Adalimumab is a drug, which belongs to the class of biologicals and can be used especially for autoimmune diseases. In these diseases our natural defence system overreacts and attacks the body’s own cells. Thus, Adalimumab can help patients suffering from psoriasis, rheumatism or chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases. In the following you can learn more about the fields of application, the effect and also side effects of Adalimumab.
What are biologicals?
The biologicals class of drugs refers to artificially produced proteins that can specifically intervene in the function of our immune system. This can slow down overreactions against the body’s own tissue and alleviate the course of the disease. These proteins, which are produced using biotechnology, are very similar to our body’s own proteins and therefore rarely lead to side effects such as allergies. They are now considered one of the most important development approaches in pharmacotherapy and are now helping many patients with autoimmune diseases or cancer. You can find more detailed information about biologicals in our article: Biologics
Adalimumab is used for many different autoimmune diseases. All diseases have in common that our natural defence system is overreactive and attacks the body’s own cells. Adalimumab can modulate our immune system and thus reduce this malfunction.
Adalimumab is currently only a 2nd choice because of the effort and the cost, but can be used for non-treatable diseases. These include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (an inflammatory disease that mainly affects the small joints),
- The chronic inflammatory bowel diseases Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,
- The spinal disease ankylosing spondylitis (also called ankylosing spondylitis) and
- The skin disease psoriasis. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that mainly affects teenagers and young adults and has no tangible cause.
The disease manifests itself mainly through chronic diarrhoea, abdominal pain and painful bowel movements, as well as weight loss, growth disorders and anaemia due to the reduced absorption of nutrients through the intestines. Numerous symptoms outside the gastrointestinal tract can also occur, such as inflammation of the joints or eyes. Since a hypersensitive immune system is responsible for the damage in Crohn’s disease, the therapy uses substances that shut down the immune system.
These include above all the so-called glucocorticoids such as cortisone. If the disease does not respond sufficiently to cortisone therapy or if high amounts of glucocorticoids are needed with corresponding side effects, biologicals – including adalimumab – can be used to contain the disease. Adalimumab can be combined with other drugs.
Bekhterev’s disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease that can lead to complete stiffening of the spine. Similar to chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, the inflammation is caused by a hypersensitive immune system. This means that the body’s own defence cells attack not only pathogens but also the joints of the spine.
The damage caused here can lead to the destruction of the architecture of the spinal column and thus to glorious restrictions of movement. To counteract the stiffening of the spine, the most important pillar of therapy is physiotherapy and physiotherapy. Anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen or the so-called glucocorticoids (cortisone) can be used as medication in acute attacks.
In addition, studies have shown that biologicals such as adalimumab can have a positive effect on the development of the disease. By regulating the immune system, the progress of the disease can be slowed down. However, the biologicals are so-called reserve drugs and are only prescribed if the therapy with physiotherapy and painkillers fails, also because of the high price and possible side effects.
Psoriasis, better known as psoriasis, is an inflammatory disease that mainly affects the skin, but not infrequently can also affect joints and internal organs. The development of psoriasis is caused by many different factors, but a hypersensitive immune system is also involved in the disease process. Adalimumab is also used as a biological reserve remedy for psoriasis, if the first-line therapy fails. In this case, the psoriasis must be very pronounced and be accompanied by a high level of suffering or have affected the patient’s joints. By regulating the immune system, adalimumab can have a positive influence on the development of the disease.