My husband was diagnosed with RA about 9 months ago, and he is having a horrible time! He did ok on methotrexate for a while, but then he had a terrible flare-up and his doctor prescribed Humira. So far he has had three shots, but the flares are continuing. Does anyone know how long it can take for Humira to work? He is SO depressed!
I’m so sorry to hear that your husband is having a rough time. It’s very hard to watch your loved one being so much pain. Humira, one of the Biologics used for RA, can take quite a while to work — usually up to three months or more. Look out for subtle signs that it’s is working, such as your husband is having slightly less pain or a bit more energy.
Your husband may want to talk to his rheumatologist about getting a prescription of prednisone or a steroid burst (a short, fairly high dose of prednisone). This may help him function while he waits for Humira to kick in. It may also be a good idea for him to have a conversation about pain management. Some rheumatologists don’t treat pain, instead focusing on treating the information that ultimate causes of pain. If this describes your husband’s rheumatologist, he may want to talk to his family doctor about pain management or ask for a referral to a pain specialist.
RA and depression often goes hand in hand, especially during times of active RA. It’s very hard to wake up day after day in extreme pain and it seeming as if nothing is working. It’s why having effective pain management is so important, but unfortunately, it’s often something that the person living with the disease (and their loved ones) have to push for. This is where you can play an important role. When you’re living through a bad flare, it can take over to the extent that you sort of turn inwards, just trying to get through the day. Having your loved ones remind you that is not normal to be in so much pain can help you to get to a point where you push hard for pain management.
Unfortunately, it’s quite common for it to take a while to find a medication that works. It’s hard to get your hopes up and have them dashed again and that contributes to depression. You may want to suggest that your husband also talks to me that his rheumatologist or his family doctor about counselling. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be especially helpful in learning to cope with a chronic illness.
Thanks for the input! He is also on Methotrexate and he still has to take prednisone every day. He has had only 3 shots so far ( he takes one every 2 weeks), so I think we are going to give it a bit longer to see what happens. So far he has has lots of sporadic and widespread flare-ups, but the intensity seems to be diminishing somewhat. Maybe that's a sign that the Humira is starting to work - actually he is having a great "flare free" day today. We are still in the learning process here, so all the input and information I get on this website is so helpful. Thanks again.
I too have just been diagnosed with RA it is horrible I couldnt dress myself or go to the washroom by myself ,I am a fairly active person and within 2 months I was almost bed ridden. I started Humira 2 weeks ago and athough I still have pain and stiffness it has taken the edge off, the first day I noticed a small changed but thought that it was in my head because I wanted relief so bad. I get my second injection on wed and am very hopeful that I will feel a bit better again. my pharmacist said it can take up to 6 months to feel the full effect . I could not have survived that long in the agony I was in . I too was depressed and still am a bit . But I think it will get better. hang in there. If no one has it they really dont know how much PAIN you are in...
Thanks for sharing. My husband never responded to Humira, but his doctor put him on Embrel and he has been mostly pain free for the last 7 weeks. And believe me, I understand the pain you are in; I may not have experienced it first hand (thank goodness), but I've seen my active, hard-working husband become debilitated by the pain. Even getting to the bathroom was a major ordeal for him during the worst of it.
I hope everything works out for you, and please remember you are not alone.
Thank you. I guess you sometimes get angry at the world when your whole life is litteraly taken from you. I hope I wasn't sounding mean I sure did not want to. I am glad that I found this site because you feel like no one else knows but I know there are other people out there worse than me. I am only 41 years old and thats the kicker!
You didn't sound mean at all. Believe me, I know how alone you can feel. I mean, I don't even have the disease, its my husband, but he doesn't type (nothing to do with his RA, he just can't type..). So I go on once in awhile and find out stuff for him, and the greatest thing is that you learn you are not alone.
And 41 is young (my husband is 49), but you won't believe how many people on this site are in their 20's! Can you imagine????
I turned 30 last March and was diagnosed the previous October. So I was only 29. I am male and my wife has had to watch all my painful symptoms as well. Just getting up from the chair to go to the restroom could be quite an ordeal. I have been on plaquenil and prednisone, now off the prednisone and my doctor just prescribed Humira. I had my first injection this past Saturday, and whether or not it is in my head, I believe it helped take some of the edge off the pain and stiffness. I have my fingers crossed for the next injection that it continues. RA has been a very painful disease and stairs were the first thing to go for me. I may not be able to ever conquer the stairs again, but walking normally will always satisfy me. Imagine how they look at you when you can walk into the BMV and get a handicap placard at age 30; people assume you are a faker. In reality, some days I can not walk very far at all. I understand all the pain your husband's must have, I too live it.
