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Humira Overview

Humira (adalimumab) is a drug manufactured by Abbott Laboratories that might be taken to treat any of these health problems:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Other inflammatory diseases

The FDA continues to update its approval of Humira, which was first approved in 2002, to treat various conditions. The following is a timeline of Humira's FDA approvals including the year and the new condition added to Humira's uses.

  • 2002: rheumatoid arthritis
  • 2005: psoriatic arthritis
  • 2006: ankylosing spondylitis
  • 2007: Crohn's disease
  • 2008: plaque psoriasis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • 2012: ulcerative colitis

Before Humira was approved for yet another condition, ulcerative colitis, in 2012, FDA staff expressed apprehension regarding the decision, since Humira was only about 10% more effective in ulcerative colitis treatment than a placebo during trials. This low percentage of effectiveness is concerning because it gives patients increased risks of the following along with the possibility of other potentially fatal side effects:

  • Aggressive cancers
  • Infections
  • Nerve damage

Because Humira is approved to treat a variety of different condition it sells well in the United States. In 2013 alone it has generated over one million dollars in sales for Abbott Laboratories and as of May 2013 ranked as the sixth best selling drug in U.S. Pharmaceuticals (it finished 2012 ranking fifth in sales) according to statistics available on drugs.com. In May of 2013, the plaintiff in a Humira lawsuit whose wife had suffered from a severe infection caused by Humira was awarded over $2.2 million by a jury for compensatory and punitive damages. The plaintiff's wife had not even been taking Humira for seven months before she was diagnosed the histoplasmosis infection. Links have been established between Humira and infections, Humira and cancer, and Humira and nerve damage. Sufferers of nerve damage, infections, or cancer caused by Humira should contact a Humira lawyer to see if they are eligible for a Humira legal claim for compensation for nerve damage, cancer, or infection caused by taking Humira.

Humira Side Effects

Humira (adalimumab) is a part of the drug category biologics, which are therapies based on proteins developed using genetic engineering. Humira is an antibody (type of protein) that binds with and inhibits TNF. TNF causes inflammation in autoimmune diseases, so Humira, as a TNF-inhibitor, helps to reduce inflammation.

Humira and Cancer

On the downside of the anti-inflammatory effect of Humira, it also inhibits the naturally cancer-fighting cell's in the body's immune system. Some of the types of cancers that have been linked to Humira include:

  • Lymphoma
  • Skin cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Breast cancer

In April of 2011, the FDA released a Drug Safety Communication on Humira warning that it had received multiple reports of an association in young people between taking Humira and developing Hepatosplenic T-Cell-Lymphoma, which is a rare form of white blood cell cancer that can be fatal. A study done by the Mayo Clinic in 2006 resulted in a finding that the risk of developing cancer was three times higher in patients taking Humira. When patients were taking higher doses of Humira, the risk of developing cancer was four times higher than in non-Humira patients.

Humira Infections

Because Humira functions by interfering with parts of the immune system, it might make Humira users more susceptible to infections than they would be without taking the drug. Some infections associated with Humira include:

  • Fungal infections
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Sepsis
  • Histoplasmosis

A study done by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006 found that Humira patients are twice as likely to contract an infection. Despite this evidence of increased risk of infection from Humira in 2006, Humira's label did not warn about a higher risk of infection until 2009, when the FDA required a label alteration.

Humira Nerve Damage

Humira has been linked to permanent nerve damage. Nerve damage can impair everyday movements and force sufferers to completely alter how they go about their lives.

Humira Lawsuits

Plaintiff Milton Tietz was awarded over $2.2 million dollars in May of 2013 by an Illinois jury on behalf of his wife who had taken Humira, which resulted in a severe histoplasmosis infection. This case was the first Humira infection case to go to trial. In 2011, a woman filed a Humira lawsuit for Humira-induced nerve damage. She developed neuropathy in her feet after beginning Humira treatment and was forced to close down her self-run store due to her physical struggles. Lawsuits have also been filed around the country against Abbott Laboratories over Humira's cancer risks. Humira lawsuits allege that Abbott knew about the risks associated with Humira and failed to warn the public until forced by the FDA. Yearly sales of Humira have totaled over $6 billion and is one of the best-selling drugs in the world, so Abbott has likely profited by keeping awareness low of Humira's risks. Our law firm is currently investigating lawsuits against Abbott for damage caused by Humira. If you or a loved one has suffered from Humira-induced cancer, infection, or nerve damage, a Humira lawyer can begin the process of filing a Humira lawsuit against Abbott for appropriate compensation. It is importnat to choose a top law firm for your Humira lawsuit in order to have the most effective representation and obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.