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Can Enbrel (etanercept) be taken with antibiotics?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 4, 2023.

Official answer


Yes, Enbrel (etanercept) can be taken with antibiotics if your doctor has prescribed these for you because you currently have a bacterial infection. However, if you develop a serious infection or sepsis, your doctor may stop Enbrel, either temporarily or permanently, while you are receiving treatment for the infection.

Post-marketing reports indicate that Enbrel increases a person’s risk of developing an infection by about 20%. Infections may be due to bacteria, fungi, viruses, or other organisms. Reported infections include:

  • Tuberculosis (TB) – either reactivation of latent TB or a new TB infection. Before you start Enbrel your doctor should test you for latent TB and, if found to be positive, treatment should be initiated before using Enbrel
  • Invasive fungal infections, including histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, candidiasis, aspergillosis, blastomycosis, and pneumocystosis
  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections
  • Other infections, such as legionella or listeria.

Enbrel is a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection that is administered either once or twice a week and is approved to treat several inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. It belongs to the class of medicines called TNF inhibitors. Enbrel may not be suitable for you if you have a history of chronic or recurrent infection.

What are the signs of an infection?

Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following, which may indicate that you have an infection:

  • burning when you urinate or urinating more often than normal
  • coughing
  • diarrhea
  • fever, sweats or chills
  • muscle aches
  • shortness of breath
  • stomach pain
  • tiredness
  • warm, painful or red skin or sores on your body
  • weight loss.

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