Humira -auto-immune medicatons check the box

May 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm 2 comments

selfportrait- Chris Ritchey

selfportrait- Chris Ritchey

ED Note
Every single day this blog receives searches looking for answers and information on Humira and other auto- immune medications. The information on this blog has been garnered not from the medical community, the drug sales force, the commercials but from the mothers of those who are the faces of the “black box warning” .

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/humira-the-black-box-and-you/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/black-box-warnings-take-heed-humira-etc/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/the-faces-of-the-black-box-warning-humira/

– No one wants another mother to share their pain. Graciously in the midst of their own suffering they have answered emails sent through this blog and elsewhere to advise from their own personal experience- the following is one such response to those that search.

drugshot
You are right to look for information about Humira, and any other kind of powerful auto-immune medication–and there are several on the market today of similar biological make-up. In addition, there are other drugs that are frequently prescribed in combination with these auto-immune drugs (a protocol called recombinent drug therapy) which when taken together, can have additional serious (deadly) adverse side effects. All of these meds are/can be very, very dangerous, but every situation and individual is different.

If you are concerned, it will be entirely up to you and/or your family to do the appropriate research before you make a decision one way or another to take these kinds of medications.

Please, DO NOT waste your time contacting the sales reps for the drug company. They do not know, and WILL NOT tell you anything even if they do. They are not research scientists, doctors, or experts in anything except how to sell a product and make a commission.

Unfortunately, it is probable that your doctor will not know much more since they, too, purchase the meds from these same salespeople. Nor can you assume or expect a pharmacist to know any more about the dangers of these drugs than what is included in the package insert they dispense. The bottom line is no one can give you information unless it has first been provided by the drug companies and this is precisely why we are in such trouble.

dollars for docs

http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/
I strongly suggest that you do as much research as possible about any auto-immune medication being prescribed for whatever your particular condition might be. Humira and other similar medications can be, and are used safely by thousands of people, but not everyone.

You may be fine with this medication, but it would probably still be a good idea to

1. find another one or two doctors for second or third opinions.

2. Ask as many questions as you can about length of treatment and expected outcome.

3.You should also go online to the FDA website for information about Humira (and other auto-immune drugs) and look for material specifically regarding adverse events. You need definitely to do this, if you do nothing else.

Any information about dangerous side effects for these drugs will be listed there. You will not be able to get this information in any format that is intelligible, providing you can even find it, on the label.
Canda FDA
It is interesting to note as well, that Canada’s equivalent of the FDA is often years ahead of the U.S. in terms of issuing safety warnings for a variety of drugs that are freely prescribed in this country without a second thought. I would suggest that anyone with concerns check Canada’s governmental health website.
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php
Also, here are two excellent websites.

http://www.worstpills.org/aboutus.cfm
https://www.citizen.org/hrg

Do a thorough search of your condition and its drug treatment in the professional medical journals. I cannot stress this enough. This means you will need the help of a librarian, possibly at a University, school, or hospital who will have electronic access to a wide range of peer-reviewed serials and/or medical databases that you will not be able to find online on your own. This is important because a lot of what you can locate through a Google Search will not include the kind of information you will find in peer-reviewed medical journals—which are ONLY available at a medical (hospital) or university library. And it is this specific information you want.

Finally, don’t take any one doctor’s word on the safety profile for this (or any, drug). You need to gather as much information as possible on your own so you can present your concerns up front.
calm and research

The important thing is not to panic. Do your homework and don’t rush into anything before you feel as comfortable as possible with your decision. Our sorrow is a result of not being fully informed (warned) in advance of the dangers associated with these meds–because the information was not made available either to the general public or prescribing physicians until years after my boy died.

The bottom line really is ask questions about everything, do your research and if you feel uncomfortable with any kind of vague response…be cautious. Ultimately, you will have to make a decision, but an informed decision is absolutely necessary.

Consider all possibilities, including NOT taking a drug and what that might mean for you as well. Sometimes, horrible things happen regardless of how much you know and the most carefully considered decision. Sometimes, all that we can do, and have done, is not enough. Sometimes, there is no other choice–taking a particular medication is the lesser of two evils (disease vs. treatment). But, there is everything to be gained by being fully informed about ALL possibilities/options before you put yourself or a loved one at risk.

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Entry filed under: Corporate responsibility, death, Doctor/Physician, grief, health, medical, Open for Discussion, opinion. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Humira- the Black Box and YOU A ghost of remembrance – Mother’s Day

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. thatwoman  |  April 15, 2016 at 10:54 am

    moved from about that woman:

    25. Betsy Tozzini | April 15, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Very HAPPY to see your Blog! I’d like to share my horrendous experience with Humira…almost killed me. If my daughter didn’t get me to the hospital, I’d be dead. People really need to be aware of what this drug can do to you. It was wonderful for my psoriatic arthritis….absolutely no symptoms, of any kind, until things took an ugly turn on my body. On the bright side, I lost 100 pounds in less than six weeks and I did survive! UGH

  • 2. thatwoman  |  April 15, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I am so sorry Betsy for what happened to you – thank goodness you have lived to tell the tale and thank you for sharing

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