4.1 Therapeutic indications
Enbrel 25 mg or 50 mg in pre-filled syringe, Enbrel 25 mg powder and solvent for solution for injection,
Enbrel 25 mg or 50 mg in pre-filled pen:
Enbrel in combination with methotrexate is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis in adults when the response to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, including methotrexate (unless contraindicated), has been inadequate.
Enbrel can be given as monotherapy in case of intolerance to methotrexate or when continued treatment with methotrexate is inappropriate.
Enbrel is also indicated in the treatment of severe, active and progressive rheumatoid arthritis in adults not previously treated with methotrexate.
Enbrel, alone or in combination with methotrexate, has been shown to reduce the rate of progression of joint damage as measured by X-ray and to improve physical function.
Treatment of active and progressive psoriatic arthritis in adults when the response to previous disease- modifying antirheumatic drug therapy has been inadequate. Enbrel has been shown to improve physical function in patients with psoriatic arthritis, and to reduce the rate of progression of peripheral joint damage as measured by X-ray in patients with polyarticular symmetrical subtypes of the disease.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
Treatment of adults with severe active ankylosing spondylitis who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy.
Non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis
Treatment of adults with severe non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis with objective signs of inflammation as indicated by elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence, who have had an inadequate response to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Treatment of adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who failed to respond to, or who have a contraindication to, or are intolerant to other systemic therapy, including ciclosporin, methotrexate or psoralen and ultraviolet-A light (PUVA) (see section 5.1).
Enbrel 25 mg or 50 mg in pre-filled syringe, Enbrel 25 mg powder and solvent for solution for injection,
Enbrel 25 mg or 50 mg in pre-filled pen, Enbrel 10 mg for paediatric use:
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Treatment of polyarthritis (rheumatoid factor positive or negative) and extended oligoarthritis in children and adolescents from the age of 2 years who have had an inadequate response to, or who have proved intolerant of, methotrexate.
Treatment of psoriatic arthritis in adolescents from the age of 12 years who have had an inadequate response to, or who have proved intolerant of, methotrexate.
Treatment of enthesitis-related arthritis in adolescents from the age of 12 years who have had an inadequate response to, or who have proved intolerant of, conventional therapy.
Enbrel has not been studied in children aged less than 2 years.
Paediatric plaque psoriasis
Treatment of chronic severe plaque psoriasis in children and adolescents from the age of 6 years who are inadequately controlled by, or are intolerant to, other systemic therapies or phototherapies.
4.2 Posology and method of administration
Enbrel treatment should be initiated and supervised by specialist physicians experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, plaque psoriasis or paediatric plaque psoriasis. Patients treated with Enbrel should be given the Patient Card.
Enbrel is available in strengths of 10, 25 and 50 mg.
25 mg Enbrel administered twice weekly is the recommended dose. Alternatively, 50 mg administered once weekly has been shown to be safe and effective (see section 5.1).
Psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis
The recommended dose is 25 mg Enbrel administered twice weekly, or 50 mg administered once weekly.
For all of the above indications, available data suggest that a clinical response is usually achieved within 12 weeks of treatment. Continued therapy should be carefully reconsidered in a patient not responding within this time period.
The recommended dose of Enbrel is 25 mg administered twice weekly or 50 mg administered once weekly. Alternatively, 50 mg given twice weekly may be used for up to 12 weeks followed, if necessary, by a dose of 25 mg twice weekly or 50 mg once weekly. Treatment with Enbrel should continue until remission is achieved, for up to 24 weeks. Continuous therapy beyond 24 weeks may be appropriate for some adult patients (see section 5.1). Treatment should be discontinued in patients who show no response after 12 weeks. If re-treatment with Enbrel is indicated, the same guidance on treatment duration should be followed. The dose should be 25 mg twice weekly or 50 mg once
Renal and hepatic impairment
No dose adjustment is required.
No dose adjustment is required. Posology and administration are the same as for adults 18-64 years of age.
