Humira and Alcohol

by on June 20, 2012

Humira (Adalimumab) is an injection given to patients who suffer from various forms of inflammatory conditions which may include rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (an inflammatory disease that mostly affects the lower back) and plaque psoriasis. It is usually administered once a week or once every two weeks by injection. Many patients have questioned whether it is safe to use Humira and alcohol together at any time.

Is Humira and Alcohol a Safe Combination?

Although many sources state that insufficient studies have been done regarding the safety of this combination, this doesn’t mean that it is safe for all patients to consume alcohol while using Humira. This is because some people may have more severe reactions to medication than others. While some patients may not experience any of the usual side effects of alcohol consumption such as hangovers or headaches, others may be severely affected by these side effects. When taken in conjunction with alcohol, certain drugs may either not work or be released in larger than necessary doses into the body. This can lead to complications either way. Always consult with your doctor if you are unsure at any time.

In most cases, the patient shouldn’t experience any side effects, but this may not always be the case. If the patient experiences symptoms such as dizziness, hives, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting or vision changes, they should seek immediate medical attention. Many patients who use Humira will also use methotrexate based drugs (Trexall or Rheumatrex) to treat their condition. These are the patients who need to exercise caution when consuming alcohol, as a maximum of one to two drinks is recommended at one time while using this drug. Alcohol consumption should also not exceed more than two days a week and consuming it more often than this while on these drugs is severely discouraged.

Potentially Irreversible Liver and Kidney Damage

Patients who consume alcohol on a regular basis are normally at risk for developing chronic liver and kidney conditions such as cirrhosis or even kidney failure in severe situations. By combining Humira and alcohol, they are putting themselves at even higher risk of doing permanent organ damage. Many doctors will recommend that the patient abstain from alcohol as much as possible while using most medications. If this is not always possible due to social commitments, the patient should exercise restraint by limiting their alcohol consumption and ensure that they do not drive or operate heavy machinery if they have consumed alcohol in conjunction with Humira at any time.

Patients should always follow the dosage instructions of Humira as laid out by their doctor and ensure that they abstain from consuming alcohol if advised to do so. As there have not been sufficient studies undertaken regarding the combination of Humira and alcohol, patients should ensure that they use their discretion with regards to how much alcohol to consume while using Humira. Alcohol should always be consumed as responsibly as possible.