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Enbrel Injections

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Flamingo View Drop Down
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  Quote Flamingo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Enbrel Injections
    Posted: 31 December 2010 at 4:37am
I'm starting this post so I have a good place to track my Enbrel 'experience'.  Maybe it will be of some help to others who have to take the same journey. 
 
My MTX and Plaquenil haven't been working well (been on it for 3 years).  Fingers and toes twisting, new pain and soreness in knees, ankles, shoulder, and continual hip pain had limited my walking distance.  I've been on Prednisone for two months awaiting insurance company approval for Enbrel.  Prednisone has helped a little - I've been able to walk further, but still with some pain.
 
This week I received my first box of Enbrel injectibles which have to be refrigerated.  Thank goodness we have excellent insurance.  I paid an $11 co-pay and the full price on the box showed $1900 - for a one month supply. 
 
Monday morning I go to my RD for my 2-month check-up to review my recent lab results.  I will also be 'trained' on how to give myself the Enbrel injections - my husband will be going through the training also.
 
I opted for Enbrel injections rather than Rituxan infusions for two reasons.  I believe Rituxan would cost my insurance company even much more than Enbrel.  We live in a motor home and are on the road at least 6 months a year in various states and I thought getting an infusion along the way would be too difficult.  Picking up Enbrel injectibles at a local Walgreen's along our route and having the ability to give my own shots seemed the best choice for me.
 
I think I will have to take another month of Prednisone while the Enbrel has a month to start working.  The RD said I would probably stay on MTX but might eventually be able to get off Plaquenil.
 
 
MTX 15 mg, Plaquenil, Folic Acid 1 mg, Enbrel 50 mg
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rab View Drop Down
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  Quote rab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2010 at 5:10am
I was on enbrel for a few years along with mtx.  It worked quite well for while.  I have since switched to Humira.  In my experience you can not get enbrel at a local pharmacy.  I had/have to order my injectables through a specialty drug company and they are delivered by UPS.  I wish you all the best with this new drug.  It has successfully helped many people. 
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Green~Tara View Drop Down
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  Quote Green~Tara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2010 at 8:50am
Best wishes to you. Enbrel was my Wonder Drug for years.  And even after it lost effectiveness it was still working - I sure knew it when stopping completely that it was working, just at a lower percentage rate.

Did you get the self mix or the sure click pens?  I share your same concerns about Rituxan. 

Keep us posted.  It took around a month to kick in for me that first time.
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  Quote bfils Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2011 at 2:10pm
I recently started the Enbrel Sureclick 50 mg and it has really helped. I'm now off of the Prednisone because of it. I still have stiffness in my ankles after sitting for extended periods of time and a little in my wrists, but at least I can do things for myself again. With this last shipment, I started getting red welts around the injection site that itch a little. That didn't happen during the first five injections. Don't know if it has something to do with this lot or will just happen from time to time. Overall, I've had a pretty good experience with it.

I hope it works well for you. Good luck!
-Bonita
Taking RA one day at a time

RA taking MTX, Enbrel, Celebrex, Folic acid, and atenolol
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hessalina View Drop Down
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  Quote hessalina Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2011 at 6:07am
Bonita-

The same thing happened to me with the red welts. For the first month I had no injection reaction. Now I do although they have gotten better (I have been on Enbrel for about 8 years). Also I was able to discontinue both plaquenil and MTX. Enbrel works so well that I have spoken to my rheumy about cutting down the dosage to 25 mg a week. Has anyone done that?
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Green~Tara View Drop Down
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  Quote Green~Tara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2011 at 9:01am
Hessalina don't do it! ... are the first words that pop to my mind.  My rheumie tried that, and that's when the Enbrel lost efficacy for me even though I went back on the regular dose.  I fixed what wasn't broken and the whole wagon came unhitched.
 
Of course, we are all different, respond in different ways, and your case is surely different from mine.  Just throwing it out there for your consideration.
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  Quote Flamingo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2011 at 12:21pm
Had my first injection yesterday - 50 mg.  My husband went along to learn how to also do injections.  For whatever reason, I wasn't able to "click" the button.  I thought I was pressing hard enough.  The nurse kept telling me to push harder.  My husband ended up "clicking" the button.  The nurse and my husband both said I wasn't pushing hard enough, that it was easy, but it apparently wasn't for me.  Either I wasn't holding the "pen" right or my fingers were too stiff and weak.  My first response was that I was guilty of some crime, but I decided I wasn't going to feel that way.  Next week I'll try it again, but later in the day when my fingers aren't as stiff.
 
Today I feel like I have aches and stiffness everywhere.  No pain, thankfully.  Also have a little sore throat.  When I got the injection yesterday, I was about 2 degrees higher than my normal temp.  Just staying home today to rest.  Hopefully the aches will be gone soon.
 
 
 
 
 
MTX 15 mg, Plaquenil, Folic Acid 1 mg, Enbrel 50 mg
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  Quote Green~Tara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2011 at 5:00pm
Flamingo, before you tried to click, did you press fully against the injection site so that the little plastic ring that keeps the needle from pricking you was no longer visible?

You want to press hard, be sure the ring is depressed, then click.  Good luck, I hope you feel better soon and that it works for you.  Don't be surprised if it takes a few weeks.
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  Quote Flamingo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2011 at 3:39am
I thought I was pressing the "pen" hard into the injection site, but maybe not hard enough.  Hopefully I'll get the hang of it next week.
 
Since having the injection on Monday, I have felt like I was hit with a bus.  Headache.  Shaky.  Stiffness.  Flu-like feeling but no fever.   RD wrote a prescription for Hydrocodone and I took one of those at bedtime last night and got 4 hours of good sleep.  Hate taking pain pills, but maybe it will help get me over the hump for my body to adjust to Enbrel.
 
For those of you who take Enbrel, did you have these symptoms after the first injection? 
MTX 15 mg, Plaquenil, Folic Acid 1 mg, Enbrel 50 mg
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  Quote bfils Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2011 at 9:42am
I hope I can discontinue MTX eventually. My hair has really gotten thin as a result even with Folic acid and Biotin. I've started getting a lot of stiffness again as before I started the Enbrel. The good thing is that I'm off the Prednisone though. I wonder if I have a bad lot. First the reaction with the red welts and then the stiffness restarting. I called the support line and they took a report with the lot number. I see my Rheumy on Monday and I'll discuss it with her then.
-Bonita
Taking RA one day at a time

RA taking MTX, Enbrel, Celebrex, Folic acid, and atenolol
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