What is Etanercept?

Etanercept is a targeted disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) that is used to reduce inflammation produced by the body. In certain diseases the immune system is over active, this can target healthy tissues such as joints. Etanercept works on the inflammatory pathway to inhibit proteins called tumour necrosis factors or TNF, reducing the symptoms you get from arthritis such as pain and joint swelling and reduces the chance of further damage to the joints.

Etanercept is known as an anti-TNF biological from its effects, there are other medications in this group such as infliximab or adalimumab.


What is Etanercept used for?

Etanercept is used for the treatments of inflammatory diseases such as:


How is it taken?

Etanercept is taken as an injection into the layer of fat between the skin and muscle. This is called a subcutaneous injection and is usually given into the thigh or abdomen. It is given at a dose of 50mg once a week.

The injection device is available as a pen or prefilled syringe. It should be stored in the fridge at home.


Etanercept can be given alongside other DMARDs such as methotrexate, or taken on its own.


The injections can take up to 12 weeks to have an effect. When you first start taking it you will need your bloods checked after 3 months of taking it, you will then require bloods to be taken once a year. If you are on other medication, you must still attend for blood monitoring for them.


If you symptoms are well controlled, your doses can be gradually reduced to every other week.


Side effects 

There are a few possible side effects that can occur in a small number of people that take etanercept, these include:



Cautions of use

Interactions with other medications

Contraindications of other conditions


During pregnancy and breastfeeding




Useful Links

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