The dosage of Enbrel is based on body weight for paediatric patients. Patients weighing less than
62.5 kg should be accurately dosed on a mg/kg basis using the powder and solvent for solution for injection presentations or the powder for solution for injection presentations (see below for dosing for specific indications). Patients weighing 62.5 kg or more, may be dosed using a fixed-dose pre-filled syringe or pre-filled pen.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
The recommended dose is 0.4 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 25 mg per dose) given twice weekly as a subcutaneous injection with an interval of 3-4 days between doses or 0.8 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 50 mg per dose) given once weekly. Discontinuation of treatment should be considered in patients who show no response after 4 months.
The 10 mg vial strength may be more appropriate for administration to children with JIA below the weight of 25 kg.
No formal clinical trials have been conducted in children aged 2 to 3 years. However, limited safety data from a patient registry suggest that the safety profile in children from 2 to 3 years of age is similar to that seen in adults and children aged 4 years and older, when dosed every week with 0.8 mg/kg subcutaneously (see section 5.1).
There is generally no applicable use of Enbrel in children aged below 2 years in the indication juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Paediatric plaque psoriasis (age 6 years and above)
The recommended dose is 0.8 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 50 mg per dose) once weekly for up to 24 weeks. Treatment should be discontinued in patients who show no response after 12 weeks.
If re-treatment with Enbrel is indicated, the above guidance on treatment duration should be followed. The dose should be 0.8 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 50 mg per dose) once weekly.
There is generally no applicable use of Enbrel in children aged below 6 years in the indication plaque psoriasis.
Method of administration
Enbrel is administered by subcutaneous injection (see section 6.6).
Comprehensive instructions for administration are given in the package leaflet, section 7, "Instructions for preparation and giving an injection of Enbrel.
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.
Sepsis or risk of sepsis.
Treatment with Enbrel should not be initiated in patients with active infections, including chronic or localised infections.
4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use
In order to improve the traceability of biological medicinal products, the trademark and the batch number of the administered product should be clearly recorded (or stated) in the patient file.
Patients should be evaluated for infections before, during, and after treatment with Enbrel, taking into consideration that the mean elimination half-life of etanercept is approximately 70 hours (range 7 to 300 hours).
Serious infections, sepsis, tuberculosis, and opportunistic infections, including invasive fungal infections, listeriosis and legionellosis, have been reported with the use of Enbrel (see section 4.8). These infections were due to bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites (including protozoa). In some cases, particular fungal and other opportunistic infections have not been recognised, resulting in delay of appropriate treatment and sometimes death. In evaluating patients for infections, the patient’s risk for relevant opportunistic infections (e.g., exposure to endemic mycoses) should be considered.
Patients who develop a new infection while undergoing treatment with Enbrel should be monitored closely. Administration of Enbrel should be discontinued if a patient develops a serious infection. The safety and efficacy of Enbrel in patients with chronic infections have not been evaluated. Physicians should exercise caution when considering the use of Enbrel in patients with a history of recurring or chronic infections or with underlying conditions that may predispose patients to infections, such as advanced or poorly controlled diabetes.
Cases of active tuberculosis, including miliary tuberculosis and tuberculosis with extra-pulmonary location, have been reported in patients treated with Enbrel.
Before starting treatment with Enbrel, all patients must be evaluated for both active and inactive (‘latent’) tuberculosis. This evaluation should include a detailed medical history with personal history of tuberculosis or possible previous contact with tuberculosis and previous and/or current immunosuppressive therapy. Appropriate screening tests, i.e., tuberculin skin test and chest X-ray, should be performed in all patients (local recommendations may apply). It is recommended that the conduct of these tests should be recorded in the Patient Card. Prescribers are reminded of the risk of false negative tuberculin skin test results, especially in patients who are severely ill or immunocompromised.
If active tuberculosis is diagnosed, Enbrel therapy must not be initiated. If inactive (‘latent’) tuberculosis is diagnosed, treatment for latent tuberculosis must be started with anti-tuberculosis therapy before the initiation of Enbrel, and in accordance with local recommendations. In this situation, the benefit/risk balance of Enbrel therapy should be very carefully considered.
All patients should be informed to seek medical advice if signs/symptoms suggestive of tuberculosis (e.g., persistent cough, wasting/weight loss, low-grade fever) appear during or after Enbrel treatment.
