Humira for Ulcerative Colitis

If you are living with ulcerative colitis, there is a very good chance you might try several medications along the way.  Humira is definitely on the stronger side of the medication pyramid that ulcerative colitis patients work with.  Humira is a drug that is used to alter your immune system.  The actual humira medication itself comes from rats actually.

The idea behind the humira medication is that it will slow down parts of the immune system that are attacking the inner lining of the colon.  And after this attacking is slowed down or stopped, it will allow your body to heal itself and get back into a normal way.  This is the overall idea behind Humira.  Currently Humira has not been approved by the FDA for Ulcerative colitis, but it is currently approved for treating Crohn’s Disease.

Humira comes as a small shot, or actually its called a subcutaneous PEN.  There is a very tiny glass needle that shoots just under your skin and that is where the very small amount of Humira goes.  It is something that once you are shown how to use, you will actually be giving the humira shots to yourself at home.

There are a few potential side effects from Humira, so you want to speak with your doctor about what you might expect if you have a bad reaction.  For me, I had a few strange reactions with Humira.  I started to have some joint pains, and also some psoriasis on my hands,feet,legs,and chest areas.  As well, after taking Humira, I started to have a really itchy scalp, which I have heard quite a few other Humira people have had too.

But, at the end of the day, there are quite a few people who are having great success with Humira for both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. I was prescribed Humira after I tried Remicade which is the same general category as the Humira medication.   Since the remicade did not work as we hoped, that is when I was given the humira medication.

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13 Responses to Humira for Ulcerative Colitis

  1. olivia November 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    i am on humira too for crohns disease. althought this medication has put my body into remission, i find that the biggest downside is i get really itchy out of no where, especially my scalp!

    • Frank November 27, 2010 at 7:44 am #

      Hey Olivia,
      I know exactly what you are talking about regarding the itchy scalp, I had that really bad for a long time after starting the humira. What I use to help is a special kind of shampoo that has tar in it. You can go to a local pharmacy or drug store and they should have something like that for you. It doesn’t smell too bad, and it seems to help me quite a bit with the itchy scalp. best of luck to you!

  2. Donna February 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with severe UC in August of 2010 while she was still 15. The prednisone did not work for her, nor did other drugs. She has been hospitalized 6 times in as many months with one stay during a SEVERE flare up lasting over 2 weeks. She has had 9 blood transfusions due to the severe anemia, has lost 50 lbs. (thank goodness she had the weight to lose). She has had infusions of Remicade 6 times with the last one being a double dose of what she was previously getting. Her last infusion was approximately 2 weeks ago. Nothing seems to be working. She is dry heaving, can’t eat much, is constantly nauseous. Surgery is beginning to look like the only thing that will give her the life back that a teenager needs. She has not had one full week of school since it began in Sept. (had a few weeks of home tutoring, etc.). Now the doctor wants to try Humira and wants us to speak to a surgeon “in case.” I live in New York and am going to see yet another doctor who is highly regarded in the field of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC to ease my mind. It is so sad to see what this has done to her, a beautiful conscientious honor student who just wants to go on with her life and be with her friends at this pivotal point of her high school days. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My heart breaks every day, and I am beginning to feel hopeless.

    • Frank February 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

      Hey Donna,
      I know what you are talking about with regards to the hell of this disease, and especially when you go through all the medications and nothing seems to be working at all.
      Here is a few things you might want to do if you haven’t already. Many people who fail treatment with the typical medications find good results with massive diet changes.
      You can go to this page to learn more about that: http://www.ihaveuc.com/the-diet

      Also, I before you make any decisions as to testing out Humira, you might want to ask the physician how many paitents he/she has prescribed Remicade to and it did not work, but then after trying Humira it did work?

      I too did the remicade first and it had limited benefits and then discontinued, and then for me the Humira was a total train wreck causing all types of skin lessions that you can read about here from a study done just recently:
      http://www.ihaveuc.com/psoriasis-and-eczema-following-remicade-or-humira-use-for-ibd-patients/

      The lessions I had are very rare, but definitely was a problem.

