› Although rare, Remicade (infliximab) can hurt your liver. If you have appetite/weight loss, stomach discomfort, vomiting, or dark urine, talk to your doctor. If you have yellowing of skin/eyes, talk to your doctor right away.
Upsides and benefits
› 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.
› People taking Remicade (infliximab) for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions had more clinical response, clinical remission and symptom improvement compared to people who did not take Remicade (infliximab).
› People who were also taking steroids for treatment were able to discontinue steroid use while taking Remicade (infliximab).
› Remicade (infliximab) has almost two decades of clinical trial data and real-life experience with many people who have used it.
› After the initial dosing, you only need to take Remicade (infliximab) every 6-8 weeks, depending on your condition.
› Compared to other medications used to treat autoimmune conditions, Remicade (infliximab) has not been associated with as many harmful effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Downsides and risks
› 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 have to receive this medication at your doctor's office or clinic. You might need to be tested regularly for tuberculosis.
› Remicade (infliximab) lowers your ability to fight infection and can cause serious illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, or have a history of diabetes or tuberculosis.
› Remicade (infliximab) can in some cases worsen symptoms of heart failure or neurologic conditions. People 65 years and older may have more side effects from this medication.
› In rare cases, Remicade (infliximab) has been associated with cancers in children and adolescents.
› No generic available, so it can be costly.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
› 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.
› Remicade (infliximab) can in some cases cause a serious allergic reaction either immediately or several days after the treatment. Your doctor can give you medicines that will lower this risk.
› Your doctor will test you for tuberculosis before taking Remicade (infliximab) and regularly during treatment.
› Remicade (infliximab) lowers your immune system's ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you notice a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms.
› You should not receive any live vaccines while taking Remicade (infliximab). Tell your doctor that you are taking Remicade (infliximab) before receiving any vaccines.
› 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.