The Use of Etanercept to Treat Arthritis

One of the most reliable medical treatments for arthritis is Etanercept. This sort of medication is only available after you have secured a prescription from your family doctor. The method of application is through a subcutaneous injection which is given twice a week. Patients should carry a biological therapy card in case they are involved in an accident. The medication works within twelve weeks. In some fortunate cases the effects will be felt within a matter of two weeks. The basic side effects that are due to this medication include dizziness, headache, a rash, stomach pain and indigestion. The injection site may also become inflamed. The severity of these side effects will directly determine how you respond to the condition in the first place.

Care for patients on Etanercept

There are specific considerations when looking after patients taking Etanercept. First of all the person giving care has to keep a record of major reactions so that the physicians are able to make a correct diagnosis of what is happening. The doctor might wish to have some X-Ray test taken prior to recommending the treatment. They will also want to have blood tests.  This drug is sometimes prescribed together with other medication including methotrexate. Doctors have to be aware of all the medication that you are taking so that they can make an informed judgment on the risk of drug interactions.

It has to be understood that Etanercept is not a pain killer and therefore should not be used in that vein. Even where you are merely taking herbal remedies, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor. Some of these remedies can end up making matters worse. The doctor will then explain to you if there are any risks associated with the type of medication that you are taking. Other patients will take Etanercept with Pneumovax. This is a wonderful protective substance against the most common types of pneumonia. It is possible to drink alcohol while you are taking Etanercept. Nonetheless this combination should not be added to methotrexate. This is because interaction can arise and there will be damage to your liver in the long run. Immediately after surgery, the doctor may advise that the intake of Etanercept has to be held back for a while.

Other issues with Etanercept

It is not yet clear whether Etanercept can adversely affect an unborn baby. In the absence of such conclusive evidence, women should be very cautious about the way that they use the product. It is also advisable to keep away from the drug if you are breastfeeding. This is because the drug can pass through the milk to the child’s system. It could be a danger to the child and it is better not to take the risk. The use of Etanercept is primarily focused on arthritis. Nonetheless there has to be some consideration of the personal circumstances of the patient. Nothing should be done to make matters worse. It is imperative that you take the correct dosage of Etanercept according to the prescription.