      I use the diet now, and I can’t say enough about it. it’s not an easy diet to stick to, but if you are a believer that the problem is an imbalance in the gut bacteria, then it is something you should consider in my opinion. Just realize that all the western medicine doctors dont believe at all that diet has anything to do with this disease. But, that’s a battle that patient’s and their families don’t need to fight. Western medicine and expensive medications, drug companies, and expensive colonoscopies are all part of the game in our country.

      best of luck to you and your daughter. she’s definitely got options other than surgery, but surgery is often a great option for people as well. Maybe you can ask the doctor if there is any others who have had the surgery that you/she can speak with etc..

    • JoAnne April 10, 2011 at 6:08 am #

      My heart goes out to your daughter. I’m 47 and was diagnosed with UC 5 years ago. I’ve been on different drugs trying to get it under control, but nothing works long term. UC really affects your daily life so much more than people realise. I can’t imagin going through this as a teenager! Best wishes to both of you.

    • Diane Kelly February 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

      I feel your pain. My then 14 year old son was suddenly diagnosed with uc. We went through all the different drugs, he had flareups monthly that lasted for weeks, he was on prednisone all the time, had been hospitalized 5x for a one week each time, he was out of school for 48 days in 2010 and we had began looking at surgery as well. But in june of 2011 I looked into functional medicine…. wherein they look into why you have it and try to fix it instead of treating the symptoms. My now 16 year old is doing great. He hasn’t been in the hospital once, goes to school every day and hasn’t had a flareup since. I strongly urge you to find a doctor that practices functional medicine. go on the internet and look for functional medicine in your state and you will find doctors that can help. I am so thankful for our doctor… we, as a family, have learned alot from this whole experience and had we not looked into this I shutter to think that we may have had some or all of his colon removed.
      Good luck and I am praying for you and your daughter.

    • jojogunn July 12, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      try her on aloe vera gel “lily of the desert” inner pulp, one cup full 1st thing every morning :)

  3. Ann November 10, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    The SCD does not work for most people due to nuts being high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids. I tried that diet. I would stick with a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids and lower in omega 6. Nuts are high in omega 6 and are good in moderation, but the SCD diet has too many in it, with all that nut flour. I obtained a diet from a hospital nutritionist and their diet was a caveman diet. Meat, vegetables, tubers, whole peeled fruit and some fat low in omega 6. Canola oil, coconut oil and clarified butter are fine, but don’t overuse it. You may want to skip grains, sugar and dairy. Once I took away omega 6 oil… which is in everything, my son is able to keep his condition under control. That and sugar. Sugar is horrible for this disease. It grows all the wrong bacteria. Skip the nuts and drink the nut milk instead to get minerals. If he wants sweets, it’s made with honey, nut flours, above mentioned oils and eggs. No chocolate, beans or legumes either. Eat what people ate 10,000 years ago. Look for tubers that are naturally occupying. Look for grass fed chicken and beef in a whole food store. Grain fed beef is high in omega 6, as well as chicken fat. You want grass fed. Eggs are okay in moderation. Get your carbs from fruits like bananas and peeled apples. Well cooked tubers like potatoes, yams, etc. We only need 100 grams of carbs a day. We eat way too many of them. If you bake something sweet with approved ingredients, it’s a once in a while treat. A caveman whole food diet worked. Also avoid foods that irritate the colon lining, which is thin in UC people. Acidic foods, seeds, alcohol, etc. Any starch you eat, showd be low in resistant starches as they are not digested in the small intestine. That would be many grains including rice and corn. Hope that is a start.

  4. Lori December 31, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    My son was 14 when he was diagnosed with UC. That was almost a year ago and he has never been in full remission. The steroids worked only when used in extremely high doses. Once we would try to wean him off, the colitis would come back with a vengence. He is also taking apriso, which seems to do absolutely nothing. Just a couple of weeks ago his doctor started him on the humira. Because of the length of time on the steroids and the side effects we had to try either humira or remicaid. We opted for humira. It’s only been a couple weeks but we have seen a slight improvement, however he still is on the prednisone while we wean him off. It’s been a horrible road for my son. His goal was to be a 4.0 student in high school, and this is so difficult with the amount of missed school. He is involved in athletics and again he has had to sit out for weeks at a time as a result. I wish there were more adult role models talking out about colitis so the children with the disease can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have even had to stop working because many days he can not make it to school on time and I never know what time or when I will have to take him to school or pick him up. I am just hopeful the humira is successful. If it isn’t I don’t know what our options are after the humira.