I am so happy to find this site! I was diagnosed with RA about a year ago but had been having symptons about a year prior to that. I had been tested for RA but came up negative. It was so bad living with pain and no meds besides ibuprofren to help the pain. They since have put me on Celebrex, Methotrexate, Predinisone, and now Humira. Yesterday was my first injection and it hurt a little more than I anticipated! Any suggestions on how to ease the sting? Shots don't bother me but may it was just because I did it myself. It's nice to hear that i'm not alone with RA. The pain, depression, and frustrations. There were mornings when I didn't think I could turn the door knob or start my car to take my son to school. And not being able to sleep because of the pain I think has been the hardest for me so far. I'm only 32 and it was so embarising for me in public when I could barley get up from a table or walking extremely slow because the bottoms of my feet hurt. I was like I would wake up and a different part of my body was hurting. It was crazy how the RA jumped around like it did. I'm finally coming out of my depression, able to sleep through the night, and can get around with very little pain. I feel like I have my life back again!
take the humeria out of the fridge and leave it out for 25-30 minutes before you inject. I dont know why but it takes the sting out when you let it warm up a little bit. Also Ive found that injecting in my stomach is easier then when I use to inject in the leg.
I was diagnosed with RA and BOOP (Bronchial Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia) over six years ago and four surgeries later I still am suffering. I have been on Remicade with Methotrexate and after about 18 months it stopped working. I was then put on Enbrel for three months with no relief of the pain and am now on Humira. I have had five shots and am still suffering. You are so right, unless a person has the pain associated with RA, it's impossible to describe it. I have been on and off Prednisone for over six years and am now on it again, albeit a low dose of 10 mg a day. Even that's not working yet. I try hard not to get depressed but do sometimes cry with pain when I try to get dressed or go to the bathroom. I have a left-knee replacement and still have pain, surgery to transpose the ulner nerve in my right arm, reconstructive surgery on my left hand and lung surgery which was the first one which diagnosed my two diseases. I have been online looking for some answers but all I have found so far is that there are others worse off than I am. I actually was in tears yesterday after reading about the problems so many people have. I don't believe there will ever be a cure since the drug companies make a fortune from the drugs we have to take. Why on earth would they find a cure and lose billions of dollars. So, it's people like us who pay the price. I pray for either a cure or at the least a drug which will take away the pain and the damage and won't have the horrible side-effects that these drugs have now. Good luck to you.
I leave the Humira pen out for 30 minutes before I give myself the shot. Make sure you clean the site properly with an alcohol wipe and cover the area with a bandaid. I inject my stomach area away from the belly button. It does hurt a little, but nothing like the pain from the RA. My first two shots gave me a nasty rash which took a couple of weeks to clear up. Since then I seem to be fine. I once injected my thigh when I was on Enbrel, but it hurt really badly. So, I am going to stay with my stomach. Lots of luck to you and I hope the treatment works.
I know I am a little late responding, but just found this website. I let the shot warm up for about 45 minutes so it is room temp. Then before I give the shot I slap the leg a few times. This really made a difference for me.
I've been on Enbrel for Psoriatic Arthritis for almost 1.5 years. Worked...okay with occasional flare ups. Decided to go on Humira.....its awful. Can hardly walk and the pain is exhausting. Please think twice before going on Humira. Perhaps my situation is the exception but I'm reverting FAST to "pre-enbrel". I've got several auto immune issues so again, I may be the exception. I'm beginning to think...why bother.
Enbrel, for me, was the best. Methotrexate cocktail with the Enbrel had to many side effects.
Auto immunity is awful but they are working on solutions.....not fast enough.
I was diagnosed with RA at age 30, I am now 53. I am thankful to have started on Humira this past weekend. I hope it works, currently my legs are locking up after I sit or am still, I am toe problems, was a bartendar for 20 years. When i was diagnosed I could hardly move. Back then I was given prednisone and another med that sent me into remission. I am angry that I cannot think of the name of it. It could damage your eyes so you needed to get eye checks, it was a pill but 20 years ago. I was put in enough remission to go on and have my son at age 34, I have dealt with aches and pains but nothing as sever as when I first got the disease. Back then I couldn't even get out of a bath tub myself. I am thankful to have made it 23 years and am still able to move. Hang in there!
