My First Humira Hangover

Usually, I aim for my blog posts to be full of tips and words of wisdom-but today, I’m actually turning to my readers for help instead.

About three weeks ago, I finally took the decision to begin Humira. This isn’t my first experience with biologics-a few years ago when I lived abroad, I was on Remicade. However, given that this was administered every eight weeks (and I also had to stay in the hospital for a few hours to rest whilst doing it), my side effects were luckily limited to grogginess the next day.

The feeling is inescapable

With that in mind, I wasn’t too worried about the side effects when embarking on my Humira journey (other than, you know, the ones I’d found in a google black hole late at night-but the less said about those, the better). In fact, my main source of anxiety was the pain I’d heard about when injecting. I’d read so many tips of ‘brace yourself!’ ‘use ice!’ ‘stock up on painkillers‘ that it was pretty anticlimactic when I felt nothing at all. For those intrigued, it turns out those of us in the UK have a pretty pain-free formula of the drug; unlike our US friends.

Needless to say, I thought I’d got it cracked after mastering my first injection-but now on my second dose (after taking the loading dose 2 weeks ago) the feeling of what I’ve dubbed a ‘Humira hangover’ is inescapable.

I feel as if I’ve gone ten rounds in a boxing match and someone has stuffed my head with cotton wool in the process

To summarise (as I’ve no idea if this usual or if I’m alone with this) my ‘Humira hangover’ consists of……

  • Feeling really tired but not actually being able to sleep any more than usual.
  • Feeling ‘woolly’ as if my brain just isn’t working properly.
  • Feeling achy; as if I’m recovering from the flu.
  • Just wanting to curl up with Netflix; as if I spent all last night drinking when I was in fact in my PJs by 6pm.

Now, many of you might point out that these can also be symptoms of IBD in general but I’ve been pretty lucky to date, to not suffer from things like fatigue and brain fog. I actually have quite a lot of energy usually (which perhaps make this detour even more noticeable). Given I’m only now two weeks between injections, I can’t help but wonder if this will be a new reality? The first few days are the worst but the tiredness seems to linger on and on.

I’d love to hear your tips and experiences on managing things

So far, I’ve tried bath salts for the achy joints which seem to have helped a little. I’ve also upped my vitamin D and asked for my levels to be retested-in case it’s a deficiency that is causing me to feel this way. Other than that, I’m at a loss-and although I’m lucky enough to work for myself at home; there’s still a temptation to take way too many mid-day naps until I wait to feel better.

Does anyone else feel like this post-Humira? Does it eventually go away as your body gets used to the drugs or is it simply an inevitable side-effect of being on a biologic? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (3)

Poll