Hepatitis B reactivation
Reactivation of hepatitis B in patients who were previously infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and had received concomitant TNF-antagonists, including Enbrel, has been reported. This includes reports of reactivation of hepatitis B in patients who were anti-HBc positive but HBsAg negative. Patients should be tested for HBV infection before initiating treatment with Enbrel. For patients who test positive for HBV infection, consultation with a physician with expertise in the treatment of hepatitis B is recommended. Caution should be exercised when administering Enbrel in patients previously infected with HBV. These patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of active HBV infection throughout therapy and for several weeks following termination of therapy. Adequate data from treating patients infected with HBV with anti-viral therapy in conjunction with TNF-antagonist therapy are not available. In patients who develop HBV infection, Enbrel should be stopped and effective anti-viral therapy with appropriate supportive treatment should be initiated.
Worsening of hepatitis C
There have been reports of worsening of hepatitis C in patients receiving Enbrel. Enbrel should be used with caution in patients with a history of hepatitis C.
Concurrent treatment with anakinra
Concurrent administration of Enbrel and anakinra has been associated with an increased risk of serious infections and neutropenia compared to Enbrel alone. This combination has not demonstrated increased clinical benefit. Thus, the combined use of Enbrel and anakinra is not recommended (see sections 4.5 and 4.8).
Concurrent treatment with abatacept
In clinical studies, concurrent administration of abatacept and Enbrel resulted in increased incidences of serious adverse events. This combination has not demonstrated increased clinical benefit; such use is not recommended (see section 4.5).
The needle cover of the pre-filled syringe contains latex (dry natural rubber) that may cause hypersensitivity reactions when handled by, or when Enbrel is administered to, persons with known or possible latex sensitivity.
Allergic reactions associated with Enbrel administration have been reported commonly. Allergic reactions have included angioedema and urticaria; serious reactions have occurred. If any serious allergic or anaphylactic reaction occurs, Enbrel therapy should be discontinued immediately and appropriate therapy initiated.
The possibility exists for TNF-antagonists, including Enbrel, to affect host defences against infections and malignancies since TNF mediates inflammation and modulates cellular immune responses. In a study of 49 adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis 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.
Two juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients developed varicella infection and signs and symptoms of aseptic meningitis, which resolved without sequelae. Patients with a significant exposure to varicella virus should temporarily discontinue Enbrel therapy and be considered for prophylactic treatment with Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin.
The safety and efficacy of Enbrel in patients with immunosuppression have not been evaluated.
Malignancies and lymphoproliferative disorders
Solid and haematopoietic malignancies (excluding skin cancers)
Reports of various malignancies (including breast and lung carcinoma and lymphoma) have been received in the postmarketing period (see section 4.8).
In the controlled portions of clinical trials of TNF-antagonists, more cases of lymphoma have been observed among patients receiving a TNF-antagonist compared with control patients. However, the occurrence was rare, and the follow-up period of placebo patients was shorter than for patients receiving TNF-antagonist therapy. In the postmarketing setting, cases of leukaemia have been reported in patients treated with TNF-antagonists. There is an increased background risk for lymphoma and leukaemia in rheumatoid arthritis patients with long-standing, highly active, inflammatory disease, which complicates risk estimation.
Based on current knowledge, a possible risk for the development of lymphomas, leukaemia or other haematopoietic or solid malignancies in patients treated with a TNF-antagonist cannot be excluded. Caution should be exercised when considering TNF-antagonist therapy for patients with a history of malignancy or when considering continuing treatment in patients who develop a malignancy.
Malignancies, some fatal, have been reported among children, adolescents and young adults (up to 22 years of age) treated with TNF-antagonists (initiation of therapy ≤ 18 years of age), including Enbrel, in the postmarketing setting. Approximately half the cases were lymphomas. The other cases represented a variety of different malignancies and included rare malignancies typically associated with immunosuppression. A risk for the development of malignancies in children and adolescents treated with TNF-antagonists cannot be excluded.
Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) have been reported in patients treated with
TNF-antagonists, including Enbrel. Postmarketing cases of Merkel cell carcinoma have been reported very infrequently in patients treated with Enbrel. Periodic skin examination is recommended for all patients, particularly those with risk factors for skin cancer.
Combining the results of controlled clinical trials, more cases of NMSC were observed in patients receiving Enbrel compared with control patients, particularly in patients with psoriasis.