I am 47 year old female and I was diagnosed back in year 2000 but never got treatment because I just dealth with the pain but this year and half I have become somewhat incapcitated. I walk with a limp, stairs kill me. Opening a bottle or a jar is excruitiating. I started with metrotrexate pills but became ill with vomiting and bleeding through my nose. The next step was avara. I had terrible side effects, my nervous systems went crazy, blurred vision, swollen eyes, loss control of my nerves. Then I started metrotrexate injections .5mg weekly did not help, .8mg slight relief but my levels are still high. I started my first Humira injection this Saturday and I was totally surprised by the kick it had. I am used to the burning sensation from the metrotrexate, I too am desperate for it to work because I can't sleep for every bone in my body wreaks of pain. So you can't sleep so you are so tired and the depression and anxiety kicks in. I pray for all of us to find some help and relief. It saddens me that unfortunately it takes so much trial and error to find a medication that works for us.
Hi Tina, Yes, you're so right. It is very hard on the carer. My husband has been great! He was struck by lightning 3 years ago; the day before my neck & back reconstruction. I recuuperated & then got R.A. and now Fibromyalgia. In so much pain! Started with Orencia then after a year switched to Embrel & now my 3rd year, Humira. Each med becomes ineffective after a year. Hopefully Hurmira will be the one to put me in remission. I watch what I eat, but with lack of activity & med's, I can't loose weight! I'm trying to see how long the Hurira takes to work. The first dose didn't cause any improvement. Am so stiff, swollen, and sore. The Enbrel worked right away! Best of luck to everyone! This is a terrible disease that causes one to loose hope. That's something I've never had to confront before. I usually am very positive. God bless us and keep us healthier then today!!!
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD RHEUMOTOGLIST (SP?). THAT IS SO IMPORTANT.
Hi start the Humira next week....my knee's are inflammed so bad that I can barely walk....I took metrothrexate(sp) and it made my hair fall out and my immune system go down...then I just planned was to scared to go back to the doctor, and tried naturalpath wish was a mistake, it did not work...I went to a female Rhumatologist and she was very informative and told me not to be scared of the humira...there is so much side effects in anything over the counter...like Aleve, Iburoprofin etc....she said the side effects in the Humira are very rare, but they have to list them no matter what...so I am sucking it up and starting next week...I hope you can get back to me on how you are doing on it..I have trips coming up this summer and want to get well...I can barely walk and half the time I am in a wheel chair which sucks..I have always been active, and want to be back to that...take care and I hope you are doing well/ my email is :
I WAS DIAGNOSED ABOUT 2 YRS AGO. ON METHOTREXATE(HORRIBLE STUFF, IT
IS AN OLD CANCER DRUG). I HAVE HAD ABOUT 6 SHOTS OF HUMIRA AND I DO
THINK IT DOES HELP. NOW IT HAS STARTED IN MY FEET AND KNEES. I GET UP
ABOUT 3:00 A.M. JUST TO LOOSEN UP TO GO TO WORK.
THIS IS THE LAST THING I THOUGHT I WOULD EVER GET! ANYWAY, WE NEED
MORE SUPPORT GROUPS. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THE TIREDNESS, DEPRESSION
ETC. MY HUSBAND HAS REALLY PUT UP WITH ALOT. I AM VERY LUCKY. I FORGOT
WHAT IS FEELS LIKE TO FEEL GOOD, MAYBE SOME DAY.
HANG IN THERE, WE ALL KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DEALING WITH.
Is your husband on any other arthritic medication to work with the Humira? I ave been on Humira, Arava, Celebrex to help combat my arthritis. He should start feeling the affects of the Humira by the next 2 shots. I did by my 5th shot. Everyone is different. If he is still in a bad flare up, his doctor should have helped him to ease the flare up along with putting him on Humira. You and your Husband should call your doctor back to help ease his flare ups while on waiting for the Humira to work. Maybe Humira is not right for him. Talk to his doctor for other options that might help him now and continue to help him in the future, as for the depression, that comes with the arthritis, talk to his doctor about that also, he can help.
