Humira and colds - what to do! | Arthritis Information


Hi everyone I am glad I found this board because I couldn't find anywhere on the internet about what to do if you are starting to catch a cold while taking Humira. My husband has RA (he is 54), and just started Humira. Tomorrow he is due for his second injection and unfortunately I caught a bad cold this past week and now he is starting to show minor signs.  Should he take his shot? Has anyone else experienced this situation? I know people will say to call the doctor and I will but I would like to know other peoples' experiences. Also, how soon can he expect to feel better. So far not much improvement.  Any advice would be great. Thank you.


He needs to call his doctor.  Each cold has different symptoms for each person.  Some people have upper respiratory, some lower resp. etc.  Only his doctor can make the decision.I've been taking Humira 4 months and had a minor cold with no problems.  Since the injections are every other week, I doubt it would make much difference it you skipped an injection. After all, if you came down with a cold right after an injection it would be two weeks before you had an opportunity to skip one. I'm curious what your doctor says.  My plan is to keep taking it if it's just a cold.

I've postponed my humira injections when I've had a bad cold. But that was with the doctor's advice. Good to check with his doc for this sort of thing till he gets used to how he reacts.

As to how long it takes for humira to take effect, it differs for everyone. It was only a month or so for me. Others have said it takes a few months or more.

Good luck - this can be confusing to navigate in the beginning.


Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum, but not new to RA I was diagnosed about 5 years ago and it hit me like a freight train.  They tried this pill and that pill I believe I tried every pill out there,  finally he put me on Remicade and weined me off the predisone and it worked.  I was on that about 2 yrs.  Infusions every 6 wks pain in the butt, and I hate iv's.   Then I switched Dr's and he asked if I wanted to try Humiria.  I've been on it for a year now and outside of minor aches and pains you would never know I had RA.  Ido the shot every other week and take 1 Arava tablet every other day.  The only problem I had was that I would get irritated at the injection site.  So I discovered that if I kept the cotton ball on the site after removing the needle and taped it there for a few hours I wouldn't get the irritation. 

As far as the cold thing - I haven't had one - but I would definately check with the doctor before skipping an injection.


Sue I just posted a long post under the questions about MTX...that will help you some.

One week won't be much of a difference. I don't know how long he's been on Humira; but if he is starting to "Catch" something like a cold or begin to get sick it will definately make things worse.

If it's barely anything I'd go ahead and take mine. Monitor my symptoms and call the doctor in two weeks if it sounded like it was getting into my chest or I was running a fever.

I however take Humira and MTX every week. I don't have quite as much time in between doses to monitor the situation. I had to learn to identify symptoms quicker and I go see my GP pretty quicker for an assesment.

I hope his slight symptoms turn out to be nothing. Chances are that's what they are....and we all avoid skipping doses for this very reason.

I've missed three doses now.....and the sky hasn't fallin yet! Those stairs sure are getting hard to climb; but it's better than being really, really sick and have RA too.

Trust me; that's the worst. I've learned that lesson the hard way.

Good Luck. We'd love to have you and your husband join our community on a regular basis. Let us know how things turn out.

P.S. "Now a problem with MTX"

Is the other topic I thought it might be good for you to look at.

Humira can take up to 3 injections to start working.  Does his RD have him taking anything else with it?  Sometimes greater improvement is shown more quickly with taking another DMARD with the Humira. 

My doc bases whether or not I do my injection when I'm sick on whether or not I'm running a fever.  If I am running a fever I skip my injection and do a course of antibiotics.  When antibiotics are done I do my shot the day after.

I never run a fever. My GP told me that folks on immune suppressant can't always use that as a gauge because sometime the fever will be suppressed. Wow.  It is so hard to know what to do and what to believe.  I'm supposed to take my temp everyday and call my RD if I do have a fever.  It's crazy how one doc says one thing and another says something else.  How are we supposed to get proper info and take care of ourselves right with that going on? 

I think you just have to know your own body. If you think you are getting sick you probably are.

Unfortunetly I'm one of those people who know they WERE sick because their husband comes down with it.  (I just had a few bad days- Queen of denial kind of thing)

I have gotten away with it so far. However I do not let upper resp symtoms of any severity go untreated for more than 48 hours



Has anyone had similar symotms I have while on Humira and catching a cold. After being on Humira for only 3 weeks I caught a cold. All the relief I had seen over only the 3 short weeks had gone completely while I've had this cold. Seems as soon as the cold starts to lift the joint pains lessens. Vice versa, when the cold seems get worse, so does the joint pain.

My question is, have you ever expereinced a decrease in the relief from Humira while having a cold?

Abbott Labs did not seem too familiar with this...

Thank you!



Sebastian:  I have been on Humira and Mthx for over 1 year.  I have not gotten a cold in over --I hate to say because I will probably jinx myself--2 years.  I have felt stuff starting and I immediately down an Airborne tablet and continue with Airborne until I feel better.  Airborne is sold at grocery stores--it is a mega dose of vitamins and will prevent the cold from developing.  I learned about it from this Board. 

Also when someone at work comes in sick--I stay away from them.  I pull out the antibacterial wipes, etc.  I do not touch my face with my hands, don't scratch your eyes, without just washed hands.  Also the minute I get home, I wash my hands.  Obsessive--yes,  maybe compulsive--but it has been working.  Also--get your flu shot!