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Across clinical studies and postmarketing experience, the most serious adverse reactions with Enbrel were infections, neurologic events, CHF, and hematologic events [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. The most common adverse reactions with Enbrel were infections and injection site reactions.
Clinical Studies Experience
Adverse Reactions in Adult Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, or Plaque Psoriasis
The data described below reflect exposure to Enbrel in 2219 adult patients with RA followed for up to 80 months, in 182 patients with PsA for up to 24 months, in 138 patients with AS for up to 6 months, and in 1204 adult patients with PsO for up to 18 months.
In controlled trials, the proportion of Enbrel-treated patients who discontinued treatment due to adverse events was approximately 4% in the indications studied.
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reactions rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not predict the rates observed in clinical practice.
Infections, including viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, have been observed in adult and pediatric patients. Infections have been noted in all body systems and have been reported in patients receiving Enbrel alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents.
In controlled portions of trials, the types and severity of infection were similar between Enbrel and the respective control group (placebo or MTX for RA and PsA patients) in RA, PsA, AS and PsO patients. Rates of infections in RA and PsO patients are provided in Table 3 and Table 4, respectively. Infections consisted primarily of upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis and influenza.
In controlled portions of trials in RA, PsA, AS and PsO, the rates of serious infection were similar (0.8% in placebo, 3.6% in MTX, and 1.4% in Enbrel/Enbrel + MTX-treated groups). In clinical trials in rheumatologic indications, serious infections experienced by patients have included, but are not limited to, pneumonia, cellulitis, septic arthritis, bronchitis, gastroenteritis, pyelonephritis, sepsis, abscess and osteomyelitis. In clinical trials in PsO, serious infections experienced by patients have included, but are not limited to, pneumonia, cellulitis, gastroenteritis, abscess and osteomyelitis. The rate of serious infections was not increased in open-label extension trials and was similar to that observed in Enbrel-and placebo-treated patients from controlled trials.
In 66 global clinical trials of 17,505 patients (21,015 patient-years of therapy), tuberculosis was observed in approximately 0.02% of patients. In 17,696 patients (27,169 patient-years of therapy) from 38 clinical trials and 4 cohort studies in the U.S. and Canada, tuberculosis was observed in approximately 0.006% of patients. These studies include reports of pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Injection Site Reactions
In placebo-controlled trials in rheumatologic indications, approximately 37% of patients treated with Enbrel developed injection site reactions. In controlled trials in patients with PsO, 15% of patients treated with Enbrel developed injection site reactions during the first 3 months of treatment. All injection site reactions were described as mild to moderate (erythema, itching, pain, swelling, bleeding, bruising) and generally did not necessitate drug discontinuation. Injection site reactions generally occurred in the first month and subsequently decreased in frequency. The mean duration of injection site reactions was 3 to 5 days. Seven percent of patients experienced redness at a previous injection site when subsequent injections were given.
Patients with RA, PsA, AS or PsO were tested at multiple time points for antibodies to etanercept. Antibodies to the TNF receptor portion or other protein components of the Enbrel drug product were detected at least once in sera of approximately 6% of adult patients with RA, PsA, AS or PsO. These antibodies were all non-neutralizing. Results from JIA patients were similar to those seen in adult RA patients treated with Enbrel.
In PsO studies that evaluated the exposure of etanercept for up to 120 weeks, the percentage of patients testing positive at the assessed time points of 24, 48, 72 and 96 weeks ranged from 3.6%-8.7% and were all non-neutralizing. The percentage of patients testing positive increased with an increase in the duration of study; however, the clinical significance of this finding is unknown. No apparent correlation of antibody development to clinical response or adverse events was observed. The immunogenicity data of Enbrel beyond 120 weeks of exposure are unknown.
The data reflect the percentage of patients whose test results were considered positive for antibodies to etanercept in an ELISA assay, and are highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Additionally, the observed incidence of any antibody positivity in an assay is highly dependent on several factors, including assay sensitivity and specificity, assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to etanercept with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.
Patients with RA had serum samples tested for autoantibodies at multiple time points. In RA Studies I and II, the percentage of patients evaluated for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) who developed new positive ANA (titer ≥ 1:40) was higher in patients treated with Enbrel (11%) than in placebo-treated patients (5%). The percentage of patients who developed new positive anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies was also higher by radioimmunoassay (15% of patients treated with Enbrel compared to 4% of placebo-treated patients) and by Crithidia luciliae assay (3% of patients treated with Enbrel compared to none of placebo-treated patients). The proportion of patients treated with Enbrel who developed anticardiolipin antibodies was similarly increased compared to placebo-treated patients. In RA Study III, no pattern of increased autoantibody development was seen in Enbrel patients compared to MTX patients [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Other Adverse Reactions
Table 3 summarizes adverse reactions reported in adult RA patients. The types of adverse reactions seen in patients with PsA or AS were similar to the types of adverse reactions seen in patients with RA.
