Enbrel

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Question

What is Enbrel?

Answer

Enbrel® (etanercept) is an injectable drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory disease that causes painful swelling, redness and stiffness in the joints. Enbrel® prevents the inflammatory response associated with Rheumatoid arthritis by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor in our bodies.

Enbrel® side effects

The most common side effects of Enbrel® include headache, dizziness, pain, or an injection site reaction. Also, Enbrel® can make you more prone to get an infection. Let your doctor know if you have any symptoms of infection including fever, cough, runny nose, or sore throat while you're taking it. In rare cases, people have experienced severe anemia (low level of blood cells) and nerve damage while taking Enbrel®. It isn't known if these conditions were related to the use of Enbrel®. Notify your doctor if you experience any signs of anemia such as unusual bleeding or bruising. People with a medical history of severe anemia or nerve disorders should discuss these conditions with their doctor before using Enbrel®.

Avoiding severe side effects

If you are taking Enbrel®, do not get vaccinations prepared with a live virus and avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live virus. Also do not take Enbrel® if you have a serious infection of any kind and discontinue use if you develop a serious infection. Use the drug with caution if you have poorly controlled diabetes. Serious infections have occurred in patients prone to infections, such as people with advanced or poorly controlled diabetes.

Learn more about rheumatoid arthritis in our Health Encyclopedia.

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