Considering HUMIRA

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

HUMIRA helps reduce pain and slow down 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 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 rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

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 for over 10 years.



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 rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can be caused by an over-production of the protein tumour necrosis factor (TNF). Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis are some examples of autoimmune diseases. The cause of autoimmune disease 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 excess 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 disease.

Will HUMIRA cure my disease?

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

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 weeks1,5. Some patients may not respond within these timeframes. You’ll need to be patient and stay on track with your dosing schedule.

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