Ankylosing Spondylitis

Updated 5 months ago by Matt 250 views
Tags: Humira
Ankylosing Spondylitis

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing Spondylitis (Ankspon or AS) is an autoimmune condition where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy body tissue. This causes inflammation that starts in the lower back and works it’s way up into the spine. Eventually, the vertebrae (bones of the spine) fuse together, causing the spine to become rigid and inflexible.


There is currently no cure for AS however a biologic drug is available which can stop the disease from progressing any further.


The biologic drug Adalimumab, sold under the trade name HUMIRA, can block or slow the progression of Ankspon & is taken via regular self injection.

How it works

One part of your immune system is a protein called tumor necrosis factor, also known as TNF, which is produced naturally by the body's immune system. But in certain autoimmune diseases, some people produce too much TNF. This often leads to inflammation. HUMIRA is a type of TNF blocker medication which works by binding to TNF molecules and blocking them from attaching to and attacking healthy cells. In this way, HUMIRA helps reduce the damaging effects of excess TNF. No treatment can stop your body's overproduction of TNF, but a medication like HUMIRA can help reduce its effects.

Side effects of HUMIRA

  • Weak immune system.
  • Higher risk of getting serious infections including tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis B, and infections caused by viruses, fungi, parasites, bacteria or other infections.
  • Increased chance of diseases that affect the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis.
  • In some cases, it can be life-threatening.

How much does HUMIRA cost?

HUMIRA costs around $899 NZD per injection & is no longer government funded in New Zealand, however due to other medicines failing me, I'm on an exemption that allows me to stay on it.


  • How long does someone with Ankspon have to take HUMIRA?
    Since there is no cure for Ankspon, most people with Ankspon will need to inject for the rest of their life.

  • How often is HUMIRA taken?
    Once every two weeks.