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Adalimumab Injection

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IMPORTANT WARNING
Using adalimumab injection may decrease your ability to fight infection and increase the chance that you will develop a serious infection, including severe fungal, bacterial, and viral infection that may spread through the body. These infections may need to be treated in a hospital and may cause death. Tell your doctor if you often get any type of infection or if you have or think you may have any type of infection now. This includes minor infections (such as open cuts or sores), infections that come and go (such as cold sores) or chronic infections that do not go away. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any condition that affects your immune system or if you live or have ever lived in areas such as the Ohio or Mississippi river valleys where severe fungal infections are more common. Ask your doctor if you don't know if these infections are more common in your area. Tell your doctor if you are taking medications that decrease the activity of the immune system such as the following: abatacept (Orencia), anakinra (Kineret), certolizumab (Cimzia), etanercept (Enbrel), golimumab (Simponi), infliximab (Remicade), methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall),rituximab (Rituxan), or steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron), methylprednisolone, prednisone, or prednisolone (Prelone). [More...]
Why is this medication prescribed?
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: 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.

How should this medicine be used?
Adalimumab injection comes as a solution (liquid) to inject subcutaneously (under the skin). It is usually injected once every other week. If you are using adalimumab injection to treat Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, your doctor may tell you to inject the medication more often at the beginning of your treatment. If you are using adalimumab injection to treat rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may tell you to inject the medication once a week. 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.

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.

Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?
Before using adalimumab injection,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
Inject the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Then inject the next dose on your regularly scheduled day. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.

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

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it in the refrigerator and protect it from light. Do not freeze it. If you are traveling and need to take adalimumab injection with you, keep it in a cooler with an ice pack and do not expose it to light. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed or that has been frozen. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.

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.

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Last Revised - 07/15/2014
© 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.
ASHP
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