Friday, March 20, 2009 honda_mom2006, Community Member, asks

Q: Allergic to Meth, started Humira

I tried Meth, had such bad reactions to it my Rheumatologist said to stop it immediately because it wasn't just side effects I was experiencing, but allergic reactions! I just did my first Humira shot. Still taking 5mg of prednisone. Is anyone doing the Humira and not the Meth with it? How is it working for you? How long before you noticed a difference? I didn't find any info about sun sensitivity and Humira and with summer coming I like to spend time at the pool and yes I admit, the tanning bed. Anyone have any experience with tanning while on Humira and any side effects? My rheumatologist seemed suprised when I asked about it but he just said that as a doctor I should know what he's going to say about tanning beds!

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Lene Andersen, Health Guide
3/23/09 12:44pm

There appears to be a bit of a difference between the US and Canada in terms of how to treat RA - I've read many stories on the site where people get methotrexate along with a biologic and I'd never heard about it before. In Canada, they seem to do just a biologic.

 

I've been on Humira for two years and find that it takes about 4-6 weeks to really kick in. Yours may start to work sooner because you're taking prednisone - for quite a while, I found that Humira worked better when it had a bit of a boost from a steroid, although now I don't need the steroid so much anymore to get the full effect. I have experienced skin sensitivity to the sun and given that one of the side effects of Humira is a slightly greater risk of developing cancer, I would recommend not tanning and using sunblock, not sunscreen when you're by the pool. To be honest, although I understand that being tan can make you feel as if you're healthier and look better - I know I do - the increased rate of skin cancer that comes from years of tanning has made me think twice and once I started on Humira, I got out the sunblock. I can still be in the sun and enjoy the outside in the summer, but without risking melanoma.

 

That said, Humira has been wonderful for me. I am able to do more than I have before and live my life to a much greater extent than I have for a while. Also, I haven't had normal blood work in 40 years and now I do. It's my miracle drug. I hope it works the same for you.

 

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akteach, Community Member
6/ 7/09 4:22pm

I'm on just Humira.  Meth didn't help me at all and I've tried the Prednisone, but my doc. doesn't want me to take it for very long periods of time so I got off it as well.  I went through a really hard few months with no meds at all trying to get myself cleared of all the meds, then I couldn't take the pain anymore and I tried Humira.  I've had only 2 injections so far, but the difference is TREMENDOUS.  I can move again.  Its amazing stuff.  I'm vacationing in Arizona and plan to try out a little "fake and bake" tanning before I go.  I think if you wear sunscreen and try not to overdue, it will be fine. But there is an increase risk of melanoma with taking Humira.  But I grew up in Arizona originally and baked myself crazy all my life...so I think I already have that risk anyway.  Cool   Good luck.

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By honda_mom2006, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/21/11, First Published: 03/20/09