Live vaccines should not be given concurrently with Enbrel. No data are available on the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving Enbrel. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised clinical study in adult patients with psoriatic arthritis, 184 patients also received a multivalent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at week 4. In this study, most psoriatic arthritis patients receiving Enbrel were able to mount effective B-cell immune response to pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, but titres in aggregate were moderately lower, and few patients had two-fold rises in titres compared to patients not receiving Enbrel. The clinical significance of this is unknown.
Treatment with Enbrel may result in the formation of autoimmune antibodies (see section 4.8).
Rare cases of pancytopenia and very rare cases of aplastic anaemia, some with fatal outcome, have been reported in patients treated with Enbrel. Caution should be exercised in patients being treated with Enbrel who have a previous history of blood dyscrasias. All patients and parents/caregivers should be advised that if the patient develops signs and symptoms suggestive of blood dyscrasias or infections (e.g., persistent fever, sore throat, bruising, bleeding, paleness) whilst on Enbrel, they should seek immediate medical advice. Such patients should be investigated urgently, including full blood count; if blood dyscrasias are confirmed, Enbrel should be discontinued.
There have been rare reports of CNS demyelinating disorders in patients treated with Enbrel (see section 4.8). Additionally, there have been rare reports of peripheral demyelinating polyneuropathies (including Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, demyelinating polyneuropathy, and multifocal motor neuropathy). Although no clinical trials have been performed evaluating Enbrel therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis, clinical trials of other TNF antagonists in patients with multiple sclerosis have shown increases in disease activity. A careful risk/benefit evaluation, including a neurologic assessment, is recommended when prescribing Enbrel to patients with pre-existing or recent onset of demyelinating disease, or to those who are considered to have an increased risk of developing demyelinating disease.
In a controlled clinical trial of two years duration in rheumatoid arthritis patients, the combination of Enbrel and methotrexate did not result in unexpected safety findings, and the safety profile of Enbrel when given in combination with methotrexate was similar to the profiles reported in studies of Enbrel and methotrexate alone. Long-term studies to assess the safety of the combination are ongoing. The long-term safety of Enbrel in combination with other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) has not been established.
The use of Enbrel in combination with other systemic therapies or phototherapy for the treatment of psoriasis has not been studied.
Renal and hepatic impairment
Based on pharmacokinetic data (see section 5.2), no dose adjustment is needed in patients with renal or hepatic impairment; clinical experience in such patients is limited.
Congestive heart failure (Cardiac failure congestive)
Physicians should use caution when using Enbrel in patients who have congestive heart failure (CHF). There have been postmarketing reports of worsening of 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 pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Some of these patients have been under 50 years of age. Two large clinical trials evaluating the use of Enbrel in the treatment of CHF were terminated early due to lack of efficacy. Although not conclusive, data from one of these trials suggest a possible tendency toward worsening CHF in those patients assigned to Enbrel treatment.
In a phase II randomised placebo-controlled study of 48 hospitalised patients treated with Enbrel or placebo for moderate to severe alcoholic hepatitis, Enbrel was not efficacious, and the mortality rate in patients treated with Enbrel was significantly higher after 6 months. Consequently, Enbrel should not be used in patients for the treatment of alcoholic hepatitis. Physicians should use caution when using Enbrel in patients who also have moderate to severe alcoholic hepatitis.
A placebo-controlled trial, in which 89 adult patients were treated with Enbrel in addition to standard therapy (including cyclophosphamide or methotrexate, and glucocorticoids) for a median duration of 25 months, has not shown Enbrel to be an effective treatment for Wegener’s granulomatosis. The incidence of non-cutaneous malignancies of various types was significantly higher in patients treated with Enbrel than in the control group. Enbrel is not recommended for the treatment of Wegener’s granulomatosis.
Hypoglycaemia in patients treated for diabetes
There have been reports of hypoglycaemia following initiation of Enbrel in patients receiving medication for diabetes, necessitating a reduction in anti-diabetic medication in some of these patients.
In the Phase 3 studies in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, no overall differences in adverse events, serious adverse events, and serious infections in patients age 65 or older who received Enbrel were observed compared with younger patients. However, caution should be exercised when treating the elderly and particular attention paid with respect to occurrence of infections.
