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Etanercept vials

Pronunciation

Generic Name: etanercept (ee-TAN-er-sept)
Brand Name: Enbrel

Patients who use etanercept vials have an increased risk of developing serious and sometimes fatal infections (eg, bacterial, viral, fungal infections; tuberculosis [TB]). Most patients who developed these infections were taking medicines that weakened their immune systems (eg, corticosteroids, methotrexate).

TB may be caused by a new infection or by reactivation of a previous infection. Your doctor will test you for TB and evaluate your risk of developing it. This will occur before, during, and after treatment with etanercept vials. If you have TB, you should begin to treat it before you begin treatment with etanercept vials. Tell your doctor if you have a history of persistent or recurring infections.

Contact your doctor immediately if you develop signs of TB or any other type of infection (eg, persistent cough; muscle weakness; unexplained weight loss; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; shortness of breath; unusual tiredness; warm, red, or painful skin; sores on your body; increased or painful urination).

Etanercept vials are a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker. Lymphoma and other types of cancer have been reported in children and teenagers treated with TNF blockers. This has been fatal in some cases. Talk with your doctor for more information.


Etanercept vials are used for:

Treating moderate to severe forms of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), juvenile arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Etanercept vials may be used alone or with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Etanercept vials are a TNF blocker. It works by blocking a protein (TNF-alpha) found in the body that causes inflammation.

Do NOT use etanercept vials if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in etanercept vials
  • you have an infection that has spread throughout your entire body (sepsis)
  • you have Wegener granulomatosis and are taking a medicine that may weaken the immune system (eg, corticosteroids, methotrexate)
  • you are taking abatacept, anakinra, or cyclophosphamide

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using etanercept vials:

Some medical conditions may interact with etanercept vials. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances (including latex or rubber)
  • if you have any kind of infection, open cuts or sores on your body, flu-like symptoms or other signs of infection (eg, fever; chills; cough; warm, red, or painful skin), or are using medicine to treat an infection
  • if you have a history of persistent or recurring infections, have conditions that may increase your risk of infection (eg, diabetes, HIV), or live in or have traveled to certain parts of the country (eg, Ohio or Mississippi river valleys, the Southwest) where certain fungal infections (eg, blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis) are common. Check with your doctor if you are not sure if you have lived in or have traveled to an area where these infections are common
  • if you have a history of TB or a positive TB skin test, if you have ever lived in or traveled to an area where TB is common, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has had TB
  • if you have any numbness or tingling or a disease that affects your nervous system (eg, multiple sclerosis [MS], Guillain-Barré syndrome, seizures)
  • if you have a history of congestive heart failure, lymphoma or other cancers, a blood problem (eg, anemia), bone marrow problems, an autoimmune disorder (eg, lupus), immune system problems (eg, weakened immune system), rectal bleeding, shingles (herpes zoster), or Wegener granulomatosis
  • if you have a history of liver problems (eg, hepatitis B), liver problems caused by drinking alcohol (alcoholic hepatitis), or hepatitis B virus reactivation when taking etanercept vials or other TNF blockers
  • if you are scheduled to have surgery or any kind of vaccination, or have recently received a vaccine

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with etanercept vials. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Abatacept, anakinra, corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), methotrexate, or sulfasalazine because the risk of serious infections may be increased
  • Cyclophosphamide because the risk of developing cancer may be increased
  • Insulin or other diabetes medicines (eg, metformin) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if etanercept vials may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use etanercept vials:

Use etanercept vials as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Etanercept vials comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get etanercept vials refilled.
  • Etanercept vials are given as an injection under the skin. If you will be using etanercept vials at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use etanercept vials. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before using etanercept vials.
  • Use an alcohol swab to clean the gray stopper on the vial. Do not touch the stopper with your hands.
  • To make the injection more comfortable, you may leave at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before using.
  • Do not shake etanercept vials.
  • Do not use etanercept vials if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • If all the powder in the vial is not dissolved or there are particles present after 10 minutes, do not inject. Contact your health care provider.
  • Use the proper technique taught to you by your doctor. Inject deep under the skin, NOT into muscle or a vein.
  • Injection sites within an injection area (stomach area, thigh, outer area of the upper arm) must be rotated from one injection to the next. Do not inject into areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard. Avoid areas with scars or stretch marks. If you have psoriasis, try not to inject directly into any raised, red, thick, or scaly skin patches.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • Do not miss any doses of etanercept vials. If you miss a dose of etanercept vials, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once. If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use etanercept vials.

