It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Your body's ability to fight infection may be reduced while you are being treated with etanercept. It is very important that you call your doctor at the first signs of any infection. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: fever, chills, cough or hoarseness, flu-like symptoms, lower back or side pain, painful or difficult urination, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
While you are being treated with etanercept, do not have any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Your child's vaccines need to be current before he or she begins using etanercept. Be sure to ask your child's doctor if you have any questions about this.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash; itching; swelling of the face, tongue, and throat; trouble breathing; or chest pain after you receive the medicine.
You or your child will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis before you start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis skin test.
This medicine may increase your risk of having a lupus-like syndrome or autoimmune hepatitis. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have fever or chills; a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or weakness; light-colored stools; nausea and vomiting; upper right-sided abdominal or stomach pain; or yellow eyes and skin.
Serious skin reactions can occur during treatment with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; chills; cough; diarrhea; fever; itching; joint or muscle pain; red skin lesions; sore throat; sores, ulcers, or white spots in your mouth or lips; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Serious nervous system problems, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis, demyelinating disease, and seizures have occurred rarely in people using this medicine. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this.
A small number of people (including children and teenagers) who have used this medicine have developed certain types of cancer (e.g., leukemia). Some patients also developed a rare type of cancer called lymphoma. Talk with your doctor if you or your child have unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness; swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, or groin; or unexplained weight loss. Also, check with your doctor right away if your skin has red, scaly patches, or raised bumps that are filled with pus.
Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms: shortness of breath; swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs; or sudden weight gain. These may be signs of a heart condition called congestive heart failure (CHF).
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes abatacept (Orencia®), anakinra (Kineret®), or cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®). Using any of them together with this medicine may increase your risk of having serious side effects.