ENBREL (Page 3 of 16)

5.4 Patients with Heart Failure

Two clinical trials evaluating the use of Enbrel in the treatment of heart failure were terminated early due to lack of efficacy. One of these studies suggested higher mortality in Enbrel-treated patients compared to placebo [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. There have been postmarketing reports of worsening of congestive heart failure (CHF), with and without identifiable precipitating factors, in patients taking Enbrel. There have also been rare (< 0.1%) reports of new onset CHF, including CHF in patients without known preexisting cardiovascular disease. Some of these patients have been under 50 years of age. Physicians should exercise caution when using Enbrel in patients who also have heart failure, and monitor patients carefully.

5.5 Hematologic Reactions

Rare (< 0.1%) reports of pancytopenia, including very rare (< 0.01%) reports of aplastic anemia, some with a fatal outcome, have been reported in patients treated with Enbrel. The causal relationship to Enbrel therapy remains unclear. Although no high-risk group has been identified, caution should be exercised in patients being treated with Enbrel who have a previous history of significant hematologic abnormalities. All patients should be advised to seek immediate medical attention if they develop signs and symptoms suggestive of blood dyscrasias or infection (e.g. persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, pallor) while on Enbrel. Discontinuation of Enbrel therapy should be considered in patients with confirmed significant hematologic abnormalities.

Two percent of patients treated concurrently with Enbrel and anakinra developed neutropenia (ANC < 1 × 109 /L). While neutropenic, one patient developed cellulitis that resolved with antibiotic therapy.

5.6 Hepatitis B Reactivation

Reactivation of hepatitis B in patients who were previously infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and had received concomitant TNF-blocking agents, including very rare cases (< 0.01%) with Enbrel, has been reported. In some instances, hepatitis B reactivation occurring in conjunction with TNF-blocker therapy has been fatal. The majority of these reports have occurred in patients concomitantly receiving other medications that suppress the immune system, which may also contribute to hepatitis B reactivation. Patients at risk for HBV infection should be evaluated for prior evidence of HBV infection before initiating TNF-blocker therapy. Prescribers should exercise caution in prescribing TNF-blockers in patients previously infected with HBV. Adequate data are not available on the safety or efficacy of treating patients who are carriers of HBV with anti-viral therapy in conjunction with TNF-blocker therapy to prevent HBV reactivation. Patients previously infected with HBV and requiring treatment with Enbrel should be closely monitored for clinical and laboratory signs of active HBV infection throughout therapy and for several months following termination of therapy. In patients who develop HBV reactivation, consideration should be given to stopping Enbrel and initiating anti-viral therapy with appropriate supportive treatment. The safety of resuming Enbrel therapy after HBV reactivation is controlled is not known. Therefore, prescribers should weigh the risks and benefits when considering resumption of therapy in this situation.

5.7 Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions associated with administration of Enbrel during clinical trials have been reported in < 2% of patients. If an anaphylactic reaction or other serious allergic reaction occurs, administration of Enbrel should be discontinued immediately and appropriate therapy initiated.

Caution: The following components contain dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to latex: the needle cover of the prefilled syringe, the needle cover within the white cap of the SureClick autoinjector, and the needle cover within the purple cap of the Enbrel Mini cartridge.

5.8 Immunizations

Live vaccines should not be given concurrently with Enbrel. It is recommended that pediatric patients, if possible, be brought up-to-date with all immunizations in agreement with current immunization guidelines prior to initiating Enbrel therapy [see Drug Interactions (7.1) and Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

5.9 Autoimmunity

Treatment with Enbrel may result in the formation of autoantibodies [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)] and, rarely (< 0.1%), in the development of a lupus-like syndrome or autoimmune hepatitis [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)] , which may resolve following withdrawal of Enbrel. If a patient develops symptoms and findings suggestive of a lupus-like syndrome or autoimmune hepatitis following treatment with Enbrel, treatment should be discontinued and the patient should be carefully evaluated.

5.10 Immunosuppression

TNF mediates inflammation and modulates cellular immune responses. TNF-blocking agents, including Enbrel, affect host defenses against infections. The effect of TNF inhibition on the development and course of malignancies is not fully understood. In a study of 49 patients with RA treated with Enbrel, there was no evidence of depression of delayed-type hypersensitivity, depression of immunoglobulin levels, or change in enumeration of effector cell populations [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.3) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.11 Use in Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis Patients

The use of Enbrel in patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis receiving immunosuppressive agents is not recommended. In a study of patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis, the addition of Enbrel to standard therapy (including cyclophosphamide) was associated with a higher incidence of non-cutaneous solid malignancies and was not associated with improved clinical outcomes when compared with standard therapy alone [see Drug Interactions (7.3)].

5.12 Use with Anakinra or Abatacept

Use of Enbrel with anakinra or abatacept is not recommended [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].

5.13 Use in Patients with Moderate to Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis

In a study of 48 hospitalized patients treated with Enbrel or placebo for moderate to severe alcoholic hepatitis, the mortality rate in patients treated with Enbrel was similar to patients treated with placebo at 1 month but significantly higher after 6 months. Physicians should use caution when using Enbrel in patients with moderate to severe alcoholic hepatitis.


The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Across clinical studies and postmarketing experience, the most serious adverse reactions with Enbrel were infections, neurologic events, CHF, and hematologic events [see Warnings and Precautions (5)]. The most common adverse reactions with Enbrel were infections and injection site reactions.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reactions rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not predict the rates observed in clinical practice.