It is recommended that paediatric patients, if possible, be brought up to date with all immunisations in agreement with current immunisation guidelines prior to initiating Enbrel therapy (see Vaccinations, above).
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and uveitis in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
There have been reports of IBD and uveitis in JIA patients being treated with Enbrel (see section 4.8).
4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction
Concurrent treatment with anakinra
Adult patients treated with Enbrel and anakinra were observed to have a higher rate of serious infection when compared with patients treated with either Enbrel or anakinra alone (historical data).
In addition, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in adult patients receiving background methotrexate, patients treated with Enbrel and anakinra were observed to have a higher rate of serious infections (7%) and neutropenia than patients treated with Enbrel (see sections 4.4 and 4.8). The combination Enbrel and anakinra has not demonstrated increased clinical benefit, and is therefore not recommended.
Concurrent treatment with abatacept
In clinical studies, concurrent administration of abatacept and Enbrel resulted in increased incidences of serious adverse events. This combination has not demonstrated increased clinical benefit; such use is not recommended (see section 4.4).
Concurrent treatment with sulfasalazine
In a clinical study of adult patients who were receiving established doses of sulfasalazine, to which Enbrel was added, patients in the combination group experienced a statistically significant decrease in mean white blood cell counts in comparison to groups treated with Enbrel or sulfasalazine alone. The clinical significance of this interaction is unknown. Physicians should use caution when considering combination therapy with sulfasalazine.
In clinical trials, no interactions have been observed when Enbrel was administered with glucocorticoids, salicylates (except sulfasalazine), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, or methotrexate. See section 4.4 for vaccination advice.
No clinically significant pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions were observed in studies with methotrexate, digoxin or warfarin.
4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation
Women of childbearing potential
Women of childbearing potential should consider the use of appropriate contraception to avoid becoming pregnant during Enbrel therapy and for three weeks after discontinuation of therapy.
Developmental toxicity studies performed in rats and rabbits have revealed no evidence of harm to the foetus or neonatal rat due to etanercept. The effects of etanercept on pregnancy outcomes have been investigated in two observational cohort studies. A higher rate of major birth defects was observed in one observational study comparing pregnancies exposed to etanercept (n=370) during the first trimester with pregnancies not exposed to etanercept or other TNF-antagonists (n=164) (adjusted odds ratio 2.4, 95% CI: 1.0-5.5). The types of major birth defects were consistent with those most commonly reported in the general population and no particular pattern of abnormalities was identified. No change in the rate of spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, or minor malformations was observed. In another observational multi-country registry study comparing the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to etanercept during the first 90 days of pregnancy (n=425) to those exposed to non-biologic drugs (n=3497), there was no observed increased risk of major birth defects (crude odds ratio [OR]= 1.22, 95% CI: 0.79-1.90; adjusted OR = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.58-1.60 after adjusting for country, maternal disease, parity, maternal age and smoking in early pregnancy). This study also showed no increased risks of minor birth defects, preterm birth, stillbirth, or infections in the first year of life for infants born to women exposed to etanercept during pregnancy. Enbrel should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed.
Etanercept crosses the placenta and has been detected in the serum of infants born to female patients treated with Enbrel during pregnancy. The clinical impact of this is unknown, however, infants may be at increased risk of infection. Administration of live vaccines to infants for 16 weeks after the
mother’s last dose of Enbrel is generally not recommended.
Etanercept has been reported to be excreted in human milk following subcutaneous administration. In lactating rats following subcutaneous administration, etanercept was excreted in the milk and detected in the serum of pups. Because immunoglobulins, in common with many medicinal products, can be excreted in human milk, a decision must be made whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to discontinue Enbrel therapy, taking into account the benefit of breast-feeding for the child and the benefit of therapy for the woman.
Preclinical data about peri- and postnatal toxicity of etanercept and of effects of etanercept on fertility and general reproductive performance are not available.
4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines
No studies on the effects on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed.
4.8 Undesirable effects
Summary of the safety profile
The most commonly reported adverse reactions are injection site reactions (such as pain, swelling, itching, reddening and bleeding at the puncture site), infections (such as upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, bladder infections and skin infections), allergic reactions, development of autoantibodies, itching, and fever.
