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Marketed as Enbrel, Etanercept and manufactured by Amgen, Etanercept is a TNF alfa blocker used in Rheumatoid arthritis. Etanercept is a biopharmaceutical that treats autoimmune diseases by interfering with tumor necrosis factor by acting as a TNF inhibitor. It has U.S. F.D.A. approval to treat rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Information about Etanercept

Etanercept is an antagonist of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) which has potent antiinflammatory activity and is used widely in severe forms of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Mechanism of action of Etanercept

Etanercept (ee tan' er sept) is a soluble form of the human TNFα receptor which is fused wih the Fc portion of immunoglobulin G. This recombinant fusion protein binds serum TNFα, leading to inhibition of pathways of inflammation and pain mediated by this potent, pro-inflammatory cytokine.

FDA approval information for Etanercept

Etanercept was approved for use in the United States in 1998 and current indications include moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic (rheumatoid) arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and severe psoriasis.

Unlike infliximab, adalimumab and certolizumab, etanercept has not been shown to be effective in inflammatory bowel disease. Etanercept is considered a disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) and has been shown to improve symptoms as well as joint and cartilage damage in the inflammatory arthritides.

Dosage and administration for Etanercept

Etanercept is available in 25 mg and in 50 mg/mL prefilled syringes or single use vials under the brand name of Enbrel. The typical dose in adults with rheumatoid arthritis is 50 mg given subcutaneously once or twice weekly.

Side effects of Etanercept

Common side effects include injection site reactions, gastrointestinal upset, rhinitis, rash and fever. TNFα antagonists are also capable of causing immune suppression, resulting in reactivation of microbial infections including tuberculosis and hepatitis B.

Liver safety of Etanercept

Etanercept has been linked to rare instances of acute, clinically apparent liver injury. Etanercept has been associated with low rates of serum ALT elevations during therapy that are generally asymptomatic, transient, and do not require dose modifications.

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