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Patients who take Enbrel to treat certain types of arthritis may not be aware of the severity of Enbrel side effects they could be exposed to. These side effects include the risk of serious fungal infection and a risk of tuberculosis. Furthermore, the FDA is investigating a possible link between Enbrel and other drugs in its class, including Humira and Remicade, and the development of cancer in children and young adults.


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Enbrel Side Effects

In November 2008, the maker of the Enbrel drug (known generically as etanercept) was required by the FDA to strengthen the drug's warnings about the risk of Enbrel side effects. Specifically, the label was updated to include a strengthened warning about the risk to some patients of developing opportunistic fungal infections while taking Enbrel.

Arthritis MedicationAlthough the warning label already included warnings about the risk of serious infections, the FDA noted in its Safety Alert that cases of histoplasmosis and other invasive fungal infections were not recognized consistently, resulting in a delay in treatment for the patient. According to an FDA news release (September 4, 2008), at least 21 reports of fungal infection were not treated immediately and, of those, 12 patients died.

Symptoms of a systemic fungal infection include persistent fever, weight loss, sweats, cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. Patients who are taking Enbrel and notice these symptoms should seek medical attention because they could be experiencing serious side effects of Enbrel.

Enbrel is a tumor necrosis factor alpha blocker (TNF blocker) and is used to suppress the patient's immune system. It is used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, moderate to severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (formerly called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

The FDA had previously announced on May 1, 2008 that Enbrel's warning label was being updated to include a boxed warning alerting patients to the risk of infections including bacterial sepsis and tuberculosis.

Meanwhile, the FDA is investigating a possible association between the use of Enbrel and the development of lymphoma and other cancers in children and young adults. According to an FDA report (June 4, 2008), the agency is investigating approximately 30 reports over a 10-year period of cancer in children and young adults who used TNF blockers. Among the children and young adults who took Enbrel, cancers that were reported include lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma and solid organ cancers. The FDA has asked the makers of the TNF blockers to provide information about all cases of cancer in children who use those medications.

Enbrel is manufactured by Immunex Corporation and is marketed by Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Enbrel Legal Help

If you or a loved one has taken Enbrel and suffered from side effects, please click the link below to send your complaint to a lawyer who will evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Last updated on Oct-26-09


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Posted by
Linda Morton
Perhaps I have been a lucky one, so far at least, but I have been taking Enbrel injections for over 10 years for Psoriasis and the only problem I have that might be related to Enbrel is fairly frequent postnasal drip. I do have coronary artery disease but so did my father and brother so I don't think it is related to Enbrel. I have had 100% success with Enbrel removing the plaque from my whole body. It was a God send for me.

Posted by
alan schlossberg
enbrel caused the worst thing that ever happened to me ,after taking it to supposedly cure my arthritis.
i first developed a serious fungal infection in my mouth nose & throat & was unable to eat or drink & became de hydrated
This then followed shingles in my left ear,that became very painful,until I became unconscious & was hospitalized for 2 weeks.
When i finally woke up my face was twisted & distorted,& i was unable to open or close my left eye,or hear from my left ear
I could not walk because my balance was off
After many different tests I was advised that I had Ramsey Hunt Desease that destroyed the 7th & 8th cranial nerves & that there was no cure for this .
I have had 2 surgeries to my left eye to enable me to open & close it,& use drops 6 times daily in that eye to protect the cornea for the rest of my life.
My balance & hearing continue to be a problem,however the worst part is the dryness i experience in sinuses & throat which interferes with my sleep & digestion,as a result of limited saliva.
This all could have been prevented if either of the two doctors who had been treating me on a regular basis would have recognized these side effects,& given me an anti virus.
It would have save me from this horrible desease