Important safety information:

  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take etanercept vials before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Etanercept vials may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use etanercept vials with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do NOT use more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Etanercept vials may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor right away if you notice signs of infection like chest pain or discomfort; chills, fever, or sore throat; decreased mental alertness; fast heartbeat; general feeling of being unwell; new or worsening cough; rapid breathing; shortness of breath; swelling of the lymph nodes; or unusual diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting.
  • Etanercept vials may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Etanercept vials may increase the risk of developing blood cancer (eg, leukemia, lymphoma) and other types of cancer. This may be fatal in some cases. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have ever had cancer. Contact your doctor right away if you develop any unusual symptoms, such as unusual bruising, unusual lumps or swelling (eg, in your neck, armpit, or groin), night sweats, recurring fever, unusual tiredness or weakness, unexplained cough or shortness of breath, persistent unexplained itching, or unexplained weight loss.
  • New or worsening nervous system disorders (eg, MS, Guillain-Barré syndrome, seizures) have occurred in patients who take etanercept vials. Sometimes, these have led to serious health problems that may not go away. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Some patients who use etanercept vials have developed new or worsening psoriasis. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any new or worsening skin problems (eg, red, flaky, or itchy skin patches).
  • Serious and sometimes fatal liver problems have happened with etanercept vials. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, right-sided stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes).
  • If you have not had chickenpox, shingles, or measles, avoid contact with anyone who does. Contact your doctor if you come into contact with these infections.
  • Before you use etanercept vials, discuss your vaccination history with your doctor to be sure that you are up to date on vaccinations.
  • Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) or treatment with a weakened bacteria (eg, BCG for bladder cancer) while you are taking etanercept vials. Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
  • If you develop any symptoms of TB (eg, a dry cough that does not go away, fever, night sweats, weight loss), call your doctor. You will need to be examined for TB and have a skin test.
  • Diabetes patients - Etanercept vials may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Etanercept vials may interfere with certain lab tests, including tests for TB infection. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using etanercept vials.
  • Use etanercept vials with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially the risk of developing infections.
  • Caution is advised when using etanercept vials in CHILDREN; they may be at increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, which may be fatal.
  • Some products have benzyl alcohol. Do not give a product that has benzyl alcohol in it to a newborn. Talk with the doctor to see if this product has benzyl alcohol in it.
  • If your child is taking etanercept vials, the dose may need to be changed as your child's weight changes. Have your child's weight checked often. Talk with the doctor before changing your child's dose.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using etanercept vials while you are pregnant. If you used etanercept vials while you were pregnant, tell your baby's doctor. Etanercept vials are found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use etanercept vials, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of etanercept vials:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Headache; pain, redness, itching, or swelling around the injection site; runny or stuffy nose; throat irritation.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling; change in the appearance of a mole; chest pain or discomfort; decreased mental alertness; dizziness; fast heartbeat; general feeling of being unwell; increased urination; mental or mood changes; rapid breathing; rash on your face and arms that gets worse in the sun; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent pain, redness, itching, or swelling around the injection site; shortness of breath; sudden, unexplained weight gain; swelling of the arms or legs; swelling of the lymph nodes; symptoms of bleeding (eg, vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; unusual vaginal bleeding; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; any bleeding that is severe or that you cannot stop); symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, painful urination, mouth sores, wound that will not heal); unusual nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or diarrhea; unusual skin growth or other skin changes; unusual tiredness or weakness; unusually pale skin; vision problems; weakness in the arms or legs.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of etanercept vials:

Store the unmixed medicine in its dose tray in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Keep in the original carton to protect from light until the time of use. If needed, you may store etanercept vials at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) for up to 14 days. Write down the date you take etanercept vials out of the refrigerator. If stored at room temperature and not used within 14 days, throw etanercept vials away. Do not put etanercept vials back in the refrigerator after it has been stored at room temperature. Protect from extreme heat or cold. Keep etanercept vials out of the reach of children and away from pets.

The mixed medicine may be stored in the refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C) for up to 14 days. Do not freeze. Discard mixed solution after 14 days. Keep etanercept vials out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about etanercept vials, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Etanercept vials are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take etanercept vials or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about etanercept vials. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to etanercept vials. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using etanercept vials.

Review Date: August 8, 2016

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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