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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

Side effects from drugs.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:38 PM   #1
Rich Z
Side effects from drugs.

Yeah, I know this is a sort of gallows humor sort of thing, and likely not very funny to the people who need to take such drugs, but damn.... I still get National Geographic magazine (even though they have taken a turn for becoming a left leaning political promotional rag lately) and they always seem to have advertisements for various drugs and medications. Connie and I always seem to wind up reading the description pages showing the potential side effects of these drugs. Pretty darn unbelievable in most cases, as some show side effects that are identical to the symptoms of what they are supposed to be treating. And in MANY cases, those side effects can be worse than what the drug is trying to treat. It has become a common joke among Connie and myself to inject our own hypothetical side effect of "May burst into flames", as well.

So just today, I am looking at a weather radar website (we FINALLY got some rain here!), and I guess somehow Google has figured out that I have been reading National Geographic, and specifically those medical ads mentioned above. At the top of the page is an ad for a medication called HUMIRA. And in that ad is a section of scrolling text of "Important Safety Information". So of course I started reading it. Well, this all seems pretty typical.

Quote:
Use and Important Safety Information

Who is HUMIRA for?

HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis who are ready for systemic therapy or phototherapy, and are under the care of a doctor who will decide if other systemic therapies are less appropriate.

What is the most important information I should know about HUMIRA?
You should discuss the potential benefits and risks of HUMIRA with your doctor. HUMIRA is a TNF blocker medicine that can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. You should not start taking HUMIRA if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor says it is okay.
  • Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA.
    These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before starting HUMIRA, and check you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with HUMIRA, even if your TB test was negative. If your doctor feels you are at risk, you may be treated with medicine for TB.
  • Cancer. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, the chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. There have been cases of unusual cancers in children, teenagers, and young adults using TNF blockers. Some people have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of cancer often results in death. If using TNF blockers including HUMIRA, your chance of getting two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) may increase. These types are generally not life-threatening if treated; tell your doctor if you have a bump or open sore that doesn’t heal.

What should I tell my doctor BEFORE starting HUMIRA?
Tell your doctor about all of your health conditions, including if you:
  • Have an infection, are being treated for infection, or have symptoms of an infection
  • Get a lot of infections or infections that keep coming back
  • Have diabetes
  • Have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB, or were born in, lived in, or traveled where there is more risk for getting TB
  • • Live or have lived in an area (such as the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys) where there is an increased risk for getting certain kinds of fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis. These infections may happen or become more severe if you use HUMIRA. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if you have lived in these areas
  • Have or have had hepatitis B
  • Are scheduled for major surgery
  • Have or have had cancer
  • Have numbness or tingling or a nervous system disease such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Have or had heart failure
  • Have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. HUMIRA patients may receive vaccines, except for live vaccines. Children should be brought up to date on all vaccines before starting HUMIRA
  • Are allergic to rubber, latex, or any HUMIRA ingredients
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed
  • Have a baby and you were using HUMIRA during your pregnancy. Tell your baby’s doctor before your baby receives any vaccines

Also tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. You should not take HUMIRA with ORENCIA® (abatacept), KINERET® (anakinra), REMICADE® (infliximab), ENBREL® (etanercept), CIMZIA® (certolizumab pegol), or SIMPONI® (golimumab). Tell your doctor if you have ever used RITUXAN® (rituximab), IMURAN® (azathioprine), or PURINETHOL® (mercaptopurine, 6-MP).

What should I watch for AFTER starting HUMIRA?
HUMIRA can cause serious side effects, including:
  • Serious infections. These include TB and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Symptoms related to TB include a cough, low-grade fever,
  • weight loss, or loss of body fat and muscle.
  • Hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus. Symptoms include muscle aches, feeling very tired, dark urine, skin or eyes that look yellow, little or no appetite, vomiting, clay-colored bowel movements, fever, chills, stomach discomfort, and skin rash.
  • Allergic reactions. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include hives, trouble breathing, and swelling of your face, eyes, lips, or mouth.
  • Nervous system problems. Signs and symptoms include numbness or tingling, problems with your vision, weakness in your arms or legs, and dizziness.
  • Blood problems (decreased blood cells that help fight infections or stop bleeding). Symptoms include a fever that does not go away, bruising or bleeding very easily, or looking very pale.
  • Heart failure (new or worsening). Symptoms include shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, and sudden weight gain.
  • Immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome. Symptoms include chest discomfort or pain that does not go away, shortness of breath, joint pain, or rash on your cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun.
  • Liver problems. Symptoms include feeling very tired, skin or eyes that look yellow, poor appetite or vomiting, and pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen).
  • Psoriasis (new or worsening). Symptoms include red scaly patches or raised bumps that are filled with pus.
Call your doctor or get medical care right away if you develop any of the above symptoms.

Common side effects of HUMIRA include injection site reactions (redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising), upper respiratory infections (sinus infections), headaches, rash, and nausea. These are not all of the possible side effects with HUMIRA. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Remember, tell your doctor right away if you have an infection or symptoms of an infection, including:
  • Fever, sweats, or chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood in phlegm
  • Weight loss
  • Warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
  • Diarrhea or stomach pain
  • Burning when you urinate
  • Urinating more often than normal
  • Feeling very tired

HUMIRA is given by injection under the skin.

This is the most important information to know about HUMIRA. For more information, talk to your health care provider.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you cannot afford your medication, visit www.pparx.org for assistance.

Reference: 1. HUMIRA Injection [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc.

64Y-1912405
Unless this medication is a cure for certain death, I sure as hell wouldn't take it!
 
Old 04-01-2019, 07:24 PM   #2
Twolunger
Have you noticed every ad for medication now starts by saying " if you have moderate to severe." If I have moderate to severe anything I'm going to the doctor, not watch some young people with helmets climbing rock faces, or kayaking. Something tells me that once you read about Humira side effects the plaque psoriasis isn't so bad after all. They could have saved a lot of label room by saying don't take this it will kill you, but it will cure the psoriasis.
 

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