Enbrel and Heart Attacks
There are several possible side effects of Enbrel, and heart attacks appear to be a rare side effect of the medication. During clinical trials, heart or blood vessel problems, such as congestive heart failure, heart attacks, and high blood pressure, were reported in less than 1.5 percent of people taking the drug. However, it is difficult to say whether these side effects are directly related to Enbrel.
Several side effects are possible with Enbrel® (etanercept). Heart problems, including heart attacks, have been reported as rare side effects in clinical studies of the drug. However, given how rarely these problems were reported, along with how common heart disease and other problems are in today's society, it is difficult to say whether these side effects are related to Enbrel and, if so, how much of a role they play.
Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies in which thousands of people are given a particular medicine and are then compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, the side effects are always documented. As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
The following heart or blood vessel problems were reported in less than 1.5 percent of people taking Enbrel:
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Blood clot deep in a leg vein (known medically as deep vein thrombosis or DVT).
Heart attacks (and other heart or blood vessel problems) do appear to occur rarely in people taking Enbrel. It is not known, however, if or how much Enbrel affects a person's risk of developing these problems.
Regardless of whether you are taking Enbrel, there are certain known heart attack risk factors. Preventing a heart attack begins by knowing these risk factors and taking action to lower your risk. It is also important to know heart attack warning signs. While these early symptoms can vary, if you have chest pain that spreads to the back, shoulders, arms, neck, or jaw, call 911 or an ambulance right away. You should also call 911 or an ambulance if you have shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, or dizziness.