This Is How Long It Takes For Humira To Start Working

According to, Humira is a medication that removes substances in the body that cause inflammation. Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that Humira is the brand name for the drug adalimumab. It was approved to help people with rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic, and psoriatic arthritis, and Crohn's disease. In addition to reducing inflammation, it also helps manage common symptoms like joint swelling, pain, and fatigue, per Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Humira is a biologic (made from living cells) and belongs to a specific class of medications called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, according to MedicalNewsToday. TNF blockers are artificially manufactured in a lab, even though they're sourced from human or animal tissues, explains WebMD. That being said, the immune system makes its own TNF. In normal situations, TNF remains at steady levels in the body. It becomes problematic when you have an autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis. When you have this condition, your body produces too much TNF, causing joints to inflame. According to a 2009 study published in the journal Clinical Immunology, TNF inhibitors neutralize and regulate the production of TNF in your immune system when injected into your blood.

If you've been prescribed Humira, you might be wondering how long it takes for it to start working. Here is what you need to know about the medication.

How long does it take for Humira to start working?

According to, most people using Humira often start to see improvements between two and 12 weeks. However, people with rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis will need to wait more than 12 weeks for pain, swelling, and inflammation to subside.

How you administer Humira can also play a part in its efficacy. According to Healthline, Humira comes as a solution in pens, syringes, and vials meant for injection. While each pen, syringe, or vial contains a single dose of Humira, some people may be advised to take a loading dose based on their condition. This is bigger than the regular and hastens the drug's effects, per Healthline.

The National Health Service (NHS) also reiterates that your dosage depends on the doctor's prescriptions. The starting dose, which may be higher or lower than recurring shots, varies by condition. For instance, people with plaque psoriasis generally start with an 80mg dose, and then reduce it to 40mg weekly and 40mg every two weeks. In contrast, those with rheumatoid arthritis usually start with 40mg every two weeks, which increases to 80mg after every two weeks, per the NHS.

Common side effects of Humira

Most TNF inhibitors have a boxed warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Humira is no exception. The administration requires manufacturers to perform enhanced safety surveillance for their products. It also advises doctors to be vigilant for malignancy in patients who require Humira. MedicalNewsToday notes that Humira's side effects can range from mild to serious and long-term. Mild side effects include headaches, common colds, skin rashes, and injection site reactions, and they often go away within some days or a couple of weeks, per MedicalNewsToday. 

Some people also fear Humira might cause weight gain. However, weight gain isn't listed in the FDA's reported side effects of Humira. MedicalNewsToday advises consulting with your doctor if you experience weight gain. As for the serious side effects of Humira, the NHS notes that these are uncommon, affecting less than 1 in 100 people who use the drug. Some serious side effects include breathing difficulties, night sweats, unexplained dizziness, and itchiness. The NHS advises calling emergency services if you experience these serious side effects after taking Humira.