Enbrel (etanercept) is a biologic medicine that helps the pain and swelling of arthritis. It works by blocking TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor), a type of signalling protein (called a cytokine), that is involved in systemic inflammation. Enbrel belongs to a class of similar medications called “Anti-TNF” agents.
Enbrel is available as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection that is usually taken once a week. It is sometimes prescribed for twice a week. The standard dose is 25-50 mg.
Subcutaneous injections are easy to do compared to other types of injections. Patients can do them quickly at home. A small needle pokes just under the skin to deliver medicine into the “fatty tissue” below.
Learn how take Enbrel:
- Learn how to inject: subcutaneous injections
- Learn how to inject: autoinjectors (Enbrel “Sureclick”)
Important Tests and Risks
Enbrel can make it a bit harder for people to fight off infections. People taking this medicine should call their doctor if they have a fever, think they have an infection, or have been prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection.
Patients should coordinate with their doctor to stop treatment before any surgery. It can be re-started once things have healed and there’s no sign of infection.
Patients should discuss all vaccinations with their doctor because some are not advisable to get while taking Enbrel.
It is important to have a TB (tuberculosis) skin test and a chest x-ray before starting Enbrel.
Drug Identification Number (DIN): 02274728 (SC), 02242903 (SC)