If you will be using this medicine for a long time, it is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if this medicine is working properly and to decide whether you should continue to use it. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
You or your child will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis before you start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis skin test.
Adalimumab can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, which may increase the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
- If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you or your child think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you or your child notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
- Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
- Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
- Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
- Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. Using abatacept (Orencia®) or anakinra (Kineret®) together with this medicine may increase your risk of having serious side effects.
This medicine may cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after this medicine is used. A small number of people (including children and teenagers) who have used this type of medicine have developed certain types of cancer (e.g., leukemia). Some patients also developed a rare type of cancer called lymphoma. Talk with your doctor if you or your child have unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, or groin, or unexplained weight loss. Also, check with your doctor right away if your skin has red, scaly patches, or raised bumps that are filled with pus.
Adalimumab may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash, itching, swelling of the face, throat, legs, or feet, troubled breathing, or chest pain after you receive the medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have more than one of these symptoms: shortness of breath, swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs, or sudden weight gain. These may be signs of a heart condition called congestive heart failure (CHF).
Some people who have used this medicine developed lupus-like symptoms during treatment and got better after the medicine was stopped. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child start having chest pains, shortness of breath, joint pain, or a rash on your cheeks or arms that is sensitive to the sun.
Do not have any live vaccines (immunizations) while you or your child are being treated with adalimumab. Your child's vaccines need to be current before he or she begins using adalimumab. Be sure to ask your child's doctor if you have any questions about this.
The needle cover of the prefilled syringe contains dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to latex. Tell your doctor if you or your child have a latex allergy before you start using this medicine.
Serious skin reactions can occur during treatment with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, chills, cough, diarrhea, fever, itching, joint or muscle pain, red skin lesions, sore throat, sores, ulcers, or white spots in your mouth or lips, or unusual tiredness or weakness.