The Medical Uses and Side Effects of Etanercept with a Focus on Cutaneous Disease

November 2004 | Volume 3 | Issue 6 | Original Article | 653 | Copyright © November 2004

Noah Scheinfeld MD JD

Abstract
Etanercept is a dimeric fusion protein that has been approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, active ankylosing spondylitis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. It has been reported to be useful in other variants of psoriasis, Still’s disease, recurrent aphthous ulcers, and a variety of rare cutaneous conditions. Its cutaneous side effects are rare and include injection site reactions, cutaneous lupus, and cutaneous vasculitis. Its systemic side effects are also rare and include induction or worsening of infections, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and congestive heart failure. Linkage to an increased risk of lymphoma is unclear. In short, etanercept is a promising medication with substantial benefits and use will probably increase in the future. This review surveys off-label uses and side effects of etanercept.