The Rheumatoid Arthritis drug, Enbrel, has been linked to adverse side effects

Enbrel, the brand name for the drug Etanercept, has been linked to serious central nervous disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Myelitis and Optic Neuritis, Pancytopeni and Aplastic Anemia.  Immunex Corp., who manufactures the drug, stated in 2000 that the problems began as soon as two weeks after taking Enbrel.  There were 10 cases reported, and five patients died.

More recently, in 2002, in Chicago, four women with Rheumatoid Arthritis developed Lupus, an autoimmune disease.  Symptoms including face reddening and body rash disappeared when they were taken off the drug.


Enbrel has been used to treat other diseases

Enbrel is manufactured as a TNF blocker.  TNF stands for Tumor Necrosis Factor, and occurs naturally in the body, but certain auto-immune disorders cause patients to create too much TNF.  In this case, too many white blood cells will increase inflammation response in areas of inflammation, causing the inflammation response to be intensified.  Enbrel molecules bind to the active TNF and force the body to metabolize the TNF, allowing the excess TNF to be flushed from the system.  In this way, problem joints or skin will have reduced pain.

In addition to rheumatoid arthritis, Enbrel has been prescribed to treat plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, all diseases or conditions affecting skin or joints.


Enbrel Side Effects

Because Enbrel works by lowering the body’s natural immune system defense response, it opens up the opportunity for many different types of infections and other diseases to the patient.  Some of the most commonly reported adverse side effects that have been linked to the use of Enbrel are:

  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Fungal infections
  • Legionnaires’ disease
  • Listeriosis
  • Bone fractures
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Cancer, including lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma, organ cancers


There is help available

If you or someone you love has taken Enbrel and suffered adverse side effects, you may have a case.  In order to determine your eligibility, it is important that you contact us right away.  Our personal injury attorneys can review your case and decide the best way to proceed.