Header graphic for print
Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices News & Commentary on Prescription Drug & Medical Device Lawsuits

Humira Use Found to Raise Risk of Infection

Posted in Humira

In 2010, Astrid Wiens et al. published research in Pharmacotherapy demonstrating the danger of Humira®Humira® (adalimumab) is a type of TNF inhibitor, a class of chemicals which aim to kill tumor necrosis factor cells in the body.  As TNF cells cause inflammation, the killing of these cells alleviates inflammation in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis,plaque psoriasis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and others.

Recently, Humira® had been linked to an increased risk for infection by legionella bacteria (the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease), and the Wiens et al (2010) team aimed to further investigate that risk and elucidate the role adalimumab plays in the onset of legionella infection.  Legionnaires’ disease is characterized by “high fever, chills, a cough, and sometimes muscle aches and headaches”[1] and, as is stated by MedlinePlus, a prominent online medical encyclopedia curated by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, “is serious and can be life-threatening,”[2] although “most people recover with antibiotic treatment.”[3]

The Wiens et al (2010) study collected data on the efficacy and safety of several arthritis inflammation medications by performing a wide-reaching literature review.  Among the three drugs evaluated (adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab), adalimumab was found to be the most effective in alleviating inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, but was also found to be the most dangerous by a wide margin.[4]

Estimating the risk associated with each drug compared to the risk associated with placebo, adalimumab use was found to make patients more than twice as likely to die during treatment or to suffer a serious infection (effect estimate 2.52-fold and 2.22-fold, respectively).[5]

The potentially serious adverse effects of this drug call for greater monitoring of patients taking the drug and may limit the population in which this drug can be used.  These findings therefore pose a significant clinical dilemma, as the most effective drug is also the most dangerous.

Because the manufacturer of Humira®, Abbott Laboratories, has failed to make adequate warnings about all risks associated with this drug, many users face serious risks unknowingly and may suffer needlessly from side-effects associated with this medication.  As such, a number of Humira® infection lawsuits are currently being filed.

If you or a loved one used Humira® and experienced a serious infection caused by Humira® please do not hesitate to contact our team of Humira® lawyers for a free, no-obligation case consultation.  At your convenience, you may reach our offices at (855) 452-5529 or by e-mail at justinian@dangerousdrugs.us.

Our Humira Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have additional questions about Humira.


[1] “Legionaires’ Disease: MedlinePlus” MedlinePlus. US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Available at <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/legionnairesdisease.html> Updated 26 March 2013, Accessed 9 April 2013

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Wiens, A. et al. (2010) “Meta-analysis of the Efficacy and Safety of Adalimumab, Etanercept, and Infliximab for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis” Pharmacotherapy Vol. 30, No. 4; pp. 339-353

[5] Ibid.