Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 10, 2020.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly infections have happened in patients who take Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes). Most people who had these infections were taking other drugs to lower the immune system like methotrexate or steroid drugs. If you have any infection, are taking antibiotics now or in the recent past, or have had many infections, talk with your doctor.
- TB (tuberculosis) has been seen in patients started on Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes). These patients were exposed to TB in the past, but never got the infection. You will be tested to see if you have been exposed to TB before starting Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes).
- Lymphoma and other cancers have happened in people who take Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) or drugs like it. This has been deadly in some cases. Talk with the doctor.
Uses of Enbrel:
- It is used to treat some types of arthritis.
- It is used to treat ankylosing spondylitis.
- It is used to treat plaque psoriasis.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Enbrel?
- If you have an allergy to etanercept or any other part of Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes).
- If you are allergic to Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes); any part of Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have Wegener's granulomatosis.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Abatacept or anakinra.
- If you are taking cyclophosphamide.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Enbrel?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use of some vaccines with Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- Make sure you are up to date with all your vaccines before treatment with Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes).
- Do not get a weakened bacteria like BCG for bladder cancer while you use Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes). Talk with your doctor.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- The chance of skin cancer may be raised. Avoid lots of sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- Have your skin checked. Tell your doctor if you have any skin changes like a new wart, skin sore or reddish bump that bleeds or does not heal, or a change in the color or size of a mole.
- Rarely, bone marrow and blood problems have happened with Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes). This includes a severe health problem called aplastic anemia. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; purple "splotches" on your skin; or feeling very tired or weak.
- If you have had hepatitis B before or carry the virus, talk with your doctor. Drugs like this one can cause the virus to become active. This can lead to very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems.
- Hepatitis B testing needs to be done as you were told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor. Some products have latex.
- If you are 65 or older, use Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- If giving Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) to your child and your child's weight changes, talk with the doctor. The dose of Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) may need to be changed.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
- If you used Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) when you were pregnant, tell your baby's doctor.
How is this medicine (Enbrel) best taken?
Use Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the top of the thigh, belly area, or upper arm.
- If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Do not shake.
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Do not give into skin that is irritated, tender, bruised, red, scaly, hard, scarred, or has stretch marks.
- Do not give into skin within 2 inches of the belly button.
- Do not give if the solution is not clear and colorless.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- You may need to leave Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) at room temperature for 30 minutes before using. Do not remove the cap or cover until ready to use. Do not heat Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes). If you are not sure if the brand you have needs to be left at room temperature before using, talk with your pharmacist or read the package insert.
- This product may contain small white particles. Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has large lumps, flakes, or other particles.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of lupus like a rash on the cheeks or other body parts, sunburn easy, muscle or joint pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Pale skin.
- Red scaly patches or bumps that are pus filled.
- A skin lump or growth.
- Call your doctor right away if you have a swollen gland, night sweats, shortness of breath, or weight loss without trying.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes). Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Rarely, people using drugs like this one have had nervous system problems. Sometimes, these problems have not gone away. Call your doctor right away if you have a burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal; change in eyesight; dizziness; seizures; or weakness in your arms or legs.
- Heart failure has happened with Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes), as well as heart failure that has gotten worse in people who already have it. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, a big weight gain, a heartbeat that is not normal, or swelling in the arms or legs that is new or worse.
What are some other side effects of Enbrel?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Enbrel?
- Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- You may store unopened containers at room temperature. If you store at room temperature, be sure you know how long the product is good for. Ask the doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- Do not put Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) back in the refrigerator after it has been stored at room temperature.
- Store in the original container to protect from light.
- Protect from very hot or very cold temperatures.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes) is refilled. If you have any questions about Enbrel (etanercept prefilled syringes), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
- What are the new drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
- Can Enbrel be taken with antibiotics?
- Can you take it with a cold?
- What are the new drugs for the treatment of plaque psoriasis?
- How many biosimilars have been approved in the United States?
- How long does it take for Enbrel to work?
- How long can Enbrel be left unrefrigerated?
More about Enbrel (etanercept)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 257 Reviews
- Drug class: antirheumatics
- FDA Approval History
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