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Humira: Injection Site Reaction

My son started Humira 3.5 months ago. He's on 40mg every other week along with Imuran 75mg. He seems to be doing good health wise but he's having very bad injection site reaction after couple of hours of the shot. The pen is citrate free. He did not have reactions during the first 4 shots, but now he's reacting.
He has hives around the infection site, along with the infection site becoming red, swollen and hot to the touch (as big as a saucer plate sometime!) It slowly goes away by day 4 or 5. His GI doctor wants him to take Benadryl an hour before the shot. We will try it today. The pharmacy nurse wasn't concerned at all. She's says.. It's one of the most common side effect and she asked us to try cold compress, steroid cream or benedryl cream.

I know a lot of the kids were on Humira. I need your assurance and suggestions please.
Humira seems to be working well for him. We have no plans of dropping it.

my little penguin

Staff member
Ds had injection site reactions from humira
Satellite hives and welts as big as my hand
When he got humira in his arm
In the thigh no issues (weird I know )
We were told as long as the reaction didn’t spread (past a joint) or include other systems
Then it wasn’t systemic and not anaphylaxis
Learn the signs of anaphylaxis
Ds also had injection site reactions from kineret .
That shot was daily
Large bruised welts at the site
We gave Benadryl before
It helped some
This went on for a year no other issues

Later he developed welts that poped up at the injection site as well as previous days injection site
A few days after that anaphylaxis to the drug (hives away from the site ,trouble breathing and nausea )

so good to be aware


Staff member
We gave Benadryl prior to the shot to help with site reactions with one of my daughters. She used to get a hot, softball-sized red welt a day after the shot that then lasted a couple days. With Benadryl, she still had a welt, but it wasn't as big or itchy if she took Benadryl 30 min before the shot - it became the size of a quarter or a little bigger. She also used a topical OTC hydrocortisone cream if it was really itchy. But normally as long as she took Benadryl, she was fine and the site reaction didn't bother her.
My younger daughter now follows the same procedure for a different biologic - site reactions are quite common.
Thank you all. Your answers are assuring! I was concerned because his GI doctor said.., he hasn't heard of the reactions before from other patients.


Staff member
They're pretty common - but perhaps not with the new formulation of Humira? But they are always listed as a side effect. My daughter was on the old formulation, and back then, her doc said they were quite common and usually nothing to worry about. You can also try moving the shot - my kiddo reacted on her thighs but not when we did the shots in her belly. No idea why.