Serious adverse reactions have also been reported for Enbrel. TNF-antagonists, such as Enbrel, affect the immune system and their use may affect the body’s defenses against infection and cancer. Serious infections affect fewer than 1 in 100 patients treated with Enbrel. Reports have included fatal and life-threatening infections and sepsis. Various malignancies have also been reported with use of Enbrel, including cancers of the breast, lung, skin and lymph glands (lymphoma).
Serious haematological, neurological and autoimmune reactions have also been reported. These include rare reports of pancytopenia and very rare reports of aplastic anaemia. Central and peripheral demyelinating events have been seen rarely and very rarely, respectively, with Enbrel use. There have been rare reports of lupus, lupus-related conditions, and vasculitis.
Tabulated list of adverse reactions
The following list of adverse reactions is based on experience from clinical trials and on postmarketing experience.
Within the organ system classes, adverse reactions are listed under headings of frequency (number of patients expected to experience the reaction), using the following categories: very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000); not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).
≥ 1/100 to < 1/10
≥ 1/1,000 to < 1/100
≥ 1/10,000 to < 1/1,000
Very Rare < 1/10,000
Frequency Not Known (Cannot be Estimated from Available Data)
Infections and infestations
Infection (including upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, cystitis, skin infection)*
Serious infections (including pneumonia, cellulitis, arthritis bacterial, sepsis and parasitic infection)*
Tuberculosis, opportunistic infection (including invasive fungal, protozoal, bacterial, atypical mycobacterial, viral infections, and Legionella)*
Hepatitis B reactivation, listeria
Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (including cysts and polyps)
Non-melanoma skin cancers* (see section 4.4)
Malignant melanoma (see section 4.4), lymphoma, leukaemia
Merkel cell carcinoma (see section 4.4)
Blood and lymphatic system disorders
Thrombocytopenia, anaemia, leukopenia, neutropenia
Histiocytosis haematophagic (macrophage activation syndrome)*
Immune system disorders
Vasculitis (including anti- neutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody positive vasculitis)
Serious allergic/anaphylactic reactions (including angioedema, bronchospasm), sarcoidosis
Worsening of symptoms of dermatomyositis
Nervous system disorders
CNS demyelinating events suggestive of multiple sclerosis or localised demyelinating conditions, such as optic neuritis and transverse myelitis (see section 4.4), peripheral demyelinating events, including Guillain- Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, demyelinating polyneuropathy, and multifocal motor neuropathy (see section 4.4), seizure
Worsening of cardiac failure congestive (see section 4.4)
New onset cardiac failure congestive (see section 4.4)
Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders
Interstitial lung disease (including pneumonitis and pulmonary fibrosis)*
Inflammatory bowel disease
Elevated liver enzymes*
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Angioedema, psoriasis (including new onset or worsening and pustular, primarily palms and soles), urticaria, psoriasiform rash
Stevens-Johnson syndrome, cutaneous vasculitis (including hypersensitivity vasculitis), erythema multiforme, lichenoid reactions
Toxic epidermal necrolysis
Musculoskeleta l and connective tissue disorders
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus, subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, lupus-like syndrome
General disorders and administration site conditions
Injection site reactions (including bleeding, bruising, erythema, itching, pain, swelling)*
Description of selected adverse reactions
Malignancies and lymphoproliferative disorders
One hundred and twenty-nine (129) new malignancies of various types were observed in 4,114 rheumatoid arthritis patients treated in clinical trials with Enbrel for up to approximately 6 years, including 231 patients treated with Enbrel in combination with methotrexate in the 2-year active-controlled study. The observed rates and incidences in these clinical trials were similar to those expected for the population studied. A total of 2 malignancies were reported in clinical studies of approximately 2 years duration involving 240 Enbrel-treated psoriatic arthritis patients. In clinical studies conducted for more than 2 years with 351 ankylosing spondylitis patients, 6 malignancies were reported in Enbrel-treated patients. In a group of 2,711 plaque psoriasis patients treated with Enbrel in double-blind and open-label studies of up to 2.5 years, 30 malignancies and 43 nonmelanoma skin cancers were reported.
In a group of 7,416 patients treated with Enbrel in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis clinical trials, 18 lymphomas were reported.
Reports of various malignancies (including breast and lung carcinoma and lymphoma) have also been received in the postmarketing period (see section 4.4).
