Compare Enbrel vs. methotrexate

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

Enbrel (etanercept)

Prescription only

Otrexup (methotrexate)

Prescription only
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.

5.0/ 7 average rating with 90 reviewsforEnbrel
Reduces inflammation and cell replication.

Otrexup (methotrexate) is the first-choice treatment for many types of cancer and arthritis, but it has many side effects.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Otrexup (methotrexate) is available as an affordable generic form.
  • Otrexup (methotrexate) comes as a tablet, an injection that you give yourself, or an infusion that you get in the doctor's office or infusion center.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • You may need frequent blood tests for monitoring when taking Otrexup (methotrexate).
  • Otrexup (methotrexate) can cause serious birth defects so women should avoid getting pregnant for at least 6 month and men 3 months after taking it.
  • While on Otrexup (methotrexate), you should avoid alcohol and staying out in the sun for too long.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Liquid
Price
Lowest price near you
$4537.83
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Lowest price near you
$31.32
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Reviews
90 
62%
think this treatment is worth it
53%
think this treatment works well
17%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
5possible side effects
  • Any infection
    27%
  • Upper respiratory infections
    17%
  • Injection site reactions
    15%
  • Non-upper respiratory infections
    12%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
See more detailed side effects
The Otrexup (methotrexate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Serious allergic reactions

    Latex allergy

  • Heart problems

    History of heart failure

  • Serious infections

    Taking other immunosuppressant drugs

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Cancer

    Taking other immunosuppressant drugs

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Nervous system effects

    History of nervous system conditions

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Worsening side-effects

    Reduced kidney function

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Use of NSAIDs

    NSAIDS

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Liver problems

    Long-term use

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Diarrhea and mouth sores

    Taking Otrexup (methotrexate) with high-dose NSAIDs

  • Tumor lysis syndrome

    Rapidly growing tumors

  • Skin and bone tissue deterioration

    Radiotherapy

See more detailed risks and warnings