What is Enbrel?Enbrel is a type of drug called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker. It is used to treat conditions that cause the body to produce too much of a protein called TNF in the affected areas of the body. Enbrel is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and psoriasis. Enbrel can also be used to treat juvenile arthritis in children ages ≥2 years.
What is the most important information I should know about Enbrel?Enbrel may cause serious bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, such as sepsis or tuberculosis (TB). When taking Enbrel, tell your doctor right away if you notice any signs of infection such as: fever, chills, or sore throat; unusual nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or diarrhea; fast heartbeat; decreased mental alertness; rapid breathing; new or worsening cough; shortness of breath; chest pain or discomfort; swelling of the lymph nodes; or general feeling of being unwell. If you develop any of the symptoms of TB (such as a dry cough that does not go away, weight loss, fever, night sweats), stop Enbrel immediately and call your doctor.
Enbrel may increase the risk of developing lymphoma or other types of cancer. Contact your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of lymphoma such as unusual lumps or swelling (in your neck, armpit, or groin), night sweats, recurring fever, unusual tiredness or weakness, persistent unexplained itching, or unexplained weight loss.
Enbrel may cause serious nervous system disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), seizures, or inflammation of the nerves of the eyes.
Who should not take Enbrel?Do not take Enbrel if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Do not take Enbrel if you have a blood infection that has spread through your body (sepsis).
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Enbrel?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Enbrel. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a nervous system problem, MS, seizures, diabetes, have had any signs of infection (such as a fever, cough or flulike symptoms), an open cut or sore, congestive heart failure, a blood disease, any lupus-like disease, rectal bleeding, shingles or have been near someone with shingles, Wegener granulomatosis, history of lymphoma or cancer, history of TB, a positive TB skin test or close contact with someone who has had TB, or inflammation of the nerves in the eye. In addition, tell your doctor if you are scheduled to have surgery, have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine, or if you are allergic to rubber or latex. Also, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Children 2 to 17 years: The recommended dose is 0.8 milligrams (mg) per 2.2 pounds of body weight per week (up to a maximum of 50 mg per week). The 25-mg prefilled syringe is not recommended for pediatric patients weighing <31 kg (68 pounds). The 50-mg prefilled syringe autoinjector may be used for pediatric patients weighing ≥63 kg (138 pounds).
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 50 mg given twice weekly (administered 3 or 4 days apart) for 3 months followed by a reduction to a maintenance dose of 50 mg per week. Starting doses of Enbrel of 25 mg or 50 mg per week were also shown to be effective.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, Psoriatic arthritis
Adults: The usual dosage is 50 mg injected just under the skin every week. The dosage may be split into two 25-mg injections given the same day or 34 days apart.
How should I take Enbrel?You and/or your caregiver should be instructed on the injection technique for injection under the skin as well as proper syringe and needle disposal. Enbrel should be taken exactly as prescribed; do not take this drug more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Do not use Enbrel if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
Rotate between injection sites (thigh, abdomen, or upper arm). Never inject into areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard. Avoid areas with scars or stretch marks. If you have psoriasis, try not to inject directly into any raised, red, thick, or scaly skin patches.
Never reuse the syringe, needles, or vial adapter. Never recap a needle.
What should I avoid while taking Enbrel?Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to Enbrel; this drug may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines.
Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
If you have not had chickenpox, shingles, or measles, avoid contact with anyone who does. Contact your doctor if you are exposed to these diseases.
Do not receive a live vaccine (such as measles, mumps) while you are taking Enbrel. Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Enbrel?If Enbrel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Enbrel with the following: abatacept, amphetamines, anakinra, aspirin, antidiabetics medicines, cyclophosphamide, lithium, pseudoephedrine, vaccines
What are the possible side effects of Enbrel?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: cough, dizziness, headache, injection-site reactions, mouth sores, nausea, nose infection, sinus infection, throat infection, upper/lower respiratory tract infection
Injection-site reactions (such as redness, itching, rash, swelling, or bruising) usually go away within 3-5 days. If you have pain, redness, or swelling around the injection site that does not go away or gets worse contact your doctor.
Can I receive Enbrel if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Enbrel drug has not been shown to be harmful while pregnant, but should only be taken if clearly needed. Also, Enbrel may pass into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Enbrel?If you miss a dose of Enbrel, inject it as soon as you remember and take your next dose at your regularly scheduled dose. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How should I store Enbrel?Store Enbrel in the refrigerator at 36° to 46°F (2° to 8°C). Do not freeze. Keep Enbrel in the original carton to protect from light.
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