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Enbrel Side Effects and Lawsuits

If you have taken Enbrel and believe it has harmed you, or you believe a loved one died as a result of taking Enbrel

The best thing to do is to talk to a personal injury attorney and have your case evaluated. With most personal injury attorneys, a confidential legal consultation will cost you nothing. Enbrel is the brand name for a biopharmaceutical that is known as etanercept. Amgen and Pfizer co-market Enbrel in the United States. Takeda Pharmaceuticals sells the medication in Japan. Everywhere else, Enbrel is marketed by Wyeth, which is a subsidiary of Pfizer.

What is Enbrel used for?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Enbrel in 1998. Enbrel is used to treat several autoimmune conditions. These include:

  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

An autoimmune condition is a condition in which your autoimmune system mistakenly attacks your own body tissues. Enbrel treats autoimmune conditions by interfering with tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Tumor necrosis factor is a soluble inflammatory cytokine. Enbrel acts as a tumor necrosis factor inhibitor.

TNF-alpha is the "master regulator" of the inflammatory (immune) response in many organ systems. Enbrel has the potential to treat autoimmune diseases by inhibiting TNF-alpha. It does this by keeping TNF-alpha from attaching itself to your immune cells. When TNF-alpha attaches to your immune cells, it can bring about inflammation that results in autoimmune diseases.

However, due to the fact that TNF-alpha blockers like Enbrel reduce the ability of your immune system to fight infections, your body can be rendered vulnerable to potentially fatal infections by opportunistic organisms. These organisms attack more than one of your organ systems at the same time.

As a result, on May 2, 2008, the FDA placed a black box warning on Enbrel because of a number of serious infections that were associated with the use of the drug. In fact, from the company website comes this statement. "ENBREL can cause serious side effects including: New infections or worsening of infections you already have; hepatitis B can become active if you already have had it; nervous system problems, such as multiple sclerosis, seizures, or inflammation of the nerves of the eyes; blood problems (some fatal); new or worsening heart failure; new or worsening psoriasis; allergic reactions; autoimmune reactions; including a lupus-like syndrome and autoimmune hepatitis."

Serious side effects that could come from Enbrel

Here are some of the serious side effects that may result from the use of Enbrel. These include:

  • Infections, such as tuberculosis (TB) and infections resulting from fungi, bacteria or viruses that spread all through your body
  • Nervous system difficulties like seizures, multiple sclerosis or inflammation of the nerves of your eyes
  • Cancer, such as lymphoma or other cancers
  • Hepatitis B infection
  • Blood problems that are indicated by bleeding or bruising easily, looking pale or fever
  • Heart failure
  • Psoriasis
  • Allergic reactions
  • Autoimmune reactions, such as autoimmune hepatitis or lupus-like syndrome

Once again, if you believe you have been injured by taking Enbrel, or a loved one died as a result of taking Enbrel, the best thing to do is to talk to a personal injury attorney.