How Does Enbrel Work?

People with certain forms of arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as people with plaque psoriasis, may be prescribed the medication Enbrel® (etanercept). It works by blocking the action of a specific chemical in the body called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). This chemical is known to play a role in various immune system reactions, such as inflammation.
Enbrel comes in injectable form, and is usually given once or twice a week. You can receive the injections at your healthcare provider's office, or you can give yourself the injections, if you are comfortable doing this and your healthcare provider shows you how.
Keep in mind that although Enbrel works to relieve the signs and symptoms of the conditions listed here, it is not a cure. If you stop taking this medicine, it will not work.
(Click Enbrel to learn more about this drug, including its specific effects in the body, potential side effects, what to tell the healthcare provider prescribing it, and more.)
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