Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Enbrel

(Etanercept)

Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available
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Calms down your immune system.

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Our bottom line

Enbrel (Etanercept) is very effective at calming down your immune system, but it's expensive, you have to take into account the hassle of injections and traveling with the medication.

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Upsides

  • Treats certain types of arthritis conditions caused by an overactive immune system.
  • Enbrel is the first biologic approved for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It has an established safety profile for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
  • Available as a single-use syringe and SureClick auto-injector pen which may be more convenient and easier for some people to use.
  • People taking Enbrel for rheumatoid arthritis showed significant improvement and were able to reduce the dose or stop immunosuppressant medicines.
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Downsides

  • It's an injection.
  • It's expensive because there's no generic available yet.
  • Enbrel lowers your ability to fight infection and can cause serious life-threatening illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, have an active infection, diabetes, or had tuberculosis (TB) in the past.
  • You're first dose of Enbrel will need to be given at your doctor's office. If you decide not to self-inject and don't have someone to do it for you, you'll need to continue to see your doctor for each dose.
  • You'll need to properly dispose of the needle, syringes, or Pen in a special (FDA-approved) sharps container.
  • Because it needs to be refrigerated until you use it, if you're traveling, you'll need to carry it in a cooler with an ice pack.

What to expect when you take Enbrel (Etanercept) for Rheumatoid arthritis

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Side effect rates for Enbrel (Etanercept)

From clinical trials of Enbrel / Any condition
  • Positive anti-double-stranded dna antibodies
  • Antibodies to etanercept
  • Crithidia luciliae
  • Anticardiolipin

Risks and Warnings for Enbrel (Etanercept)

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  • Enbrel (Etanercept) has been reported to cause hypersensitivity reactions (severe rash, trouble breathing) and angioedema (life-threatening condition with swelling with or without hives). If you notice these symptoms after your dose or days later, call your doctor and get medical care right away.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Enbrel (Etanercept)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Let it warm to room temperature before injecting 15-30min. Make sure the alcohol is dry before injecting or it will sting. It hurts less if you inject it into the stomach.