Adverse Reactions in Adult Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, or Plaque Psoriasis

The data described below reflect exposure to Enbrel in 2219 adult patients with RA followed for up to 80 months, in 182 patients with PsA for up to 24 months, in 138 patients with AS for up to 6 months, and in 1204 adult patients with PsO for up to 18 months.

In controlled trials, the proportion of Enbrel-treated patients who discontinued treatment due to adverse events was approximately 4% in the indications studied.

Adverse Reactions in Pediatric Patients

In general, the adverse reactions in pediatric patients were similar in frequency and type as those seen in adult patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5), Use in Specific Populations (8.4), and Clinical Studies (14.2, 14.6)].

In a 48-week clinical study in 211 children aged 4 to 17 years with pediatric PsO, the adverse reactions reported were similar to those seen in previous studies in adults with PsO. Long-term safety profile for up to 264 additional weeks was assessed in an open-label extension study and no new safety signals were identified.

In open-label clinical studies of children with JIA, adverse reactions reported in those ages 2 to 4 years were similar to adverse reactions reported in older children.


Infections, including viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, have been observed in adult and pediatric patients. Infections have been noted in all body systems and have been reported in patients receiving Enbrel alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents.

In controlled portions of trials, the types and severity of infection were similar between Enbrel and the respective control group (placebo or MTX for RA and PsA patients) in RA, PsA, AS and PsO patients. Rates of infections in RA and adult PsO patients are provided in Table 3 and Table 4, respectively. Infections consisted primarily of upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis and influenza.

In controlled portions of trials in RA, PsA, AS and PsO, the rates of serious infection were similar (0.8% in placebo, 3.6% in MTX, and 1.4% in Enbrel/Enbrel + MTX-treated groups). In clinical trials in rheumatologic indications, serious infections experienced by patients have included, but are not limited to, pneumonia, cellulitis, septic arthritis, bronchitis, gastroenteritis, pyelonephritis, sepsis, abscess and osteomyelitis. In clinical trials in adult PsO patients, serious infections experienced by patients have included, but are not limited to, pneumonia, cellulitis, gastroenteritis, abscess and osteomyelitis. The rate of serious infections was not increased in open-label extension trials and was similar to that observed in Enbrel- and placebo-treated patients from controlled trials.

In 66 global clinical trials of 17,505 patients (21,015 patient-years of therapy), tuberculosis was observed in approximately 0.02% of patients. In 17,696 patients (27,169 patient-years of therapy) from 38 clinical trials and 4 cohort studies in the U.S. and Canada, tuberculosis was observed in approximately 0.006% of patients. These studies include reports of pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

The types of infections reported in pediatric patients with PsO and JIA were generally mild and consistent with those commonly seen in the general pediatric population. Two JIA patients developed varicella infection and signs and symptoms of aseptic meningitis, which resolved without sequelae.

Injection Site Reactions

In placebo-controlled trials in rheumatologic indications, approximately 37% of patients treated with Enbrel developed injection site reactions. In controlled trials in patients with PsO, 15% of adult patients and 7% of pediatric patients treated with Enbrel developed injection site reactions during the first 3 months of treatment. All injection site reactions were described as mild to moderate (erythema, itching, pain, swelling, bleeding, bruising) and generally did not necessitate drug discontinuation. Injection site reactions generally occurred in the first month and subsequently decreased in frequency. The mean duration of injection site reactions was 3 to 5 days. Seven percent of patients experienced redness at a previous injection site when subsequent injections were given.

Other Adverse Reactions

Table 3 summarizes adverse reactions reported in adult RA patients. The types of adverse reactions seen in patients with PsA or AS were similar to the types of adverse reactions seen in patients with RA.

Table 3. Percent of Adult RA Patients Experiencing Adverse Reactions in Controlled Clinical Trials
Placebo-Controlled *(Studies I, II, and a Phase 2 Study) Active-Controlled (Study III)
Placebo(N = 152) Enbrel (N = 349) MTX (N = 217) Enbrel (N = 415)
Reaction Percent of Patients Percent of Patients
Includes data from the 6-month study in which patients received concurrent MTX therapy in both arms.
Study duration of 2 years.
Any dose.
Includes bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Most frequent Upper Respiratory Infections were upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis and influenza.
Infection § (total) 39 50 86 81
Upper Respiratory Infections 30 38 70 65
Non-upper Respiratory Infections 15 21 59 54
Injection Site Reactions 11 37 18 43
Diarrhea 9 8 16 16
Rash 2 3 19 13
Pruritus 1 2 5 5
Pyrexia 3 4 2
Urticaria 1 4 2
Hypersensitivity 1 1

In placebo-controlled adult PsO trials, the percentages of patients reporting adverse reactions in the 50 mg twice a week dose group were similar to those observed in the 25 mg twice a week dose group or placebo group.

Table 4 summarizes adverse reactions reported in adult PsO patients from Studies I and II.

Table 4. Percent of Adult PsO Patients Experiencing Adverse Reactions in Placebo-Controlled Portions of Clinical Trials (Studies I & II)
Placebo(N = 359) Enbrel *(N = 876)
Reaction Percent of Patients
Includes 25 mg subcutaneous (SC) once weekly (QW), 25 mg SC twice weekly (BIW), 50 mg SC QW, and 50 mg SC BIW doses.
Includes bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Most frequent Upper Respiratory Infections were upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis and sinusitis.
Infection (total) 28 27
Non-upper Respiratory Infections 14 12
Upper Respiratory Infections 17 17
Injection Site Reactions 6 15
Diarrhea 2 3
Rash 1 1
Pruritus 2 1
Urticaria 1
Hypersensitivity 1
Pyrexia 1

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