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Can you take Enbrel with a cold?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 5, 2022.

Official answer


Yes, you can take Enbrel (etanercept) if you have a cold, but make sure you let your doctor know that you have a cold because he/she may wish to monitor your health while your cold symptoms are present, as you are at a higher risk of developing a more serious infection because you are taking Enbrel.

Post-marketing reports indicate that Enbrel increases a person’s risk of developing an infection by about 20%. Infections may be due to:

  • Viruses, such as a cold or the flu
  • Bacteria, such as skin infections or pneumonia
  • Fungi, such as histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, candidiasis, aspergillosis, blastomycosis, and pneumocystosis
  • Tuberculosis (TB) – either reactivation of latent TB or a new TB infection can occur. 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
  • Other organisms, such as legionella or listeria.

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.

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.


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