i noticed a difference instantly. not a significant difference...but i am 24 and have had RA since 4 years old and let me tell you i can actually clean my house and care for my 2 year old so that is how i know there is a difference. i live in rainy washington state so the weather kills me...but there have been several rainy days and i can function. i am also taking methotrexate, tramadol and percocet but i don't take pain med half the time because i cannot function with my child while i am on them. it is nice to read that others are feeling my pain. i was an aircraft mechanic for the military making extremely good money and lost it all a year ago because my RA has just become crippling. it is so hard to support a child with no income. also, i took enbrel and got stomach inflammation and extreme diahhrea from it. and a week ago i was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia...if i can keep going you can. yes, there are days i keep giong but i am relying on this little ray of hope that my doctor can find the right regimen of meds that will work for me. if i didn't have that hope and him telling me he is positive he can help me, and getting up each day with my child to live for, he gives me purpose. i think i would have killed myself had i not had such a magnificent child to live for.
This is the first time that I have signed on to this site. Although I do not have rheumatiod arthritis, I was diagnosed with anklosing spondilitis. It is in the family of rheumatiod. I carry the HLB-27 rheumatiod gene. I first started noticing weird symptoms when I got pregnant. I got my first bout of schleritis in my eye. I then started to get severe joint pain in my sacroiliac joints and spine. I then got iritis in both of my eyes, and ended up getting several shots in my eyes. I was gettin so fatigued that I would shake. I found it very hard to walk or get out of bed. I got to the point of crawling on the floor. I went to a chiropractor for a year, not knowing what was wrong with me. I was put on methotrexate, which helped some what, but the pain kept coming. I was later put on Enbrel. Don't know if my system got used to it. Remicade infusion were then perscribed to me. The pass infusion I have been extremely fatigued and am falling into a state of depression from it. I got my dose of Celexa uped, which has helped me tremendously with the depression. I don't feel that I was depressed before I was diagnosed. I am now taking Humira pen shots, and methotrexate. Ankylosing spondilitis is a disease that affects the joints just like rheumatoid. Eventually though, my spine will be fully fused together. I have an eight year old little boy and he is my world. Sometimes he will ask me if I will always be tired? It makes me feel bad. I hope that everything is going good for you now, and the humira is helping you.
I have just signed on here. I'm not even sure i've repleid properly. So here i am at 53 years old and i've had this RA since i was 30. It's a very long story so i won't go into that right now. But i'm on Methotrexate for the pas 15 years and had a small dose of cortisone (5 mg) a day, plus anti-inflammatory and pain killers. I went on Embrel a few years ago but it didn't work. Then Humira a year and a half ago. It worked within 3 days. I felt a new woman. But then i got a cold which turned into Bronchitis and i ended up going to hospital by ambulance with breathing stress. So i stopped the Humira. Since christmas i am suffering terrible with my left knee. So thought i should go back on Humira. I have had my 5th shot yesterday and strangely it isn't working at all. I live in France and it is almost 3 am and that's why i'm here because i'm suffering like mad. it's preventing me from sleeping. Doesn anyone know why Humira worked for me a year ago and why doesn't it work now. i'm so very peeved with this. I had accepted this illness and tried to get on with life, with 5 kids and a great husband. But now i am getting really depressed like in the beginning because i'm feeling that my life should be starting over with the kids grown and independant and it's all going wrong. I know i'm ranting but i'm so desperate. i've really appreciated what i've read here. I think there is a 3rd anti TNF (another type of Humira, Enbrel). I wonder if that would work. There doesn't seem to be a light at the end of this tunnel. Thanks for listening to my ramblings. By the way i live in France but i'm English.
I'm so sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, Humira does not work for everyone. It didn't work for me. After two months of feeling no relief, I am right back on prednisone and methotrexate where I started. Although, I still feel a lot of pain, without them it would be worse. I was very angry. I hear people talk about humira, celebrex, and enbrel all the time stating how well they work. Well, none of them worked for me. My doctor thinks because I've been on prednisone since 1996 that my body is so used to it nothing else has a shot in hell. I think he has lost it. There
has got to be something out there for me. Thank God, my husband is very supportive. I've been living with this since I was 25 years old. The meds give you mood swings, make you angry, tired, depressed, you name it, I've been there. Hang in there and God bless! Your hubby is lucky to have you.
