Enbrel: what it is for, how to apply and side effects

Advances in medicine are guaranteeing more health, quality of life and well-being for people.

Among these scientific advances are biological medicines, developed by biotechnology since the 1980s, in which the active ingredient is produced from living organisms. One example is Enbrel.

See what it is for and other usage information:


What is Enbrel?

Enbrel is a biological antirheumatic medicine presented by injection. The average time to start your action is 2 weeks from the first application.

The prescription for the purchase of this medicine is white, that is, Enbrel can only be purchased with a medical prescription, although it does not retain the prescription.

It consists of 2 parts: powder and liquid (diluent) that must be mixed according to the orientation of the nurse, the pharmacist and the package insert.

The recommended dose is usually 50mg per week, which can be applied at once or fractionated (2 times of 25mg, for example). However, the pediatric dose (which, according to the package insert, comprises people under the age of 18) is different from that for adults.

For fractional doses, it is necessary to have an interval of 3 to 4 days between each administration and the application schedules vary according to each case. Therefore, if in doubt, seek medical advice.

Enbrel can trigger some side effects such as fever , inflammation and allergies, which in general are short-lived and resolve spontaneously. However, young children (under 2 years old), people with generalized infection and undergoing treatment for alcoholic hepatitis should not be medicated with this drug.

What is Enbrel used for?

This remedy is indicated for the control of symptoms of moderate and severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis , acting in the reduction of pain, swelling and inflammation caused by the disease. The arthritis Juvenile idiopathic moderate or severe (which is between 14 and 18) can also be treated with Enbrel.

The drug can still be indicated to treat Active Ankylosing Spondylitis , an inflammation that affects the hip joints, shoulders and other parts of the body.

Enbrel can also treat other diseases related to inflammation in the joints such as severe non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and other inflammatory joint diseases as directed by a doctor.

Enbrel serve para Alzheimer?

There are no studies that prove that Enbrel can prevent Alzheimer’s or improve the condition of those who already have this disease.

For a while, researchers at the Enbrel-manufacturing laboratory suspected that the drug could delay Alzheimer’s signs or treat those who already have the disease.

But, after internal studies, the same researchers disproved this thesis, since the drug does not act directly on brain tissue.

The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) does not recommend that Enbrel be used for other purposes, except what is indicated in the package insert .

What are the side effects?

Commonly and very commonly, reactions may occur at the application site, such as redness, bruising, itching, pain and swelling, which should show improvement in a maximum of 4 days. Another common side effect is the weakening of the immune system, which makes a person more susceptible to infections by viruses, bacteria and fungi.

In addition, the package insert lists the following adverse reactions as common:

  • Allergic reactions;
  • Autoantibody formation;
  • Fever;
  • Itching (itching).

In addition to these, in rarer cases, Enbrel can still cause or worsen the conditions of:

  • Allergies;
  • Fever;
  • Decrease in the amount of platelets in the blood;
  • Inflammation in the white part of the eyes (scleritis);
  • Nerve inflammation (neuritis);
  • Tuberculosis;
  • Anemia;
  • Cardiac insufficiency;
  • Convulsions;
  • Lupus;
  • Autoimmune hepatitis;
  • Peeling of the skin (necrolysis epidermis).

It is worth mentioning that these adverse effects will not necessarily occur, as each person may react differently to the medication. The intensity and duration of symptoms, when they occur, can also vary.

Any symptomatic alteration or manifestation must be informed to the responsible professional.


This remedy is contraindicated for people:

  • Who have allergies to one of the components of the formula;
  • Who have generalized infections;
  • Who undergo treatment for alcoholic hepatitis;
  • Children under 2 years old.

It is also important to say that the cap of the Enbrel syringe contains latex and, therefore, this medication should not be used by anyone who is allergic to the component.

People who have heart problems and multiple sclerosis can use Enbrel with caution and constant supervision by the responsible physician.

Another group that should use Enbrel with caution are diabetes carriers , because this drug contains a small amount of sugar in its composition.


The product package insert has no indication that Enbrel may cause changes in the amount of body fat or weight of the patient.

How to use an application pen?

If you have doubts about the correct way to apply this medication, you should seek the help of a health professional. It is also important to read the package insert carefully and, before application, wash your hands and properly sanitize the application area.

To apply this drug, follow these steps:

  • Remove the medicine from the refrigerator;
  • Remove a syringe and leave it on a table or sink for 15 minutes or until the drug is at room temperature (this makes the injection less painful);
  • Choose the application site (it can be on the front and outside of the thigh, in the abdomen leaving 5 cm away from the navel or on the back and outside of the arm). Avoid bruised, sensitive areas or with scars and stretch marks;
  • Wash your hands and wipe the application site with a wet tissue;
  • Remove the cap from the syringe taking care not to apply too much force and bend or break the needle;
  • Pleat the skin with your non-dominant hand;
  • With the dominant hand, hold the syringe as if it were a pencil;
  • Insert the needle with a quick movement. The needle should form an angle that varies between 45 ° and 90 °. Take care not to push the needle too hard;
  • Release the pleat on the skin when the needle is fully inserted. With your free hand, you can hold the syringe for added stability;
  • Squeeze the syringe barrel slowly to inject the liquid into the body;
  • When the syringe is empty, remove the needle trying to maintain the same angle at which it was placed;
  • If there is a slight bleeding, use a piece of cotton or gauze to contain it;
  • Dispose of the materials used in the process correctly. Do not reuse the material.

Does SUS provide the drug Enbrel?

The Unified Health System (SUS) offered Enbrel until the month of July 2019, when the Public Ministry and the Federal Court of Accounts broke off the partnership with the laboratory that manufactures this medicine, replacing it with biosimilar medication.

It is worth remembering that patients who need medications and cannot afford treatment can file lawsuits with a view to obtaining it free of charge. In such cases, a judicial budget must be presented.

At Consulta Remédios, just fill out the form and the team will send you a quote for the medication, facilitating the process of access to treatment.

Price and where to buy

This remedy is presented in two ways: Enbrel and Enbrel PFS .

The first version contains 25mg and costs about R $ 3,900 *. Enbrel PFS is formulated with 50mg and can be purchased for R $ 8,299.99 *.

Enbrel is found in drugstore chains present in large centers or on demand in smaller centers.

* Prices consulted in October 2019.

Enbrel is a medicine indicated to treat types of arthritis. It can cause several side effects and therefore should only be ingested with the medical recommendation.

The Healthy Minute brings other information about medicines . Check out our posts !!!