Considering HUMIRA

If your current psoriatic arthritis treatment isn’t relieving your joint pain and red, scaly skin plaques, HUMIRA may help


HUMIRA works from the inside out to target and help block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to joint and skin symptoms. Treatment for psoriatic arthritis can relieve pain, reduce swelling, help keep joints working properly and possibly prevent further joint damage. There are a variety of medical treatments available to treat psoriatic arthritis. Some are for joint symptoms and some are for skin symptoms:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Corticosteroids

  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate

However, these may not be enough to relieve symptoms in everyone. 

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 psoriatic arthritis symptoms.


 HUMIRA is only available with a prescription, so if you are not getting the relief you expect from your current psoriatic arthritis treatment, talk to your rheumatologist or dermatologist to see if HUMIRA is right for you.


The government medicine funding agency, PHARMAC, fully subsidises HUMIRA if your psoriatic arthritis 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.


Rheumatologists and dermatologists in New Zealand have been able to prescribe HUMIRA for psoriatic arthritis since 2009, so there’s over eight years’ experience in New Zealand prescribing HUMIRA for psoriatic arthritis.

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 psoriatic arthritis. Inflammation associated with psoriatic arthritis can be caused by an over-production of the protein tumour necrosis factor (TNF).

Psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis are some 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 reduce the pain and inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases.

Will HUMIRA cure my disease?

Unfortunately, currently there are no treatments available that can cure psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, 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 psoriatic arthritis can expect to see improvement in their symptoms within 3 months and in some cases as early as two weeks21,§. 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 ‘Psoriatic Arthritis symptom quiz’

‘Psoriatic Arthritis symptom quiz’