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Adalimumab is used to treat certain types of arthritis (inflammatory disorder that typically affects the small joints in hands and feet) and psoriasis. It is also used to treat Crohn’s disease (serious inflammation of gastrointestinal tract) and ulcerative colitis (disease that causes ulcers on the lining of the large gut).

How it works

Adalimumab is a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug that belongs to a class of medications called Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors. It works by reducing the inflammation in joint.

Common side effects

Nausea, Abdominal pain, Acne-like rash, Allergic respiratory symptom, Back pain, Blood in urine, Chest pain, Confusion, Dehydration, Fever, Headache, Increased cholesterol level in blood, Incresed blood lipid level, Injection site pain, Liver enzyme increased, Sinus inflammation, Urinary tract infection


Expert advice

  • Do not take adalimumab if you have recently received live vaccine or BCG instillation.
  • Live vaccine administration is not recommended for at least 5 months following adalimumab injection during pregnancy. 
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you get signs of infection including fever, cough, weight loss, flu-like symptoms, red or hot skin, wounds or dental problems, feel unwell, allergic reaction, suffer from heart, liver, lung or nervous system problems, immune system disorder called lupus, low blood cell count.
  • Avoid contact with people who have infections.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you develop a new serious infection or sepsis.
  • Adalimumab should be used with caution in patients with mild heart failure.
  • Do not take this drug if you are allergic to Adalimumab  or any of its ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


 Q. Is adalimumab a steroid/ causes weight gain?
Adalimumab is not a steroid but it may cause weight gain.
Q. Can I take adalimumab in shingles?
You will be recommended to take herpes zoster (shingles) vaccination before starting adalimumab treatment. Seek immediate medical attention in case if you come into contact with someone who has chickenpox or shingles. 
Q. Can I take adalimumab with ibuprofen/tylenol/naproxen/antibiotics/probiotics?
Patients should follow doctor’s advice before taking antibiotics with adalimumab as few may cause interaction.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)