Adalimumab Injection

Uses of Adalimumab Injection

Adalimumab injection is used alone or with other medications to relieve the symptoms of certain autoimmune disorders (conditions in which the immune system attacks healthy parts of the body and causes pain, swelling, and damage) including the following:

  • rheumatoid arthritis (a condition in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) in adults,
  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA; a condition that affects children in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, loss of function, and delays in growth and development) in children 2 years of age and older,
  • Crohn’s disease (a condition in which the body attacks the lining of the digestive tract, causing pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fever) that has not improved when treated with other medications in adults and children 6 years of age and older,
  • ulcerative colitis (a condition which causes swelling and sores in the lining of the colon [large intestine] and rectum) when other medications and treatments did not help or could not be tolerated in adults,
  • ankylosing spondylitis (a condition in which the body attacks the joints of the spine and other areas causing pain and joint damage) in adults,
  • psoriatic arthritis (a condition that causes joint pain and swelling and scales on the skin) in adults,
  • hidradenitis suppurativa (a skin disease that causes pimple-like bumps in the armpits, groin, and anal area) in adults and children 12 years of age and older,
  • uveitis (swelling and inflammation of different areas of the eye) in adults and children 2 years of age and older,
  • chronic plaque psoriasis (a skin disease in which red, scaly patches form on some areas of the body) in adults.

Adalimumab injection is in a class of medications called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of TNF, a substance in the body that causes inflammation.

Side Effects of Adalimumab Injection

Adalimumab injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • redness, itching, bruising, pain, or swelling in the place you injected adalimumab injection
  • nausea
  • headache
  • back pain

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency care:

  • numbness or tingling
  • problems with vision
  • weakness in legs
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • rash, especially a rash on the cheeks or arms that is sensitive to sunlight
  • new joint pain
  • hives
  • itching
  • swelling of the face, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • fever, sore throat, chills, and other signs of infection
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • pale skin
  • dizziness
  • red, scaly patches or pus-filled bumps on the skin
  • Adults who receive adalimumab injection may be more likely to develop skin cancer, lymphoma, and other types of cancer than people who do not receive adalimumab injection. Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving this medication.

Adalimumab injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

Warnings & Precautions

Before using adalimumab injection:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to adalimumab injection, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in adalimumab injection. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients. If you will be using the prefilled syringe, also tell your doctor if you or the person who will be helping you inject adalimumab injection are allergic to latex or rubber.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and any of the following: cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo 24, Theochron), or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • in addition to the conditions mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had numbness or tingling in any part of your body, any disease that affects your nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis (a disease in which the nerves do not function properly causing weakness, numbness, loss of muscle coordination and problems with vision, speech, and bladder control), Guillain-Barré syndrome (weakness, tingling, and possible paralysis due to sudden nerve damage), or optic neuritis (inflammation of the nerve that sends messages from the eye to the brain); any type of cancer, diabetes, heart failure, or heart disease. If you have psoriasis, tell your doctor if you have been treated with light therapy.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding If you become pregnant while using adalimumab injection, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using adalimumab injection.
  • do not have any vaccinations without talking to your doctor. If your child will be receiving adalimumab injection, be sure that your child has received all the shots that are required for children of his or her age before he or she begins treatment with adalimumab injection.


Adalimumab injection comes as a solution (liquid) to inject subcutaneously (under the skin). Your doctor will tell you how often to use adalimumab based on your condition and age. To help you remember to inject adalimumab injection, mark the days you are scheduled to inject it on your calendar. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use adalimumab injection exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

You will receive your first dose of adalimumab injection in your doctor’s office. After that, you can inject adalimumab injection yourself or have a friend or relative perform the injections. Before you use adalimumab injection yourself the first time, read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you or the person who will be injecting the medication how to inject it.

Adalimumab injection comes in prefilled syringes and dosing pens. Use each syringe or pen only once and inject all the solution in the syringe or pen. Even if there is still some solution left in the syringe or pen after you inject, do not inject again. Dispose of used syringes and pens in a puncture-resistant container. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to dispose of the puncture-resistant container.

If you are using a prefilled syringe or a dosing pen that has been refrigerated, place the syringe or pen on a flat surface without removing the needle cap and allow it warm to room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before you are ready to inject the medication. Do not try to warm the medication by heating it in a microwave, placing it in hot water, or through any other method.

Be careful not to drop or crush the prefilled syringes or dosing pens. These devices are made of glass or contain glass and may break if they are dropped.

You can inject adalimumab injection anywhere on the front of your thighs or stomach except your navel and the area 2 inches (5 centimeters) around it. To reduce the chances of soreness or redness, use a different site for each injection. Give each injection at least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) away from a spot that you have already used. Keep a list of the places where you have given injections so that you will not inject in these places again. Do not inject into an area where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard or where you have scars or stretch marks.

Always look at adalimumab injection solution before injecting it. Check that the expiration date has not passed, that the syringe or dosing pen contains the correct amount of liquid, and that the liquid is clear and colorless. Do not use a syringe or dosing pen if it is expired, if it does not contain the correct amount of liquid, or if the liquid is cloudy or contains flakes.
Adalimumab injection may help control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to use adalimumab injection even if you feel well. Do not stop using adalimumab injection without talking to your doctor.


Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests before, during, and after your treatment to check your body’s response to adalimumab.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.