General Information
What should I know before taking this drug
Dosage information
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any

Enbrel (Pfizer)

Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule

Etanercept is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.

Etanercept is pronounced as:  ee-TAN-er-sept


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Etanercept is an anti rheumatics agent. (Disease modifying anti rheumatic drug (DMARD’s))


Etanercept is used in the treatment of  

Moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis
Moderate to severe Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis
Ankylosing spondylitis
Moderate to severe plaque psoriasis
Etanercept may be used in combination with an immunosuppressant such as methotrexate. 

How to use etanercept

Read the patient information leaflet before using the medication. Your health care provider give etanercept as a sub cutaneous injection under the skin. 

Your health care provider may teach how to use at home. Make sure you understand procedure. Inject deep under the skin not into the muscle. Contact your health care provider if you have any question about how to use it.
Do not skip any doses of etanercept. Continue to take it even when you feel better. You must complete the entire course of medication. If you don't, the infection will not clear completely and may cause relapse.

When not to take etanercept

Do not take etanercept if you are suffering from diabetes, HIV or you have weak immune system.

Have TB or traveled to the country where risk of getting TB is more.
Pregnant or planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Before starting etanercept in children make sure that you have finished all childhood vaccinations.

Old people: 
It is safe to use in older people however caution is advised due to the higher incidence of infections in elderly people

Pregnant woman:
Etanercept belongs to FDA pregnancy category B. This means that etanercept is safe during pregnancy and is not expected to cause any harm to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception. 

Lactating women: 
It is not known whether etanercept passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take etanercept with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding baby. 


What are the dosage forms etanercept is available in the market

Etanercept is available in the form of injection.

Doses for etanercept

Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease. 

Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.

What about if I missed the dose of etanercept

If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.


What should I do if I over dosage etanercept

In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.

  • Reaction at injection site
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Headache
Serious side effects are
  • Nervous system problems like multiple sclerosis
  • New or worsening psoriasis,
  • allergic reactions,
  • auto immune reactions like lupus

If any of the following side effects are observed consult your doctor immediately 

Sever allergic reactions like rash, difficult in breathing, dizziness, tightness in the chest
Store etanercept vials in the refrigerator between 2 – 8 degree centigrade ( 36 – 46 degrees F). Do not freeze it. Store etanercept vial away from light and moisture. Once open use it with in 14 days. Unused portion should be stored in refrigerator.
Etanercept can lower the body immunity. You need to test the blood for any type infection. If you observe any symptoms like chest pain, irregular heart beat, clod fever consult your doctor immediately.
Etanercept may cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you how you react to it. 

Etanercept may cause cancer. Informe your doctor if you had cancer earlier. While using etanercept if you notice any cancer symptoms such as weight loss, bruising, unusual weakness etc.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: May 10, 2012

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