Medications > Etanercept | Enbrel > Etanercept (Enbrel) – pictopamphlet
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ETANERCEPT (Enbrel) [ee-TAN-er-sept]
How to use this medication
Some people with arthritis have too much TNF. TNF is a protein found in the body that can cause pain and swelling in the joints. Etanercept is a biologic medicine that blocks TNF and helps the pain and swelling of arthritis.
Etanercept is given by injection once a week. The normal dose is 50 mg every week. Sometimes the medicine is given twice a week. Talk to your doctor.
Etanercept is taken only once a week You, a friend, or a family member can be taught how to give the injections.
Although some patients can feel better quite quickly in others it can take a little longer. Keep taking your medication.
What you need to do
Etanercept can make it harder for you to fight off infections. Stop taking etanercept and call your doctor if:
- You develop a fever
- You think you have an infection
- You are given antibiotics to treat an infection
All patients should have a tuberculosis skin test & chest
x-ray before starting etanercept. Talk to your doctor.
It is important to occasionally have your blood tested while taking etanercept. This is important to keep track of your arthritis and to make sure your blood counts are ok.
Side effects & important things to know
Etanercept can rarely cause a reaction (redness, pain, & itching) at the injection site. Tell your doctor if these are severe.
Etanercept should be stopped before surgery. It can be restarted once things have healed and there is no sign of infection. If you are having surgery, talk to your doctor about when to stop the medicine.
Etanercept has not been studied in pregnancy. Let your doctor know if you are planning to get pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.
Etanercept may make a condition called congestive heart failure worse. Tell your doctor if you have congestive heart failure.
Other very rare side effects
Patients have very rarely developed conditions of the nervous system (multiple sclerosis) and the immune system (lupus) while taking medications like etanercept.
Etanercept has very rarely been associated with developing cancer. Tell your doctor if you have had cancer in the past.
When should I call my doctor
- If you feel sick and want to stop
- If you are concerned about any side effects
- If you want to or have already stopped the medicine