Table 3: Percent of Adult RA Patients Experiencing
Adverse Reactions in Controlled Clinical Trials
|Reaction||Placebo Controlleda (Studies I, II, and a Phase 2 Study)||Active Controlledb (Study III)|
(N = 152)
(N = 349)
(N = 217)
(N = 415)
|Percent of Patients||Percent of Patients|
|Upper Respiratory Infectionse||30||38||70||65|
|Non-upper Respiratory Infections||15||21||59||54|
|Injection Site Reactions||11||37||18||43|
|aIncludes data from the 6-month study in which patients
received concurrent MTX therapy in both arms.
bStudy duration of 2 years.
dIncludes bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
eMost frequent Upper Respiratory Infections were upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis and influenza.
In placebo-controlled PsO trials, the percentages of patients reporting adverse reactions in the 50 mg twice a week dose group were similar to those observed in the 25 mg twice a week dose group or placebo group.
Table 4 summarizes adverse reactions reported in adult PsO patients from Studies I and II.
Table 4: Percent of Adult
PsO Patients Experiencing Adverse Reactions in Placebo-Controlled Portions of
Clinical Trials (Studies I & II)
(N = 359)
(N = 876)
|Percent of Patients|
|Non-upper Respiratory Infections||14||12|
|Upper Respiratory Infections0||17||17|
|Injection Site Reactions||6||15|
|aIncludes 25 mg subcutaneous (SC) once weekly (QW), 25 mg SC
twice weekly (BIW), 50 mg SC QW, and 50 mg SC BIW doses.
bIncludes bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
cMost frequent Upper Respiratory Infections were upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis and sinusitis.
Adverse Reactions in Pediatric Patients
In general, the adverse reactions in pediatric patients were similar in frequency and type as those seen in adult patients [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and Clinical Studies]. The types of infections reported in pediatric patients were generally mild and consistent with those commonly seen in the general pediatric population. Two JIA patients developed varicella infection and signs and symptoms of aseptic meningitis, which resolved without sequelae.
In open-label clinical studies of children with JIA, adverse reactions reported in those ages 2 to 4 years were similar to adverse reactions reported in older children.
Adverse reactions have been reported during post approval use of Enbrel in adults and pediatric patients. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to Enbrel exposure.
Adverse reactions are listed by body system below:
Gastrointestinal disorders: inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
General disorders: angioedema, chest pain
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: lupus-like syndrome
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: interstitial lung disease
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: cutaneous lupus erythematosus, cutaneous vasculitis (including leukocytoclastic vasculitis), erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, subcutaneous nodule, new or worsening psoriasis (all sub-types including pustular and palmoplantar)
Opportunistic infections, including atypical mycobacterial infection, herpes zoster, aspergillosis and Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, and protozoal infections have also been reported in postmarketing use.
Read the Enbrel (etanercept) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Specific drug interaction studies have not been conducted with Enbrel.
Most PsA patients receiving Enbrel were able to mount effective B-cell immune responses to pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, but titers in aggregate were moderately lower and fewer patients had 2-fold rises in titers compared to patients not receiving Enbrel. The clinical significance of this is unknown. Patients receiving Enbrel may receive concurrent vaccinations, except for live vaccines. No data are available on the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving Enbrel.
Patients with a significant exposure to varicella virus should temporarily discontinue Enbrel therapy and be considered for prophylactic treatment with varicella zoster immune globulin [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Immune-Modulating Biologic Products
In a study in which patients with active RA were treated for up to 24 weeks with concurrent Enbrel and anakinra therapy, a 7% rate of serious infections was observed, which was higher than that observed with Enbrel alone (0%) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS] and did not result in higher ACR response rates compared to Enbrel alone. The most common infections consisted of bacterial pneumonia (4 cases) and cellulitis (4 cases). One patient with pulmonary fibrosis and pneumonia died due to respiratory failure. Two percent of patients treated concurrently with Enbrel and anakinra developed neutropenia (ANC < 1 x 109/L).
In clinical studies, concurrent administration of abatacept and Enbrel resulted in increased incidences of serious adverse events, including infections, and did not demonstrate increased clinical benefit [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
The use of Enbrel in patients receiving concurrent cyclophosphamide therapy is not recommended [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Patients in a clinical study who were on established therapy with sulfasalazine, to which Enbrel was added, were noted to develop a mild decrease in mean neutrophil counts in comparison to groups treated with either Enbrel or sulfasalazine alone. The clinical significance of this observation is unknown.
Read the Enbrel Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/6/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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