The Nature of the Drug: Enbrel (etanercept) is an injectable biologic-response modifier manufactured by Immunex. It was invented to treat autoimmune diseases. The drug blocks proteins that have been created as part of a defective immune response to the body’s own tissues, a process that causes immune cells to attack nerves or other cells.

The FDA approved Enbrel for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in 2000, and over 70,000 patients have used the drug for that purpose. Doctors have also prescribed Enbrel for chronic inflammatory diseases generally, including moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, moderate-to-severe juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis which is arthritis of the spine and large joints.

The Hazards of Enbrel: Because it suppresses the immune system, Enbrel can increase the risk of blood infections. It has been linked to bacterial sepsis and tuberculosis, which conditions can be debilitating or fatal.

Enbrel users may also be at increased risk for lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) and other cancers. Leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells) and skin cancer are associated with the drug.

Patients taking Enbrel are at elevated risk for nervous-system disorders. Research has linked the drug to multiple sclerosis and lupus. And Myletis, Optical Neuritis, Pancytopeni, and Aplastic Anemia have been reported.
Finally, Enbrel users have experienced bone fractures. And milder symptoms such as weakness, cough, redness around the injection site, headache, nausea, or vomiting have occurred. The side effects are usually temporary, but may indicate a serious health problem.

Blood infections, cancers, and bone fractures have led Enbrel users to sue Immunex.

To Obtain Legal Relief: People who have experienced a blood infection, cancer, or a bone fracture cancer while using Enbrel may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.