Considering HUMIRA

If your ankylosing spondylitis symptoms are continuing to impact you, HUMIRA may help

HUMIRA helps reduce pain and stiffness in many adults

The back pain and stiffness of ankylosing spondylitis can be severe and some people find that conventional medicines and treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), may not do enough to relieve their symptoms.

HUMIRA is a biologic medicine that works by identifying and blocking a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ankylosing spondylitis symptoms. HUMIRA may be an option for you.

More about HUMIRA

HUMIRA is a biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug, also called a biologic DMARD, or simply “biologic”. HUMIRA works differently to conventional DMARDs because it works by identifying and blocking a specific source of inflammation that contributes to symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. 

HUMIRA is only available with a prescription, so if you are still experiencing symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis despite your current treatment, talk to your rheumatologist to see if HUMIRA is right for you. 

The government medicine funding agency, PHARMAC, fully subsidises HUMIRA if your ankylosing spondylitis has not fully responded to other medicines prescribed by a specialist, and you meet other criteria required by PHARMAC. Your specialist will discuss whether HUMIRA is right for you, and whether you may qualify for PHARMAC funded treatment. Usual doctor’s consultation fees, and pharmacy prescription charges remain payable by you.  

Based on clinical studies in adults with active ankylosing spondylitis, it is expected that nearly 60% of people may expect to have a reduction in symptoms with HUMIRA after 12 weeks of treatment5,§

HUMIRA has been used for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis by Rheumatologists in New Zealand for over 8 years.

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What is HUMIRA and how does it work?

HUMIRA (adalimumab) belongs to a group of medicines called biologics. Biologics are injectable protein-based therapies (often antibodies).

HUMIRA binds to a specific protein, tumour necrosis factor (TNF), which is present at increased levels in inflammatory conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis. Inflammation associated with ankylosing spondylitis can be caused by an over-production of the protein tumour necrosis factor (TNF).

Ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis are examples of autoimmune diseases.

The cause of autoimmune diseases is currently not well understood but it has been found that increased levels of a protein called TNF plays a key role in the excessive inflammation that is a feature of these diseases. TNF triggers inflammation as part of the body’s normal immune system response, however extra TNF can attack normal, healthy body tissue and cause tissue damage.

HUMIRA binds to TNF and helps block the pain and inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases.

Will HUMIRA cure my disease?

Unfortunately, currently there are no treatments available that can cure ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, or psoriasis. HUMIRA will not cure your condition but can help with your symptoms.

When should I expect to see and feel an improvement?

HUMIRA can act quickly; most people with ankylosing spondylitis can expect to see improvement in their symptoms within 3 months and in some cases as early as two weeks.1,13,§ You’ll need to be patient and stay on track with your dosing schedule. Some patients may not respond within these timeframes.

Talk with your doctor

We’ve put together a checklist that you can take along to your rheumatologist visit to discuss symptoms and treatment options.

Take the ‘Ankylosing spondylitis symptom checker’

Take the symptom checker</