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Enbrel

Enbrel (etanercept) works by decreasing a certain protein produced by the immune system. The immune system helps the body fight infections. In people with autoimmune disorders, the immune system mistakes the body's own cells for invaders and attacks them.

Enbrel is used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis, and to prevent joint damage caused by these conditions. Enbrel is also used to treat plaque psoriasis in adults and polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children who are at least 2 years old.

Some people using Enbrel have developed a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma (cancer). This condition affects the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, and it can be fatal. This has occurred mainly in teenagers and young adults using Enbrel or similar medicines to treat Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Call your doctor at once if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, night sweats, itching, loss of appetite, weight loss, tiredness, feeling full after eating only a small amount, pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your shoulder, nausea, easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Uses
Before you start treatment with Enbrel, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have tuberculosis or other infections. Some infections are more likely to occur in certain areas of the world. Tell your doctor where you live and where you have recently traveled or plan to travel to during treatment. Enbrel is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes. You may need to mix Enbrel with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication. A child must weigh at least 138 pounds to use the Sureclick autoinjector. Children who weigh less than 138 pounds should use a different form of Enbrel.
How to take
Use a different place on your body each time you give the injection. Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject the medication. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row. Avoid injecting into skin that is bruised, tender, red, or hard.
Side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Enbrel: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Enbrel and call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms of lymphoma:
  • fever, night sweats, weight loss, tiredness;
  • feeling full after eating only a small amount;
  • pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your shoulder;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate; or
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
  • Drug interactions
    Enbrel is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes. You may need to mix Enbrel with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication.
    Missed dose
    Call your doctor for instructions if you miss your Enbrel dose.
    Storage
    Store Enbrel in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. After mixing Enbrel with a diluent, store in the refrigerator and use it within 14 days. Do not use Enbrel after the expiration date on the label has passed. Do not shake the prefilled syringe. Vigorous shaking can ruin the medicine. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or appears cloudy. Call your doctor for a new prescription.