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What are the Side Effects of Enbrel®?

M.R. Anglin
M.R. Anglin

Enbrel® is a medicine that can block tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a substance that causes swelling in the body. As such, this drug is used to treat different forms of arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Enbrel® has several side effects including pain, swelling, and redness, as well as bleeding at the site of the injection, headache, and upper respiratory infections such as sinusitis. Other, more serious, side effects of Enbrel® include various forms of infections, an increased risk of cancer, the activation of hepatitis B, heart failure, symptoms that resemble lupus, and low blood production. Some people may even have nervous problems such as seizures, stroke and multiple sclerosis.

Many of the most common side effects of Enbrel®, such as pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the injection, are generally the least serious. Care should be taken to call a doctor if any of these side effects become severe, however. In some cases, subsequent injections caused a reaction in a previous injection site. Other less-serious side effects of Enbrel® may include headaches and sinus infections.

Enbrel® side effects may include headaches.
Enbrel® side effects may include headaches.

Patients should also watch for more serious side effects of Enbrel® because some can be deadly. A person may experience a weak or suppressed immune system, and so infections from bacteria, fungi, viruses, or other pathogens could result. For example, influenza, known commonly as the flu, is a viral infection and should be treated seriously if a person is taking Enbrel®. Other upper respiratory infections, such as tuberculosis, can also be side effects of Enbrel®. Coughing, wheezing, a feeling of tightness in the chest, and other similar signs should also be taken seriously.

Heart problems are a possible side effect of Enbrel.
Heart problems are a possible side effect of Enbrel.

Enbrel® may also cause a drop in blood production. It is this phenomenon that may allow infections to overtake the body. Other potential side effects of Enbrel® caused by a reduced blood count are bruising easily, bleeding, and paleness. Reduced blood count can result in bleeding and easy bruising because there may be less of the structures that clot blood in the body. Another symptom of a reduced blood count may also be fever.

Another side effect of Enbrel® may include the increased risk of cancer and other diseases. For instance, a person may be more susceptible to lymphoma while taking the drug. In addition, the activation of hepatitis B in patients who already carry the virus may also result. Hepatitis B affects the liver, and so a person should watch for signs liver problems while taking the medicine. Some signs of liver problems may include the yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark yellow urine, and stools that are pale.

Others side effects of Enbrel® may include heart failure and symptoms like that of lupus. A person may also experience dry eyes or eye nerve inflammation. The nervous system may also be affected with a patient experiencing seizures, stroke, or multiple sclerosis. Gastrointestinal side effects may include anorexia, vomiting, or nausea. Other side effects may exist, and so a patient should consult a doctor to make sure he understands all the risks and benefits of taking Enbrel®.

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    • Enbrel® side effects may include headaches.
      By: Subbotina Anna
      Enbrel® side effects may include headaches.
    • Heart problems are a possible side effect of Enbrel.
      By: forestpath
      Heart problems are a possible side effect of Enbrel.