Saturday, March 27, 2010 two doves, Community Member, asks

Q: Enbrel not working any more :/

I have been on weekly enbrel injections for nine weeks with good results. However, I'm beginning to swell again (my knees and fingers) and fatigue is setting in. Could it be the enbrel isn't going to help after all? What drug is usually a step up? Thanks to all of you for your support and kindness.

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Answers (5)
andrew, Community Member
3/27/10 12:34pm

It could be that Enbrel is not working but I'd guess your doctor will want to give it at least three months before deciding. I had about 3-4 good months on Enbrel before it's impact started tapering off. My rheumy likes to try a variety of TNF blockers as each person reacts differently. There are many others like Humira, Simponi, and Cimzia. I'm currently on my third. And there are other treatments that aren't TNF blockers like Orencia.

 

Sorry for the return of symptoms. Hang in there. It takes time to figure out what's best for you. 

 

Andrew

http://livingwithra.wordpress.com/

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two doves, Community Member
3/27/10 5:56pm

Thanks for your response, Andrew. What other two meds have you been on, including the one you are currently taking? I'm scratching my head wondering what the next possible med would be that my rheumy would consider trying me on....

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Evey, Community Member
3/28/10 8:27pm

It could also simply be a flare...sometimes even with meds usually controlling said symptoms, flares can occur.  Also, it can take some time (9 weeks is not a lot of time) for a new med to really begin working long term.

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two doves, Community Member
3/30/10 6:19pm

Thanks for your words of advice, Evey. Nine weeks really isn't very long - could very well just be a flare. I hope so because I was feeling so much better on the Enbrel within the first eight weeks. Thanks again.

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sunshinegal43oh, Community Member
3/30/10 3:08pm

Two doves, don't give up on Enbrel yet! I, too, am on Enbrel, and around week 9 had a "flare" that made it seem like Enbrel wasn't going to work. But I kept up with the injections two more weeks, and now the flare is over and I'm back to feeling good again. I'm also on 1mg of Folic Acid daily and 8 2.5mg Methotrexate pills per week.

Keep up with the Enbrel for at least three months (that's what my Rheumy says).

Hang in there!

Sunshine

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two doves, Community Member
3/30/10 6:20pm

Oh yahoo Sunshine!!! Please be right! I'm not feeling as badly as I did a few days ago. So perhaps it has been a "flare" and not necessarily the enbrel. Your post made my day!

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sunshinegal43oh, Community Member
4/26/10 9:49am

Just checking in with you. How's the Enbrel working for you now? Is it better? I'm glad my post could help! I know I was SO shocked after it working so well for a time that it would just up and quit making me feel so much better! But it kicked in again, and so far so good!

I hope the same happened for you!

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two doves, Community Member
4/26/10 8:28pm

You're a sweetheart to remember me and my Enbrel dilemma, Sunshine. And you were right! The Enbrel has turned out to be a success after all. Evidently I was experiencing a flare at that time. whew! Life has been sooooo much more tolerable (and even happier!) because of the Enbrel. Your response to my post gave me an emotional boost that kept my spirits up. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

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sunshinegal43oh, Community Member
5/11/10 7:34am

I'm so glad to hear it was just a flare and that the Enbrel has kicked in and really started to help you! That's awesome! I'm glad you stuck with it and didn't give up!

Sunshine

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Tootcpi, Community Member
1/17/11 11:49am

I could use a boost.  This Enbrel seems like it has stop working after 2 yrs :(  This flare has lasted almost a month.  Glad to go to the doctor tomorrow!!

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Lanat2, Community Member
6/ 9/11 8:30pm

How long can flares last for? I've been on enbrel for 9 years and it has worked amazingly! I haven't been happier with a medication. Unfortunately, for the past 6 months I've noticed that my joints are swelling up and new joints are beginning to be infected. I'm hoping it's just a flare but I don't really know how long a flare up can last for.

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Barb, Community Member
6/ 9/11 8:48pm

Lanat2, Well I'm no expert with RA, but 6 months is not really a flare, that is not controlled RA.  Are you going to your rheumatologist soon?  If not, make an apt. soon.  Let us know what happens. Take care, Barb

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Teresa, Community Member
1/27/12 5:21pm

This time my flare has lasted for 6 weeks, i ended up in hospital for a few days to have my knee joints drained of the fluid, but they could not get any out. My legs are so painfull, i can hardly walk, i am on embrel about 6 years now but i think its just not working for me anymore. I have had flares but normally after rest, ice etc about 3 or 4 days it goes down but this just didnt. I am home from hospital now but still can hardly walk, rehab was offered to me but i am waiting a bed. I like you have my joints so swollen, it gets me down, i get so tird only people with Rheumatoid arthritis understand what you are going through.

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Teresa, Community Member
1/27/12 5:14pm

I have been on Embrel for 6 years now, i have severe Rheumatoid arthritis. To be honest at first it worked great for me, and now i am having so much trouble with my walking, due to the knees so swollen, i have just come out of hospital. I think its time to see my rheumatologist and see if i can change my medication. I have got 2 joint replacements and awaiting a reverse shoulder replacement also, and i cant justify that i was told Embrel is supposed to slow down the deformity. In my case it just hasnt. I am  54 had this disease for 15 years and get so tird as you say, fatigue. Give it at least few months thats all i can say , then if you are still having trouble seek advice. I am having my knees drained with the fluid very often now and i just think for me this Embrel has stopped working for me.I hope you get sorted out.

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Teresa, Community Member
1/27/12 5:17pm

I have been on Embrel for 6 years now, i have severe Rheumatoid arthritis. To be honest at first it worked great for me, and now i am having so much trouble with my walking, due to the knees so swollen, i have just come out of hospital. I think its time to see my rheumatologist and see if i can change my medication. I have got 2 joint replacements and awaiting a reverse shoulder replacement also, and i cant justify that i was told Embrel is supposed to slow down the deformity. In my case it just hasnt. I am  54 had this disease for 15 years and get so tird as you say, fatigue. Give it at least few months thats all i can say , then if you are still having trouble seek advice. I am having my knees drained with the fluid very often now and i just think for me this Embrel has stopped working for me.I hope you get sorted out.

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katie, Community Member
2/26/12 7:59pm

I just found this blog......I too am feeling its not working as well after 3 yrs. i have a had a major set back for the last six weeks, ankles then knees and back to ankles where it has stayed.  Im worn out from the pain in the morning and night, takes me forever to get ready for work but once im there and moving around i forget but as soon as i sleep and go to get up in the morning, i need a cane to get going.  I am 55 and have had this since 42. I resorted prendisone today and it really helped but im now out of it, so back to the doctor for some relief. I dont know if its the weather now or food that brings on these flares but its so frustrating and depressing when you cannot get any relief.

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By two doves, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/26/12, First Published: 03/27/10