Enbrel (etanercept) is an injection medication in a class of drugs known as TNF-blockers, used to treat auto-immune diseases. Enbrel is used to treat four types of arthritic conditions, and one type of psoriasis condition.
Enbrel (etanercept) is a medication that is prescribed to treat five diseases that are caused a person’s over-active immune system. People who suffer from these diseases have chronic inflammation that causes severe pain. These auto-immune diseases are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Chronic inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues, causing pain, swelling, stiffness in the joints
- Plaque psoriasis: A common type of skin condition, characterized by areas of skin that are red and irritated. People with this condition have thick, red skin with flaky patches of skin on top called a “scale.”
- Psoriatic arthritis: This condition occurs when a person has both arthritis and psoriasis of the skin, usually around the joints.
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: A chronic condition in children resulting in arthritis of the joints, causing swelling, joint stiffness, pain, and occasionally spiking fevers due to immune response.
- Ankylosing spondylitis: A long-term arthritic condition characterized by swelling and inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, the joints between the spine and pelvis
Enbrel is a genetically-engineered medication belonging to a class of drugs known as Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blockers. When the body is undergoing a normal immune system response, it creates a natural substance called TNF. This substance tells white blood cells to travel to parts of the body that need to be inflamed.
Enbrel is genetically engineered to bind to TNF in the body and trigger the body to metabolize the combined substances. Once the body has metabolized combined TNF-Enbrel, it flushes it out of the body. This causes lower levels of TNF in areas that are normally chronically inflamed.
Enbrel Side Effects
Some of the most serious Enbrel side effects are caused by a chronic lowering of the body’s auto-immune response. As you can imagine, this can place a person at risk of developing serious infections. Viral infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, and tuberculosis (TB) are all more likely to occur when a person is taking Enbrel. Doctors now recommend that all new patients undergo tests to make sure they do not have TB before they begin taking Enbrel.
Enbrel may also be linked to some of the following side effects:
- bone fractures
- bone breaks
- opportunistic fungal infections
- bacterial sepsis
- solid organ cancers
Enbrel and Bone Fractures
The Clark Firm, LLP is currently investigating the link between Enbrel and bone fractures. If you have suffered a bone fracture or other bone injury, contact us today. We may be able to help you file an Enbrel lawsuit for compensation for your bone injury.
Some other forms of musculoskeletal injury include joint pain, back pain, and infective arthritis. There has also been one confirmed case of a man who suffered septic arthritis caused by an infection with a deadly bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes.
Symptoms of a broken bone include:
- Swelling, redness, bruising over the site of the break
- Abnormal appearance over the broken bone
- Severe pain that worsens when the bone is moved
- Loss of function
- In compound fractures, the bone may protrude outside the body
Enbrel and Cancer
One of the most frightening and life-threatening side effects of Enbrel is cancer. The medication already carries warnings regarding the link between Enbrel and lymphoma, leukemia (this is a cancer of the white blood cells), skin cancer, and several other forms of cancer.
However, Enbrel may also increase the risk of cancer in children and young adults. The first warning sign came when the FDA received dozens of reports of young people who had developed cancer after taking Enbrel. In response, the FDA decided that the manufacturers would be subject to enhanced surveillance. This would require the manufacturers to notify the FDA within 15 days of receiving any report of cancer or side effects in people taking Enbrel. This will also force the manufacturers to provide the FDA with an updated annual summary of the reports that they receive of serious side effects, including cancer.
As the FDA conducts its review of Enbrel side effects, the Enbrel lawyers at The Clark Firm, LLP encourage you to submit your adverse event report to the MedWatch program. We also encourage you to contact us for a free case review. If you have an Enbrel lawsuit, we help help you get compensation for your injury.