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Musculoskeletal Services

Self Injection Of Etanercept (Enbrel)

Etanercept is a drug used to reduce the inflammation in your joints. It is often referred to as anti-TNF. Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF) is present in your blood and joints and it is this that causes the inflammation and pain. Etanercept blocks the action of TNF which then reduces the pain and inflammation.

Etanercept is given by sub-cutaneous injection (just below the skin). It is given twice per week. The nurse can teach you, your partner or a member of your family to give the

Response to treatment can vary between 2 –12 weeks, some patients have noticed an improvement after 2-4 injections.

It is important whilst taking Etanercept that you continue to have regular blood tests to check your blood count. Etanercept can affect your white cells and make you more prone to develop an infection. The nurse will inform you when and how often. If you experience any problems the 24- hour help line number is shown on page 2.

Etanercept is a new drug and no one knows the long term effects.

Remember Do Not Inject If…

  • You have a fever.
  • You have, or think you have an infection ie, sore throat, cough, cold etc.
  • You think you may be pregnant.

It is advisable to check with your consultant if you plan to have any vaccines, as some vaccines are not advised if you are taking Etanercept.


0191 223 1156 – MusculoSkeletal Outpatients
After 5pm or weekends 0191 284 3111 Ward 20

There Is Always Someone Available To Talk To You If You Experience Any Problems.

How To Prepare And Administer The Injection

  • You will need: Etanercept pack, needle (sharps) disposal box, record of injection sheet and a pen.
  • Gather all above and wash hands.
  • Open the pack and prepare the syringe.
  • Remove the plastic cap from the Etanercept vial.
  • Remove the cover from the needle on the syringe, (be careful not to touch the needle).
  • Push the needle into the grey stopper on the Etanercept vial and push the plunger until all the fluid in the syringe is in the vial.
  • Do Not Shake The Vial
  • Wait until all the powder has dissolved (about 5 minutes).
  • Hold the vial upside down and pull the plunger back until all the fluid in the vial is in the syringe.
  • Withdraw the needle from the vial and place carefully on suitable surface, make sure you do not touch the needle or allow it to touch anything. It should remain sterile.

You are now ready to inject

  • It is important to alter your injection site each time, (to prevent the area becoming sore).
  • You can use either, your tummy, outer side of either thigh or the back of the upper arm. (see diagrams).
  • Gently pinch the skin together and insert the needle at an angle of 45°.
  • Push the plunger until all the fluid has been injected.
  • Withdraw the needle and press gently on the area with a cotton wool ball.
  • Dispose of the used syringe in the sharps disposal box provided.
  • Record the procedure on the sheet provided.

Etanercept Self Injection

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