• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

I keep getting infections

I have been on Humira for a couple of years now for my Crohn's Disease. Lately it seems like I always have an infection cooking somewhere on my body. If I rip off a hangnail, the site can become infected, sometimes I've had to even take antibiotics. Currently, I have a swollen lymph node in my neck, probably due to the severe rash/scaling on my scalp that I can't stop scratching. I thought I was told to hold off on the injection if I was sick or infected but I was wondering what anyone else's experiences are. How long can I put the shot off for, exactly?


Super Moderator
Have you talked to your GI about this?
I get infections very easily as well, although I am not on Humira, I was when I got the first infection and my immune system hasn't been the same since.
Every one has staph and strep on their skin, its just a matter of whether or not it finds a warm moist place to grow and thrive.
I don't have much advice except to try and boost your immune system. I know vitamin c is good for your immune system, but I am not sure what else. If you go to a vitamin store like GNC or Whole Foods, there are well trained employees that can help you
My GI knows, but he seems to have little to say about it. He knows about that as well as the arsenal of supplements that I take. :) I had a MRSA infection at one point so I am paranoid now. Thanks for your input!


Super Moderator
I don't know very much about MRSA, but isn't that incurable? Similar to something like herpes where you get out breaks of sores and stuff?
No, it's staph bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. It begins as skin boils and can get to the bloodstream, which can be fatal. I was treated and it went away, but not fun.


Staff member
Hi darster, sorry for the late reply.

With biologics it all depends on how bad the infections are. While I was on Humira I was told to contact the pharmacist by phone if I'm feeling sick or have any sort of infection before I take my next injection. From there the pharmacist decides if its ok to inject or not. There should be a number for you to contact in case you aren't feeling well or aren't sure if you should inject your next dose. When I spoke to the pharmacist one time, they told me to hold off on taking it until the infection cleared up.

You can put the shot off for quite a while (some people are told to stop it 4 weeks before having a surgery yet this is less common because operating on a healthy patient is best and the benefits of taking it outweigh the risks of possible infection following surgery) yet your symptoms could possibly return or get worse. It is possible to build up antibodies with Humira but its not as common as it is with Remicade.

Patients in Studies RA-I, RA-II, and RA-III were tested at multiple time points for antibodies to adalimumab during the 6-to 12-month period. Approximately 5% (58 of 1062) of adult RA patients receiving HUMIRA developed low-titer antibodies to adalimumab at least once during treatment, which were neutralizing in vitro. Patients treated with concomitant methotrexate (MTX) had a lower rate of antibody development than patients on HUMIRA monotherapy (1% versus 12%). No apparent correlation of antibody development to adverse reactions was observed. With monotherapy, patients receiving every other week dosing may develop antibodies more frequently than those receiving weekly dosing. In patients receiving the recommended dosage of 40 mg every other week as monotherapy, the ACR 20 response was lower among antibody-positive patients than among antibody-negative patients. The long-term immunogenicity of HUMIRA is unknown.


If the infections are too frequent or are so bad that they seem to be causing more harm than good then you and your GI need to talk about trying something else. I had to stop Humira because I would get an upper respiratory infection each day following my injection that would last to a couple days before my next one. So I was only able to take Humira for 3 months before I had to stop it.

I hope you're feeling better. Keep us posted. :)