Enbrel, Humira and latex? Allergy the same as Elastoplast? Is latex in the solutions of Enbrel and Humira or just the needle covers?

Quick as I can as I just lost my previously typed question when my iPad conked out of power!

I have only just read towards the end of my research that Enbrel and Humira contain latex in the needle cover (how is the clicpen affected?)

Really disappointed if it is actually in the solution? ... as I do want to Take Enbrel. I do want so much to try Enbrel for my RA which is flaring badly. Have left message on the helpline for the Rheumy nurse to contact me. Apparently the admin staff gave me the wrong mobile number for her and I have been leaving someone who is nothing to do with the hospital messages!! Discovered that today.

I have some reaction and sensation when the hospital puts a plastic type Elastoplast on me (keep telling them not to and they keep doing it at blood tests!) It is always specific to the area covered and not anything general in reaction. I get a slight raised embossed type effect where the plaster has been and sometimes prickles and pinkness, or just pinkness and raised till I remove it. Then it soon subsides. I try to remove ASAP if they have put the plastic plaster on and not micropore etc.

I had hoped I had got it almost sorted out apart from my imminent root canal and antibiotics.

Julie xx

16 Replies

  • prob not in click pen ask health care at home/ ? not in the solution x

  • the full prescribing info for Humira says that you should "advise latex sensitive patients that the needle cap of the pre-filled syringe contains latex" and for Enbrel it says that needle caps of the pre-filled syringe and the pen contain dry natural rubber which is a derivative of latex. It is not listed as an ingredients of either (and the idea of injecting latex sounds a bit weird?)

    Do you know that it's latex that sets you off rather than the adhesive in plasters?

    But if in doubt, ask....


  • Thanks Summer and Polly. Must admit I was thinking surely it csnt be in the solution. I am thinking that surely it can't be too much if it is in the needle cap. I will hopefully get to talk to the Rheumy nurse tomorrow.

    Thanks again folks.

    Julie x

  • Polly, that is a very good point, thank you! I don't know if it is the adhesive on the plastic plasters as it doesn't have quite the same effect if the plaster is fabric. The adhesive is different certainly in the two types of plaster aforementioned.


  • Do you have to wear latex free washing up gloves? that might be a way to tell?

  • Hi

    I am allergic to elastoplast plasters and have a reaction exactly the same as you describe. However I have never reacted to latex. I assume it is the adhesive I am allergic to.

    Hopefully they can offer you some sort of allergy testing to check whether or not it is the latex you are alergic to.


  • You can actually get a blood test (and ELISA test) to check for latex allergy, so might be worth asking your GP if they could organise that - then you would know for sure if it was an allergy or just a sensitivity. If its just a sensitivity, then pre-medicating yourself with an antihistamine tablet the day of the injection might be enough. I wouldn't want to try it though without being sure that you weren't properly allergic.

    FWIW, I am very sensitive to latex, but its not an allergy. I get very much the same reaction to sticky plasters, but not to micropore tape. I am however extremely sensitive to maize/corn in all its forms, and I believe that many glues and adhesives are maize based. That explains my sticky plaster reactions to me. Mightn't be the same for you, but its something to consider.

  • Earth witch and Helix, I don't often wear gloves to wash up these days, but used to wear a lot of disposable gloves when printmaking at college, and they never bothered me.

    I will ask about the blood test, though. Micropore never bothers me. The adhesive on my Fentanyl transdermal pain patches never seems to either.

    If it is just sensitivity then hopefully I can get round it.

    Thank you ;-)

  • Thanks Becky, I think it could well be the adhesive too. I dooke to my Rheumy nurse today to ask er about it and she says it sounds like the adhesive and I would soon know by an itching reaction round the injection site but when I told her it seemed more a sensitivity than allergy she said there was no reason not to go ahead and try Enbrel.

    Julie x

  • Spoke! Sorry. I am typing one fingered whilst drinking a cuppa! ;-)

  • I have a latex allergy and am starting Enbrel soon.I had a blood test at the hospital a few years ago before an operation and it showed I had quite a high allergy,so they had to prepare the theatre beforehand.You can get latex free rubber gloves.I am fine with Micropore plaster but not elastaplast and all my underwear has to be latex free.(M&S) :)

    It's amazing how many things have latex in them,like the buttons on remote controls etc.

  • I was allergic to the actual pen as my nurse said the tip was latex. I was fine with the syringes, slight injection site rash for a day or so but nothing like with the pens whan my whole thigh swelled up! I was on the syringes for 9 months without any problems. Hope this helps.


  • FHA ks Mary, although niw iam thinking maybe i won't be able to take the pen. Why do then have to have the tip latex when I underatand am allergy to latex can be quite common. I have done MTX injections so have to problem with the needle.

    Rita - the world has gone latex mad it would

    seem. Presume you are having the needles then? Is it actually called a latex allergy blood I need to ask for?


    Julie x

  • Sorry folks I am typing so fast as it is late. I meant to type thanks!

  • Hi Julie,Yes ,a latex allergy blood test and yes I am going to be having the needles. :)


  • I hope to request the test form from my GP the holiday weekend as I have to wait a couple of weeks at least before I can start Enbrel. Hope yours is going to work great for you. Do you know when you start, Rita? Thanks for your advice.

    Julie xx

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