Humira and Mental side effects

I looked for a topic related to this issue could not find one so i am gonna post.

was on methotrexate for few years after a flare up doc put me on Humira. been on it 8 weeks. After each injection i was sick or 3 days, unable to get off the couch. after the second injection i had fatigue, slight confusion, aggression, brain fog, a never ending head ache and a feeling of impending doom. it has been horrible, i have one more week for the humira to be done and i am supposed to start Embrel. after this humira nightmare i am very concerned about embrel doing the same.

anyone got any insight please and thank you

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That’s a side effect I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned. But clearly that’s not doable.

You’ve spoken with your doctor about your concerns regarding Enbrel?

I found Humira to have no mental effects when I first took it and it was great for a number of years until I was one of the very rare people who’ll seem to get mild neurological effects - I had things like numbness, balance and coordination problems, 5 day headaches, and a whole host of other things, but also fatigue and brain fog.

I took Enbrel prior to Humira, and to me it was like bing given a shot of pure energy! I have terrible brain fog from the PsA and Enbrel made an enormous difference to that. For me, the depression that had been following me around since diagnosis with PsA also lifted (Enbrel was my first biologic). I didn’t stay on Enbrel, because it turns out that I have IBD as well and I needed something that would work for both, but it was great for the brain fog, fatigue and arthritis.

Also, since I had the side effects from Humira, I have been on a very similar TNF blocker ((Cimzia), and Stelara, and have had no adverse impacts from either of those. I think adverse effects are very rare, and even if you have them to one, it is still very rare to have them to another, I hope Enbrel works for you.

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I agree these side effects are strange. My doc did say that biologics have the same mechanism but also have differences. He said we will try them all if that is what it takes. Thank you for responce


Thank you for the response. I also have a head ache but it has lasted for weeks. I am hoping the embrel is different enough. Having psa is hard enough without medication side effects. I will update

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Great, we would love to hear how you go :grin:

Hah, finally someone like me when on humira. I was on one of its biosimilars called Imraldi. It was my second biologic, the previous one a biosimilar to Enbrel called Benepali I had been on for 11 months and suffered no side effects it simply didn’t work well enough for me. So as per the UK treating protocol I was put on this biosimilar to Humira.

On taking the first injection, it was obvious my body didn’t like it. It was an immediate feeling too, very instinctive. I told myself I was being silly, but I wasn’t.

For 8 weeks I poo-ed for England, not diarrhoea but simply far too often. It re-ignited my asthma and I waded through this impending sense of doom you mentioned @mikelvan.It’s quite awful isn’t it? I didn’t feel fatigued though, nor did I have a headache, I was too busy visiting the bathroom for too much of that I think. But I was short of breath and wheezing as well. I sort of guessed the impending sense of doom thing was solely med induced as I’m not normally like that. But even knowing that, didn’t help it.

After 8 weeks me and my rheumy decided enough was enough and I was changed again. This time to Cosentyx. Zero side effects on that too. Here in the UK they make you wait a good month in between changing biologics and by the time I started Cosentyx, my bowel habits had returned to normal, my asthma was easing up and that truly weird feeling of an impending sense of doom had thankfully vanished.

I’m now 10 months on Cosentyx and it’s working just fine and the only side effect I have is that I sleep really well for couple of days a month each time I take it. I’m happy with that. I had no such side effects taking the biosimilar to Enbrel though, so I was really surprised and aghast I had such side effects to this.

So have faith that like me it’s just you and Humira simply not getting along. In my case it’s certainly not how other biologics treated or treat me. But it was something of a shock enduring it.

I’m so glad though you’re being changed. Best of luck on Enbrel.


Maybe a stupid question.
Were you put on steroids as well during flare?

Interesting. I was also on Imraldi but although it worked well the side effects were too much for me. A spaced feeling and a constant headache carried on for over a year so it wasn’t going to go away.
When I sought help it was changed to Benepali (etanercept). Much better, very little headache from the start. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for me and I have been in a flare for the last 2 months.
I was hoping to try another anti-tnf but I am now being started on tofacitinib which is relatively new in the UK as I understand it. It is taken orally so no more injections although I am worried about how my stomach will react to a new assault.

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Odd they skipped either Cosentyx or Talz for you. It’s the usual next ones after humira and etanercept biosimilars. Did they say why?

I have not taken the humira in over two weeks. The side effects were crazy. I feel great now. Giving my self a week off any meds before start embrel. Thank you guys all you guys for your responces. It nice to hear others who have no side effects to other meds. I was not on any other meds while taking the humira. I will update on embrel.

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No, I was surprised myself that they had chosen this route. But to be honest, with these consultations all being done by phone now due to covid, I struggle to hear clearly what is being said. I hear about half of it and spend time afterwards trying to fill in the blanks. So I never catch up in time to ask intelligent questions. They sent a leaflet about the treatment so I guess I will just follow their advice for now and see where it takes me.

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It’s usually better to have a month’s break between biologics. They have a long half life. But isn’t your rheumy advising on this?

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thanks for the response. i just e mailed my doc about when i should start the embrel.

Poo-therapy. i dont have insurance. i am a cash patient so i think the doc had me apply for the companies who could take e on as a scholarship,

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