Hi- I just found this site looking for information about humira. My 13 year old daughter was diagnosed with JRA a year and a half ago and we have been working hard with her doctors to find what works. My daughter was on enbrel for 6 months with good results along with methotrxate but then it stopped working as well so her doctor put her on Humira. She' had 2 doses with no relief. She is so much worse, having daily flares. She can't do the things she was able to do on the enbrel. I am trying to find out how much longer it'll be until it starts being effective. She frustrated and angry. She's been taking prednisone for 2 weeks to help carry her through until the humira kicks in, but we don't want her on it for long. She's having lots of flares, pain, fatigue even on prednisone. I don't know how long we should make her wait to see if humira will work and how can we tell if she's taking prednisone.
She's being robbed of her youth as we struggle to find solutions that will help her.
I'm so glad that you have the internet to get input on how to help your daughter. I was diagnosed with RA at the age of 17, but onset was around 14. Back then (1974), they gave kids with moderate RA aspirin. I never got aggressive treatment, even though I was pretty sick. I take some responsibility. I didn't complain much, and like most kids, I just wanted to fit in. I alternated between feeling sorry for myself, and denying reality. So much so that by the time I was in my 20's, I had significant joint damage. I'm lucky, because I did have moderate RA, and responded pretty well to almost all treatments that have been tried. I'm going to join this forum - hope to see you post here. Stick with me, because I'm going to make a point that might help you. I just started Humira - have been on methotrexate and Relafen for about 15 years. Prior to that, on some combination of non-steriodal anti-inflammatories and plaquenil. Never had oral prednisone until recently - after relative calm on my methotrexate and Relafen for many years, I went through menopause. BIG increase in symptoms -started hormone replacement therapy, which helped a lot. Then my sister was murdered, and as a result, I had to move to a different state to help raise her kids. It was a HUGE trauma for me, and I was "the strong one" for my entire family. The stress really caused a major flare. So what does this have to do with you? DON'T underestimate the role of hormones and stress on your daughter's RA. Consider putting her on some kind of birth control pill to even out the hormone changes, and get her some psychological counseling, preferably with someone who specializes in teens who have illness. The local Cancer Society or the Arthritis Foundation might be able to recommend someone.
I have had JRA since I was 8yrs old. Many drugs will help a little but none will stop the joint dammage nor the pain. On the bright side, you will normally go into remission around 18 and the pain reduces alot, then you start the journey of joint replacements , that is worse than ra itself. Once done you will be able to live a decent life with only moderate pain. I wish your child nothing but the best:)
Be strong,,she is!!!
I also have had three shots and my flairs just won't stop. I am also on Plaquenil, Methotrexate and Methopredinosone. They all helped a little bit for a little bit and then they stopped working. I am worried now that after 3 shots the Humira isn't going to work. I was told that it takes two months to get the full affects. If it doesn't I don't know what I'm going to do. I wish you and your husband the best of luck.
Humira can take 2-3 months to really kick in. It can be a real frustrating wait, but hopefully you'll start noticing a bit of an improvement within the next does that too. Often, the first signs that is working involves getting a bit more energy. Please keep us posted on what happens?
I am 37 and was diagnosed in July after symptoms started presenting themselves at the end of January. I was a runner, super healthy and in great shape. I guess taking care of yourself doesn't count for much these days. :(
I was on MTX 20mg and 5mg Pred, but it wasn't cutting it - though I did feel a ton better. I started on Humira a little over a month ago and had my 3rd shot 3 days ago. I felt huge results the morning after my first shot. My pain simply almost vanished. My hands didn't hurt or anything. I couldn't believe it. I tried to wean off the prednisone a couple weeks latter, but could feel the pain coming back so I went back up to 5 mg 1x/day. Right now I can feel it in my elbows a bit, but my hands are looking great and I am back to running again. I am super out of shape now, but have been able to run with little walking a little over 3 miles 3x a week with now pain. Hopefully it just keeps working so that I can get off the prednisone and wean down on the MTX.
Sorry, allso meant to say that Humera can cause depression, do really need to talk to doctor,
I was given to understand that if it was going to work then should see some signs of it doing so within 3 months! Am now 2 months in and in the last few days my hands are definately less painful and the awfu nausea etc is beginning to wear off - whew! My dose is 40 fortnightly so I think admittedly with out nowing your husband's dosage it might be time to reconsider, together with medical consultation wether it is worth continuing the drug.
Have now got a sebacious something on my hand that has needed referral to dermatology, however give me that over RA any day.
Feel for both and hope all sorted soon.