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Etanercept (Enbrel) Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Use, Side Effects, Interactions




Etanercept
(Enbrel, United States and Canada)

More drugs used for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Use:

Etanercept or Enbrel is used as a second line therapy in rheumatoid arthritis. It is classified as a disease modifying drug.

How It Works:

Etanercept or Enbrel is a biologic response modifier. It works by binding tumour necrosis factor which is a key substance in the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. Similar to a sponge soaking up excess water, Etanercept or Enbrel soaks up excess tumour necrosis factor reducing inflammation.

Side Effects:

Etanercept or Enbrel is well tolerated and given by injection.

Cautions for People:

Because Etanercept or Enbrel acts through the immune system, people with compromised immune systems may not be suitable candidates for it. As well, concern exists regarding long term effects on the immune system - perhaps increased risk for serious infections, cancer, or even autoimmune disease.

Drug Interactions:

Etanercept or Enbrel can be used in combination with methotrexate, another disease modifying drug.

Further Reading:

NEJM 1997;337:141
Arthritis Rheum 1998;41:1591

Added to Virtual Drugstore May 1999.

The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.













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