    • Dianne January 7, 2012 at 7:26 am #

      It is an unbelievable disease, isn’t it? Who knew anything about this before it hit. It is absolutely life controlling. My father told me last month that while he was watching a baseball game, one of the players ran off the outfield to run to a bathroom. I don’t know the player’s name but he had UC. I wish I had words of advice but the truth is that at this time there is no cure and only medicines that suppress the immune system. Once the immune system gets turned on in the intestine, there is no stopping it and that is what causes the problem. My UC started with a bacterial infection caused by a doctor’s treatment…I’ll skip the drama. I can tell you that the doctor your son sees will make the world of difference. It is scary knowing of the many, many, uncaring , unqualified doctors in our society. Did you get second opinions? Did your son have a stool test for any infections caused by bacteria? If not, then DEFINATEY do so! I can’t stress the importance of that stool test! If the results are negative and the diagnosis is UC then you are doing all you can. Do as much research as you can so you can work with the doctor. Do not rely on them to do whats best all the time. There is also a wonderful website by a young woman named Sara. She wrote an article “Walk in my shoes” and I believe the website is under ileostomy. She is a beautiful,brave,
      young woman who never tires of helping others suffering from this disease. Good luck and believe it or not, there are many of us out here that know exacly what you are going through!

    • Diane Kelly February 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      My son was 14 when he was diagnosed as well. Its been a nightmare… have you put your son on a 504 plan? My son is an honor student and makes high honors every term and plays soccer and baseball… when he was first diagnosed in 2010 he missed 48 days of school and had to quit his sports teams. I put him on the 504 plan which excused his tardys and absences and gives him the time needed to make up school work. Talk to your guidance office.
      In June of 2011 I changed doctors to a functional medical doctor and had blood, urine and stool sample testing done that his doctors at the hospital wouldn’t do when I asked. We found his immune system was on high alert and that he was allergic to everything, gluten, fructose, dairy, sugar, yeast, another test showed he was extremely difficient in vitamins B,C,D and E, calcium, and hormones … he also had a bactarial infection not known to the usa. I wouldn’t have known any of this had I not left and went to another doctor. My son follows a diet free from the above items, is taking vitamins, supplements, fish oil and 200 billion probiotics daily and he is doing great. He hasn’t had a flareup since we instituted the diet (which wasn’t easy) his immune system is calming down and the inflamation is reducing. He is doing so much better and isn’t on any pharmacy drugs…he eats clean, organic and free range and without additives, preservatives. His body is responding and healing and we know that because he used to have 7-15 loose bowl movements daily and urgently with and without blood and pain but now has 1-3 bowl movements daily and they are formed and without blood or pain. He has put on 20 lbs and grew 5 inches since we began this. He is currently in physical therapy to rebuild and strenthen his muscles and is doing so well. This illness makes them weak and their muscles get very weak because they are in bed so much. So a good physical therapist (interview them first so they know what they are dealing with) Our hope is that he will be able to play baseball and soccer this spring without injury.
      My prayers are with you and wish you the best of luck!

  5. Ann February 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Humira is made totally from human monoclonal antibodies. Where did you hear that it was made from rats? That is not correct at all. Remicade is made from part mouse antibodies with human ones. That drug is half and half. People develop a resistance to Remicade because of the part mouse antibodies. Humira is not at all made from anything other than human antibodies. That’s what so great about it and why people with ulcerative colitis can’t wait for the FDA to approve it for ulcerative colitis. You are less likely to build up a resistance to Humira, since it’s totally made from human monoclonal antibodies, unlike Remicade. It’s not made from rats. No drug is.

  6. Lorraine March 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    If Humira addresses the inner lining of the colon, how can it be effective for someone with no colon? I’ve had UC/Crohn’s for 30+ years and my doctor originally wanted me on Remicaid but my insurance won’t pay for Remicaid until I fail the Humira test. Does Humira work for someone who has had their colon removed?

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