|Memberís Experience of Enbrel.|
Since Enbrel became licensed for use in psoriatic/rheumatoid arthritis in Scotland, we have seen a small increase in the amount of forums and with the possibility of Enbrel and Raptiva gaining a UK license this year, we believe a personal experience from one of our members would be useful and informative, rather than having to read material from elsewhere.
Tartan, a 40-something male, developed psoriasis at 14 and psoriatic arthritis at 20. He has used many treatments, including an intravenous mix of MTX and Remicade and, in January 2005, Enbrel and MTX together.
“I was a bit nervous at first. The Enbrel comes in a package of which there are 4 sealed units in each box (2 boxes supplied). Each unit contains 1 vial with 25mg powder, 1 syringe containing water, 1 needle, 2 sterile wipes and 1 attachment for vial to syringe and a video showing the procedure and actual injecting.
You mix the powder with the water (by attaching vial too syringe), wait 5/10 minutes making sure the powder has mixed and there are no lumps, then fill the syringe, attach the needle, clean the injection site with the wipe (stomach or thigh), then inject at a 45 degree angle holding the syringe like a pen just under skin.
Pinching hold of the skin when inserting the needle helps, although you have to remember to hold the syringe in place when releasing, then inject and always alternate the injection site! . The injections are really painless!
You sometimes have a small lump or swelling at injection site - this normally goes away the next day. Cleanliness of injection site and hands are an absolute must at all times (wipes are included in the pack).
I myself have had no side-effects as yet, although they tell you to watch out for throat infection, sickness and headaches.
Full bloods are checked every month too ascertain liver function and cell count etc. as like any drug the list of side-effects are scary.
I also take 15mg of MTX along with this, so once weekly for MTX, Tuesday and Fridays for Enbrel and folic acid once a week alongside.
The difference is astounding, at least for me! My P and PA are settled to the point where my P is non-existent and my PA has settled right down; no more swollen joints and I am able to use my hands longer without any pain. The clinic monitor my bloods every month and results have been so good they are changing me to 50 mg soon, so I’ll only have 1 injection weekly instead of 2!”.