serious side effects
HumiraStelara
  • Taking other immunosuppressant medications such as Kineret or Orencia
  • Age 65 or older
  • Active, chronic, or recurrent infection
  • Comorbidities
  • Taking other immunosuppressant medications, such as azathiprine or 6-mercaptopurine, at the same time as Humira (adalimumab)
Detailed Humira (adalimumab) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
  • Age 60 or older
  • Weak immune system
  • Long-term use of drugs that suppress the immune system
Detailed Stelara (ustekinumab) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Interactions
HumiraStelara
No interactions related info.
  • There are certain medicines that interact with Stelara (Ustekinumab) or will need the dose adjusted, especially if they are "narrow" therapy medicines like warfarin,
Upsides and benefits
HumiraStelara
  • Humira (adalimumab) is effective in reducing symptoms in all of its approved indications.
  • You can give yourself Humira (adalimumab) on your own at home rather than visiting a clinic or hospital.
  • Humira (adalimumab) treats many different autoimmune conditions.
  • Available in a single-use pen (Humira Pen) that may be more convenient and easier for some people to use.
  • Stelara (Ustekinumab) works throughout your whole body (systemic therapy) and may be better than just applying medicine to your skin (local therapy) for moderate or severe plaque psoriasis that covers large areas or many areas of your body.
  • It's used alone or together with another medicine called methotrexate for better results to treat active psoriatic arthritis.
  • Initial dosing might be a hassle, but then you only have to take it every 12 weeks.
  • People treated with Stelara (Ustekinumab) for psoriatic arthritis felt better and had more physical improvement compared to not using the medicine (placebo).
Downsides and risks
HumiraStelara
  • Not first-choice treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Humira (adalimumab) is an injection and not an oral medication.
  • Humira (adalimumab) is expensive because there's no generic available yet.
  • Humira (adalimumab) lowers your ability to fight infection and in some cases 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'll need to properly dispose of the needle, syringes, or Pen in a sharps container.
  • Humira (adalimumab) needs to be refrigerated until you use it, so if you're traveling, you'll need to carry it in a cooler with an ice pack.
  • It's an injection.
  • Stelara (Ustekinumab) 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 have to get your first dose of Stelara (Ustekinumab) 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 and syringes in a special (FDA-approved) sharps container.
  • Because Stelara (Ustekinumab) 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
HumiraStelara
  • Humira (adalimumab) is a medication that's injected under the skin. Your doctor can give you your first dose, then you can inject yourself at home once you feel comfortable doing so on your own.
  • Humira (adalimumab) lowers your ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you have a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to latex since the syringe needle cover has latex in it.
  • Each time you use Humira (adalimumab), it's important to rotate the sites you chose to inject it in. Don't inject Humira (adalimumab) into skin that's red, bruised, or irritated.
  • As with all injection medicines, store securely away from children and throw away used syringes in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container, and not in the trash.
  • Stelara (Ustekinumab) is an immunosuppressant medication that's injected under the skin (subcutaneous).
  • Your doctor will give your first dose then let you self-inject once you learn how to do it correctly.
  • It's very important you read the Medication Guide especially if you're giving yourself injections.
  • Usual dosing to build up the medicine in your body is a starting dose, then 4 weeks, then 12 weeks. Maintenance dosing is every 12 weeks.
  • You'll need to have a TB test before you start injecting Stelara (Ustekinumab).
  • Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to latex. The prefilled syringe needle cover contains a latex product.
  • Don't use/inject if the medicine contains any particles or is discolored.
  • Rotate your injection areas using front of the thigh, outer area of upper arms or lower part of your belly (not around belly button). Don't inject into skin that's red, bruised or irritated.
  • Stelara (Ustekinumab) can increase your risk of common infections, reactivate infections hidden in your body, and in some people, cause rare infections.
  • Serious and life-threatening nervous system and allergic reactions can happen immediately, days or months after starting Stelara (Ustekinumab). Stelara (Ustekinumab) can increase your risk of certain skin cancer.
  • Dispose of used syringes in a protective (Sharps) container. DON'T throw in the trash.
  • Don't get any live vaccines while you're taking Stelara (Ustekinumab). If you need to get a vaccine, ask your doctor first.
Learn more
More about HumiraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Humira (adalimumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about StelaraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Stelara (ustekinumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it