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What Does Enbrel Do To Your Immune System?


Enbrel is a medication prescribed to treat autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and plaque psoriasis. Central to its function is its ability to target and modulate specific components of the immune system, which plays a crucial role in these chronic inflammatory diseases.

Enbrel works by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein produced by the immune system that promotes inflammation. In conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, TNF is overproduced, leading to excessive inflammation and tissue damage. By binding to TNF and preventing it from triggering inflammatory responses, Enbrel helps reduce inflammation, pain, and joint damage associated with these autoimmune disorders. Understanding how Enbrel interacts with the immune system sheds light on its therapeutic mechanism and its role in managing chronic inflammatory conditions effectively.


Enbrel is a biological medication used to treat autoimmune diseases by targeting the underlying cause of inflammation in the body: Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). This protein is naturally produced by the immune system to combat infection but can become overly active in individuals with certain autoimmune disorders. By blocking TNF’s action, Enbrel helps alleviate inflammation and symptoms associated with these conditions.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Enbrel is indicated for treating rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It is administered via subcutaneous injection or intravenous infusion and may also be used off-label for conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

How Enbrel Works in the Body

It works by specifically targeting a protein in the body called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), which is naturally produced by the immune system. In autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, TNF levels can become abnormally high, leading to chronic inflammation and tissue damage.

It binds to TNF and blocks its activity. By doing so, it helps to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions. This action not only helps to manage pain and swelling but also aims to slow down the progression of joint damage and other complications caused by excessive inflammation.

It is available in both subcutaneous injection and intravenous infusion forms, allowing for flexibility in treatment options based on individual patient needs and preferences. It is a biologic medication that requires careful monitoring and is typically prescribed under the guidance of healthcare professionals specializing in autoimmune diseases.

Enbrel Benefits

Is a medication primarily used to treat autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Here are some of its key benefits:

Reduced Inflammation

It works by targeting and blocking tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein that contributes to inflammation. By doing so, it helps reduce inflammation and associated symptoms such as joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Improved Joint Function

Many patients experience improved joint function and mobility, which can enhance quality of life significantly, especially for those with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis.

Management of Psoriasis

For individuals with moderate to severe psoriasis, Enbrel can effectively reduce the severity and frequency of flare-ups, leading to clearer skin and improved comfort.

Long-term Management

It is often used as a long-term treatment to manage chronic autoimmune conditions. It can help maintain remission and prevent disease progression when used consistently as prescribed.

Side Effects of Enbrel

Although etanercept, or Enbrel, is generally well tolerated, side effects are a possibility with any drug. Here are some common and less common side effects associated with Enbrel:

Common Side Effects

  • Injection Site Reactions
  • Upper Respiratory Infections
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Rash

Less Common but Serious Side Effects

  • Serious Infections
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Neurological Symptoms:
  • Blood Disorders
  • Liver Problems
  • Heart Failure

Precautions and Considerations

When considering treatment with Enbrel (etanercept), several precautions are essential for safe and effective use. Enbrel can increase the risk of infections, including serious ones like tuberculosis and fungal infections. Before starting treatment, it’s crucial to undergo screening for latent infections, and throughout treatment, promptly report any signs of infection to your healthcare provider. Vaccinations with live vaccines should generally be avoided while using It. Regular monitoring by a healthcare provider is necessary to assess treatment response, monitor for side effects such as changes in blood cell counts or liver function, and adjust therapy as needed based on disease activity and overall health status.

It’s important to inform your doctor about all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, as some may interact with It. Special considerations apply for pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, where the risks and benefits must be carefully evaluated. Any history of allergies or prior adverse reactions should also be discussed, as rare severe allergic reactions can occur with Enbrel. By adhering to these precautions and maintaining open communication with your healthcare team, you can ensure Enbrel is used safely and effectively to manage your autoimmune condition.

The Bottom Line

Enbrel (etanercept) functions by targeting tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein that plays a key role in inflammation and autoimmune responses. By blocking TNF, Enbrel helps to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. This action, however, can also suppress parts of the immune system, making users more susceptible to infections. It’s crucial for individuals considering or using Enbrel to be aware of these effects and to discuss with their healthcare provider the benefits, risks, and proper management strategies tailored to their health needs. Enbrel is available through USA Script Care, a trusted pharmacy partner, ensuring reliable access for those prescribed this medication.

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