Enbrel is the trade name for the injectable bio-pharmaceutical drug Etanercept. This injectable drug comes from recombinant DNA designed to interact with your immune system by stopping or reducing the inflammation response. In essence it is a shutdown mechanism for your body. Etanercept is a fused protein. by this I mean that it was designed from two different proteins. They took the DNA sequence for soluble TNF receptor 2 proteins and fused them with the DNA sequence from part of the immunoglobulin G1 proteins. When both DNA sequences were fused, your cells created a protein that interacted with tumor necrosis factor (TNF). TNF shuts down the inflammation response. In essence a TNF inhibitor created from human DNA.
Once treated with Enbrel, autoimmune diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriasis arthritis and various other diseases become more manageable. You have to keep in mind that inflammation doesn’t just happen in your joints and bones. It can also happen in your brain since blood does flow to the brain. Overall, people with autoimmune disease are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and strokes. There is a disease called vascular dementia that involves poor blood flow in the brain. Inflammation was one of the causes of poor blood flow.
Although our strides in medicine are great there are still etanercept side effects to consider when taking this medication. Remember how Enbrel injections shut down your immune system? As a result of such action, you are at an increased risk of developing serious viral, bacterial, or fungal infections. Some adults and children are at an increase risk of developing certain cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia and skin cancer.
Some of the less serious side effects of Enbrel include swollen glands in the neck, underarms, or groin, weight loss or easy bruising or bleeding. Add to the list: weakness, sweating, trouble breathing, cough, sore throat, fever, nausea, diarrhea and stomach pain. One can experience flu symptoms and extreme fatigue. A few more serious side effects include coughing up bloody mucus, seizures, rash, hives or painful skin, red, scaly, patches or pus-filled bumps on skin and redness, itching, pain, or swelling at the site of injection. Also be warned about jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes), dark urine, vision problems, dizziness and clay-colored bowel movements.
Since Enbrel is an injectable medicine, there are two types that can be used. First there is the traditional needle administered by doctors and nurses. Secondly are the Sureclick autoinjector pen designed mainly for children or those who faint at the sight of needles. When using either one, there is a lot of Enbrel support regardless of which you use. Amgen, the makers of this drug even provide a video on how to use the pen. This is similar to the epipen.
You can even try you tube for such help. In the event of a malfunction, don’t panic. Call your doctor. There is always that one instance that the autoinjector will malfunction regardless on how many control checks are in place. Humans aren’t perfect and the technology which is amazing still has a chance to not work correctly.
Has Enbrel altered your lifestyle?