Friday, March 12, 2010 sunshinegal43oh, Community Member, asks

Q: Enbrel Stopped Working!!??!!??

I've been on Enbrel 9 weeks now. I noticed improvement in my inflammation and swelling after my second SureClick injection, and I've been feeling so much better that I thought Enbrel was a miracle drug.

I got off schedule, once. I normally take Enbrel on Saturday mornings. A couple of weeks ago I missed my Saturday deadline and took my injection of Enbrel late; but just by one day. I took the injection on Sunday morning instead of Saturday morning.

However, since that time, I've noticed that I'm not getting the great relief I was once getting. What does this mean? Does it mean that Enbrel has stopped working? Or does it mean I need a higher dose of the medication? I feel let down; I was feeling SO great- almost human again! And now I'm back to where I started.

Has anyone else had this happen?

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Answers (4)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
3/21/10 9:06pm

one of the reasons that it seems as if Enbrel is not having the same kick as it used to may be that because you're feeling better, you're doing more. Even when your RA is well-managed, you still need to moderate your activity levels and work within your limits to ensure that you can do more the next day - check out my post on the Spoon Theory for more information about doing a bit less to in the long run do more.

 

You may also want to talk to your doctor about what's going on to check whether the Enbrel is not suppressing your RA as well as it used to. If not, you may need to increase your dose or supplement it with another medication, like a small dose of prednisone - in my experience, it can help take the Biologics from doing well to doing great. Combination therapy with other DMARDs (the disease modifying antirheumatic drugs like methotrexate, Plaquenil, etc.) may also get things working better.

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andrew, Community Member
3/12/10 6:31pm

I'm so sorry that Enbrel isn't providing the relief you were hoping for. I can't imagine that missing a day would be a cause behind this. I could just be that Enbrel is not for you. Your doc will probably want to give it 3 or so months before making a determination. If it's still not working, there are many other options out there. TNF blockers like Enbrel don't work the same for everyone. Enbrel stopped working for me so I can relate.

 

Hang in there. It's not the end of treatments. You may just be onto the next one.

 

Andrew

http://livingwithra.wordpress.com/

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Michael, Community Member
12/ 7/10 6:23pm

I have Ankylosing Spondiltis and for around 5 years no one could give me a strait answer on what was giving me such debilitating low back pain...I was referred to pain management and began taking mild opiates...then my body wold adjust and I would have to go on to something stronger...until I got to the point to where my Doctor wanted me to take Dilaudid or Morphine....I said that was enough....I basicaly started from scratch and found a new Dr. told him I wanted the root cause taken care of...and after quite a few tests I was given a legit diagnosis.  I started taking Enbrel. Two days after I started I felt like I could run a marathon!  I was so happy!  The Enbrel worked for about a year...then I began to become very fatigued (I stopped all the pain meds by the way after I stred the Enbrel) then I started to get the body stiffness back and then finally the pain returned.  So, my Rhumatologist swithed me to Humira and the pain has go again....the Doctor explained that the Enbrel has a higher rate of your body developing antibodies to it as it is sythisised from mouse DNA whereas the Humira is from human DNA (hence the name I suppose).  I has been a very frustrating trip and I have reached my breaking point many a time but there are so many options out there that you can keep trying things until something works.  The only side-effects I have had are nasty headaches for the first two days after my injection(Enbrel) one week later with Humira (wierd huh) and I began to get some spots on ringworm on my legs...which dissappeared after a week of appyling some coal tar on the spots.  Humira aslo seems to hurt less when injecting it...but that may just be a better needle or something...who knows!

It is frustrating when something so life altering like that stops working but just get ourself some good pain meds and try whatever you can ultel you find the right one!  This last time when I switched it was about two months for the transistion from one to the other with all the blood test insurance approval and all the garbage...but I feel back to normal now (which my wife doesn't think is really all that normal, but it her fault for mayying me...lol.)

Good luck....if you want more info on what helped or didn't help with pain...etc...

here is my email mkjones777@yahoo.com

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ceejchris82, Community Member
11/19/11 2:13pm

I started Enbrel in April 2010 and it was, as you say, like a miracle drug. However, also like you, it stopped working for me after approx 4 months. I continued it for another 2 months, but it never kicked back in and I felt it was then a waste of money since it was doing nothing for me. Since then, I've tried Humira, Orencia and currently I'm on Actemra. None of these have helped, even after giving each one 3 to 4 months. Actemra helped slightly after the first two infusions, but only for 12 to 14 days, while the infusion schedule is once a month. So, I am now at a point of not knowing where to turn -- which med to try next to alleviate the all-over muscle, tendon, ligament, tissue pain caused by the swelling that is supposedly caused by an RA/Lupus type autoimmune disease.

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By sunshinegal43oh, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/19/11, First Published: 03/12/10