Adalimumab and it’s long term side effects


I was wondering if anyone on here could share any experiences (positive and negative) and any knowledge regarding Adalimumab.

I am due to start this biologic after a year on methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine, both of which haven’t manage to keep my RA under control.

I am feeling slightly overwhelmed and anxious about this new medication and what I may mean moving forwards. The thought of taking a medication for one health condition that could potentially cause other health conditions down the road scares me.

Any advice very much appreciated 😊


  • Runningman
    Runningman Member Posts: 2

    Only since Aug 2022, so not long term. However, no side effects at all so far.

  • CarylW
    CarylW Moderator Posts: 182

    Hello @ClareM

    I am sure you will get more feedback from people who take Adalimumab but in the meantime this information may help you learn a a bit more about it!

    It can be very overwhelming when starting something new, so I hope you get on OK with it. We look forward to hearing how you are getting on.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? Call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 549
    edited 5. Jun 2023, 08:42

    Hi @ClareM

    My PsA developed rapidly in late 2020. I was initially put on sulfasalazine and 4 months later methotrexate was added - neither worked for me. The adalimumab biosimilar Amgevita was added late July 2021. I've had no side effects that I've noticed from Amgevita. I'm more careful in what I do as it and methotrexate leave me immunocompromised. However the benefits of Amgevita to me have been significant. When I was first put on it I could only walk using elbow crutches, I couldn't close my hands or raise my arms due to my shoulder joints. Two months later I handed back my crutches and I'm now able to walk 50-60kms a week. I'm not cured by any means and I've had a number of what I now realise are flares but I'm in a far better place than I was in late 2020 and the first half of 2021. I know everyone is different and how they react to drugs may well be different but in my case Amgevita has had a positive effect on me.

  • LadyP
    LadyP Member Posts: 6

    Morning... this is an interesting post for me. I got diagnosed with RA in Sept 2021. I'm 65 and had been fit and active all my life then I had the COVID vaccine and shortly afterwards the pain in my legs started. I still blame that vaccine!! Anyway, we are where we are!! I started Methotrexate with hydroxychloroqine and folic acid then late last year I was in agony with the worst flare up ever. Unfortunately because it was twixt Christmas and new year no one from rheumatology could see me. I ended up having to wait till end Jan this year. I cannot begin to describe to you the pain I was in. I live alone so no help!! I started in Benepali (Biologic) in Feb for 12 weeks but got worse. My left leg swelled up and its still swollen!! To add insult to injury I then had a knee Xray and was told it had to be replaced!! I have a walking stick so was still able to get around, albeit slowly. Since 23rd May I have deteriorated further and the pain in my left leg is 😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫. I have now been put on another Biolgic... Yuflyma, once a fortnight (still on methotrexate and folic acid and hydroxychloroquine). Only had one injection thus far but I live in hope...

    GP will be phoning on Monday because I really need some pain relief!!

    We are now mid June and I still haven't recovered from flare up in dec/jan!!! Been working from home since then and because I've deteriorated in such a short space of time I'm now housebound completely!!

    And I still blame the vaccine!!!

    I am however a fighter and I will keep fighting!!😊

    Apologies for the rant😁

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 549

    Hi @LadyP

    I don't want to hijack @ClareM thread but thought I might respond as your story is not dissimilar to mine. I was a fit and active 64 year old when my left knee swelled, then my hands wouldn't close and my shoulders couldn't move - within 6 weeks of it all starting I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I can fully imagine your pain levels. I'm on sulfasalazine, MTX and the adalimumab biosimilar Amgevita. My consultant described the 3 drugs working together as 1+1+1>3. I think the technical term is synergetic. I see that Yuflyma is another adalimumab biosimilar. By 3 weeks after starting Amgevita I noticed a difference and two months in it was significant. I was asked by the rheumatologist in February to rate my condition - 10 being at my worst before the drugs kicked in. I'd now rate it at 1-2 even though I've been told my left knee needs be replaced.

    I know we are all different and we may react differently to drugs but I hope adalimumab has a similar effect on you as it's had on me.

  • LadyP
    LadyP Member Posts: 6

    Hi @jamieA

    Many thanks for the response. You've at least given me some hope that the adalimumab will get the RA under control and reduce the swelling in my left leg. So glad its working for you. It would be nice to post in a month or two with progress😊. Thanks and take care.

  • I was on Tocizumba for 19 months then it suddenly stopped working

    .pain came back with a vengeance. So disappointed it stopped working. Now got bad flare up till they can try another biologic

    Anyone been through same x

  • Been told can't have infusion In hospital for alternative Biologic drug and need to inject myself at home which I will struggle with as my hands are weak

    Anyone else been this ?

  • Lambourne
    Lambourne Member Posts: 21

    I’ve been self injecting adilimumbab fir nearly a year now and it has been wonderful, I have had hardly any flare ups and those I have had are minor and only last one or two days. My only worry is that my consultant will stop it for some reason or funding will be cut. I have had no side effects.

  • Lambourne
    Lambourne Member Posts: 21

    Btw the self injecting is very simple and requires very little strength as the pen is preloaded and you just pull the top off.

  • Sandgrownen
    Sandgrownen Member Posts: 17

    Hi JamieA

    Glad to hear the meds have worked for you and you are now mobile. You didn't say if you can close your hands now?

    I can't close mine and the consultant says it's just wear and tear. As you know it's very frustrating not being able to close your hands. I've had RA for 3 years now and affects all joints. I can walk now but feet are bad some days.

    Would be interested in what meds you think helped with your hands. I came off meth and sulfazalamine due to side effects. Only on paracetamol and lbuprofen now.


  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 549

    Hi @Sandgrownen

    It's a bit complicated in that 18 months before being diagnosed with PsA I was diagnosed with trigger finger in my 2nd and 3rd fingers of my left hand - and I'm left handed. They would lock up in the straight position and it was very painful while it lasted. Due to a cock-up with my GP failing to refer me to an orthopedic clinic it was the week after my PsA diagnosis that I eventually saw an orthopedic consultant who gave me two injections at the base of my fingers and it disappeared. However the issue with my hands not closing due to PsA persisted until the Amgevita kicked in. I can close my hands now but the 2nd and 3rd fingers of my left can't close fully - I can't make a tight fist. The locking of those fingers has returned intermittently - though this time in the closed position. I saw an orthopedics consultant in April this year as rheumatology had told me it was a 'mechanical' issue - so not their aisle !

    I do hand exercises multiple times daily and I've got exercise putty which I use as well. My grip is a lot poorer so I use aids for opening bottles, cans etc. but I can still do most things.

  • Sandgrownen
    Sandgrownen Member Posts: 17

    Hi JamieA

    Thanks for your reply.

    I too have a poor grip and use aids to open ring pull cans and bottles.

    I can tie my shoe laces now with a struggle. I can't make a fist with either hand so my golfing days are over.

    I blame the hormone injections I had following prostate cancer as the cause of my RA as the timing fits. I too started with a swollen knee as one of the posts on this thread identified. We are where we are.

    Sounds like we have to persevere. At least we can walk.

    Good luck.