Considering HUMIRA for Rheumatoid Arthritis

If your current Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment isn’t relieving your joint pain and stiffness, HUMIRA may help

HUMIRA helps reduce pain and slow down and protect against further joint damage in adults with moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis.

For some people with Rheumatoid Arthritis, treatment with the medicines listed below may not be enough to relieve symptoms like joint pain, stiffness and swelling:

  • Analgesics
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate

Therefore, activities like preparing meals, getting dressed and running errands can be difficult and painful. HUMIRA may help reduce joint damage and symptoms and help you get back to carrying out your normal daily activities.

HUMIRA for Rheumatoid Arthritis in New Zealand

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

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

HUMIRA has been used for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis by Rheumatologists in New Zealand since 2006.

In 2019, a New Zealand study call Vitality aimed to look at the effects of HUMIRA on health and disability wellbeing outcomes in patients with Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis treated in routine clinical practice in New Zealand. Over 160 patients with these conditions were enrolled. The primary measure evaluated was the WHODAS 2.0 (World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule), a disability assessment measure developed by the World Health Organisation. Further validated scores looking at factors such as work productivity, mental distress and others were also studied. The study researchers concluded that 6 months treatment with HUMIRA significantly^ improved health and disability in New Zealand patients with Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

^ Change in total WHODAS 2.0 score at 6 months vs baseline. p<0.001

Find out more from our list of useful resources about Rheumatoid Arthritis that has been collated from New Zealand and overseas.

HUMIRA Safety Information

Safety information on this website includes some of the more important information to know about HUMIRA.

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How does HUMIRA work?

HUMIRA is a fully human monoclonal antibody. HUMIRA recognises and binds to a specific protein (tumour necrosis factor or TNF-alpha), which is present at increased levels in inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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Starting and taking HUMIRA

What you need to know about taking HUMIRA, including free support to help you get the best out of your HUMIRA treatment.

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When should I expect to see and feel an improvement?

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

Getting results with HUMIRA

In clinical studies, some people on HUMIRA and methotrexate have seen improvement in their Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms in as little as two weeks. For others, it may take up to three months or longer to possibly notice less pain, swelling, and joint stiffness.

Will HUMIRA cure my disease?

Unfortunately, currently there are no treatments available that can cure Rheumatoid Arthritis, HUMIRA will not cure your condition but can help manage your symptoms.

What else can I do to take care of my disease besides taking medications?

To better manage your disease, it may be helpful to eat a healthy diet, get adequate rest and lose any excess weight. It’s also a good idea to exercise regularly, which can help build strength, endurance and mobility. Many people find stress management beneficial, too. Always consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise programme.

Talk with your doctor

We’ve put together a discussion guide that you can take along to your rheumatologist visit in order to share your symptoms.

Download your ‘Getting ready for your rheumatologist visit’ guide

Download your guide