I was on Enbrel for 14 months. The only side effects that I noticed were local injection site reactions which slowly got smaller and smaller with each injection and some sinus infections. In all fairness, I have to say that it's likely the sinus infections were my own fault. I know I have significant sinus problems and there are things that I should be doing to ensure that they don't get infected, whether or not I am taking some form of immunosuppressant. Since I wasn't doing those things, I probably would have gotten the infections even if I wasn't taking Enbrel.
The only reason I stopped it was because I had to change Docs and the new Rheumy wasn't convinced that I needed it. We battled over my treatment for a year before I finally got a referral to a new one. By the time I left my first appt with the new guy, I had a script
for Humira in my hand. We only switched me up to the Humira because I also have Crohn's Disease. At the time I started Enbrel, my Crohn's was under control. Now it is not and since Enbrel is not effective for Crohn's I needed either Humira or remicade which does treat Crohn's.
All of these meds carry risks regarding the possibility of lymphoma, activation of latent TB, opportunistic infections and medication induced Lupus, to name a few of the scariest. I delay treatment with Biologics for quite a long time and finally came to the realization that without these meds, my life was misery. I could barely move, am not able to work and end up canceling or avoiding many of the things that i used to love to do. I had to ask myself if this was the life I wanted and the answer was NO.
The decision to use these meds is never an easy one and I don't envy anyone facing the decision. I know how long and hard I agonized over it. However, I came to the realization that i had to weigh the pros and cons to come to a decision. My thinking is that I could lay here and wait as the disease slowly progressed and I got more and more debilitated because I was to afraid of the "what ifs" or I could take my chances, use the meds and make the best out of my life that I can.
Please understand that I'm not trying to tell anyone what theyshould do. This is a very personal decision and only you can make it. I am only explaining how I came to my decision.
I hope you each make the best decision for you and find a way to combat the disease with which you are comfortable.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
God helps those who help themselves.
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