Posted by
Cheryle Rolnick
I was diagnosed with RA in 2012. After being put on methotrexate and plaquanel my doctor said my RA factors were not lowering. And said that it was good that I caught it early but we needed to treated aggressively or I would be in a wheelchair in three years. He introduced Enbrel to me and I knew this was some serious medicine that would affect my whole body. I was so scared to take this medication that I asked my husband to read all the side effects because I knew if I read them I would not be taking this medication. After being told I would be in a wheelchair in three years I felt that I really didn't have a choice. I always felt horrible after taking the injections, had burning at the injection site, and instant metal taste in my mouth and always had a migraine after each injection. Just recently I have been having numbing that would radiate from my brain all the way down to my foot on my left side. It would last from three weeks to one week every month until my doctor decided to take me off methotrexate to get an MRI of my brain. After getting an abnormal MRI I was instructed to see a neurologist which I did at the University of Maryland. The doctor at the University of Maryland read my MRI and said that all of the lesions that were on my brain or calls from my migraines and that I was not to go back on the Enbrel. I can't say that I was disappointed because it had lowered my immune system so bad that I had shingles six times, and that was after I had the shingles vaccine. I thought to myself this medicine that supposed to help me and live a quality-of-life Was not doing that. Since this I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and every doctors appointment I seem to get another diagnosis of something that is wrong with me. I have to see my rheumatologist on November 5 where he will prescribe another drug to stop the disease from destroying my joints. I will definitely research this drug before I take it. I just wanted people to know that there are migraines out there that mimic a stroke and that's exactly what was happening to me. Something that we hope that will help us, actually destroys us.

Posted by
Jim Lewandowski
I have taken Enbrel since it was first released for use many years ago. 2 Years ago several hundred lung nodules were discovered in both my lungs and lung airways. I am not taking the drug any longer but breathing has been severely affected.

Posted by
Nodules on my lungs, recent history of fluid on heart. Took Enbrel for four years. Been taken off of it in the last two months

Posted by
I had my first shot of Enbrel and had no issues the second shot I put in my leg and instantly had major heat on my chest. Felt like a hot plate was sitting on me.
My heart doctor said I had a minor heart attack. I told the prescribing doctor and she was surprised. I never tried it again.

Posted by
Unpaid hospital bills due to frequent visits due to serious infections
I have also been hospitalized after starting Humira in 2007 for Acemic Colitis and the flare ups continue to the present day. I have also been diagnosed with a fungul infection that has to date gone untreated.

Posted by
my mother had been taking enbrel for a little while and started having a hard time breathing. she went to the hospital they sent her home on oxygen. she was home for a week then couldn't breath even on oxygen. she went back to the hospital then they said her lungs had stiffened up. she died 2 weeks later.

Posted by
My husband had psoriasis and was given Enbrel. He was 40 years old and was in great health. After being on Enbrel for a short period of time, he suffered a major heart attack in 2007 and passed away. Two weeks prior to his heart attack, he was given an exercise stress test and we were told that he was in great health.

Posted by
West Virginia
White spots on brain determined from shots not strokes, short term memory loss, inability to work since January when side effects worsened,muscle weakness, inability to drive, daily headaches,inability to stay awake, psoriasis worsened, etc.

Posted by
I am a 35 year old male who brushes and maintains my teeth, but no matter what I do my teeth have become fragile and shatter at a very alarming rate. I have done research online and read many testimonies regarding this unlisted side effect.

Posted by
South Carolina
Atrial fibrillation, degenerative arthritis in left foot, loss of hair, had to quit my job, recurring arrhythmia, extensive hospitalization (cardiac CCU) 3 months of rehabilitation, still ongoing recovery after 12 months.

Posted by
Poor immune sysem, damaged lungs, liver and kidneys. He suffers severe joint pain because the doctors now have to limit the anti-inflamitory drugs.

Posted by
The loss of my brother who lived with me.

Posted by
Loss of all feeling mid torso and below, hands and fingers. Bank teller and professional bowler - cannot do my jobs. Cannot go up and down the stairs in our house. Spinal tap results not in yet. Medical bills mounting.

Posted by
The loss of my brother who should not have died. It was a sudden and unexpected death.

Posted by
I have suffered tremendously due to my sisters death related to a diagnosis of breast cancer after taking enbrel for psoriasis.


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