Compare Cimzia vs. Enbrel

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Cimzia
(certolizumab)

Enbrel
(etanercept)

Calms the immune system and prevents joint damage. Cimzia (certolizumab) effectively calms down your immune system, but you have to be comfortable receiving injections.Calms down your immune system to prevent joint damage. Enbrel (etanercept) effectively calms down your immune system, but it puts you at risk of serious infections.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Cimzia (certolizumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Enbrel
62%
+5% better vs. Cimzia
53%
+5% better vs. Cimzia
17%
+17% better vs. Cimzia
Have you used Enbrel (etanercept)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CimziaEnbrel
  • Infections 8%
  • Upper airway infections 7%
  • Urinary tract infections 1%
  • Joint pain 2%
  • Headache 1%
  • High blood pressure 3%
  • Common cold 4%
  • Back pain 3%
  • Fever 1%
  • Sore throat 2%
More Cimzia side effects »
  • Infections 11%
  • Upper airway infections 8%
  • Injection site reactions 26%
  • Non-upper respiratory infections 6%
  • Rash 1%
  • Fever 3%
  • Itchiness 1%
More Enbrel side effects »
How it works
CimziaEnbrel
Cimzia (certolizumab) blocks a protein called TNF (tumor necrosis factor) that causes inflammation.Enbrel (etanercept) blocks a protein called TNF (tumor necrosis factor) in the immune system which lowers inflammation, relieves symptoms and prevents disease progression.
Type of medication
CimziaEnbrel
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CimziaEnbrel
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for
CimziaEnbrel
Risk factors for serious side effects
CimziaEnbrel
  • Taking other immunosuppressant medications such as methotrexate or steroids
  • Age 65 or older
  • Active, chronic, or recurrent infection
  • Comorbidities
  • Taking other immunosuppressant medications, such as azathiprine or 6-mercaptopurine, at the same time as Cimzia (certolizumab)
Detailed Cimzia (certolizumab) risks & warnings »
  • Latex allergy
  • History of heart failure
  • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
  • Age 65 or older
Detailed Enbrel (etanercept) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Upsides and benefits
CimziaEnbrel
  • People taking Cimzia (certolizumab) for Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions had greater clinical response compared to people who did not take Cimzia (certolizumab).
  • Compared to some other drugs used to treat autoimmune conditions, Cimzia (certolizumab) has not been associated with as many harmful effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • You can give yourself Cimzia (certolizumab) on your own at home rather than visiting a clinic or hospital.
  • After the initial dosing, you need to take Cimzia (certolizumab) every 4 weeks.
  • Cimzia (certolizumab) has been on the market for almost 10 years.
  • People taking Enbrel (etanercept) for rheumatoid arthritis showed significant improvement and were able to reduce the dose or stop their other RA medicines.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) can work for you even if other medications didn't help your rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) is the first biologic approved for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Since it has been around for a long time, its side effects are well known.
  • Many people have only minor or no side effects.
  • It's available as a pre-filled syringe and SureClick auto-injector pen which some people find more convenient and easier to use.
Downsides and risks
CimziaEnbrel
  • Cimzia (certolizumab) lowers your ability to fight infection and in some cases can cause serious life-threatening illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, have an active infection, or had tuberculosis (TB) in the past.
  • Can in some cases cause bladder infections, rash and respiratory infections (cold or flu)
  • In rare cases, Cimzia (certolizumab) has been associated with cancers in children and adolescents.
  • Can increase your risk of side effects if you have a history of heart failure, nervous system conditions, or hepatitis B.
  • There's no generic available and it can be expensive.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) raises your risk of serious or life-threatening infections, including tuberculosis (TB).
  • Enbrel (etanercept) can increase the risk of lymphoma, leukemia and other cancers.
  • May not be the best choice if you have a history of heart failure or nervous system problems like multiple sclerosis.
  • You'll need to have regular blood tests before and during treatment to make sure you don't have any problems taking Enbrel (etanercept).
  • You could get injection site reactions such as redness, swelling, rash, itching, or bruising.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CimziaEnbrel
  • Cimzia (certolizumab) is a medication that's injected under the skin. Your doctor can give you your first dose, then you can inject yourself at home once you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Each time you use Cimzia (certolizumab), it's important to rotate the sites you chose to inject it in. Don't inject Cimzia (certolizumab) into skin that's red, bruised, or irritated.
  • Keep Cimzia (certolizumab) refrigerated, but let it rest at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before using it.
  • Cimzia (certolizumab) lowers your ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you have a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms.
  • If you have any signs or new or worsening symptoms such as heart, neurological, or autoimmune conditions, talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor about symptoms such as bruising or bleeding.
  • As with all injection medicines, store securely away from children and throw away used syringes in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container and not in the trash.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) is available as an injection and a SureClick Autoinjector. You and your doctor can discuss which is best for you.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) is a medication that's injected under the skin (subcutaneous). Your doctor can give you your first dose, then let you self-inject it once you learn how to do it correctly.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) lowers your immune system's ability to fight infections including tuberculosis (TB), fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. Your doctor will check for TB and hepatitis B before starting Enbrel (etanercept). Let your doctor know if you come down with a fever, cough, or notice flu-like symptoms before or during treatment.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) can cause redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising at the site of injection. Do not inject into skin that's already red, bruised, or irritated. Rotate your injection areas to avoid skin reactions.
  • Keep Enbrel (etanercept) refrigerated, but let it rest at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before using it. Enbrel (etanercept) should not be used if kept at room temperature for longer than 14 days.
  • You should not receive certain vaccinations with Enbrel (etanercept). Discuss with your doctor about your vaccine history and whether you need to receive any vaccines before treatment.
Learn more
More about CimziaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cimzia (certolizumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about EnbrelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Enbrel (etanercept)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it