Injection site reactions
Compared to placebo, patients with rheumatic diseases treated with Enbrel had a significantly higher incidence of injection site reactions (36% vs. 9%). Injection site reactions usually occurred in the first month. Mean duration was approximately 3 to 5 days. No treatment was given for the majority of injection site reactions in the Enbrel treatment groups, and the majority of patients who were given treatment received topical preparations, such as corticosteroids, or oral antihistamines. Additionally, some patients developed recall injection site reactions characterised by a skin reaction at the most recent site of injection, along with the simultaneous appearance of injection site reactions at previous injection sites. These reactions were generally transient and did not recur with treatment.
In controlled trials in patients with plaque psoriasis, approximately 13.6% of patients treated with Enbrel developed injection site reactions compared with 3.4% of placebo-treated patients during the first 12 weeks of treatment.
In placebo-controlled trials, no increase in the incidence of serious infections (fatal, life-threatening, or requiring hospitalisation or intravenous antibiotics) was observed. Serious infections occurred in 6.3% of rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with Enbrel for up to 48 months. These included abscess (at various sites), bacteraemia, bronchitis, bursitis, cellulitis, cholecystitis, diarrhoea, diverticulitis, endocarditis (suspected), gastroenteritis, hepatitis B, herpes zoster, leg ulcer, mouth infection, osteomyelitis, otitis, peritonitis, pneumonia, pyelonephritis, sepsis, septic arthritis, sinusitis, skin infection, skin ulcer, urinary tract infection, vasculitis, and wound infection. In the 2-year active-controlled study where patients were treated with either Enbrel alone, methotrexate alone or Enbrel in combination with methotrexate, the rates of serious infections were similar among the treatment groups. However, it cannot be excluded that the combination of Enbrel with methotrexate could be associated with an increase in the rate of infections.
There were no differences in rates of infection among patients treated with Enbrel and those treated with placebo for plaque psoriasis in placebo-controlled trials of up to 24 weeks duration. Serious infections experienced by Enbrel-treated patients included cellulitis, gastroenteritis, pneumonia, cholecystitis, osteomyelitis, gastritis, appendicitis, Streptococcal fasciitis, myositis, septic shock, diverticulitis and abscess. In the double-blind and open-label psoriatic arthritis trials, 1 patient reported a serious infection (pneumonia).
Serious and fatal infections have been reported during use of Enbrel; reported pathogens include bacteria, mycobacteria (including tuberculosis), viruses and fungi. Some have occurred within a few weeks after initiating treatment with Enbrel in patients who have underlying conditions (e.g., diabetes, congestive heart failure, history of active or chronic infections) in addition to their rheumatoid arthritis (see section 4.4). Enbrel treatment may increase mortality in patients with established sepsis.
Opportunistic infections have been reported in association with Enbrel, including invasive fungal, parasitic (including protozoal), viral (including herpes zoster), bacterial (including Listeria and Legionella), and atypical mycobacterial infections. In a pooled data set of clinical trials, the overall incidence of opportunistic infections was 0.09% for the 15,402 subjects who received Enbrel. The exposure-adjusted rate was 0.06 events per 100 patient-years. In postmarketing experience, approximately half of all of the case reports of opportunistic infections worldwide were invasive fungal infections. The most commonly reported invasive fungal infections included Candida, Pneumocystis, Aspergillus, and Histoplasma. Invasive fungal infections accounted for more than half of the fatalities amongst patients who developed opportunistic infections. The majority of the reports with a fatal outcome were in patients with Pneumocystis pneumonia, unspecified systemic fungal infections, and aspergillosis (see section 4.4).
Adult patients had serum samples tested for autoantibodies at multiple timepoints. Of the rheumatoid arthritis patients evaluated for antinuclear antibodies (ANA), the percentage of patients who developed new positive ANA (≥1:40) was higher in patients treated with Enbrel (11%) than in placebo-treated patients (5%). The percentage of patients who developed new positive anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies was also higher by radioimmunoassay (15% of patients treated with Enbrel compared to 4% of placebo-treated patients) and by Crithidia luciliae assay (3% of patients treated with Enbrel compared to none of placebo-treated patients). The proportion of patients treated with Enbrel who developed anticardiolipin antibodies was similarly increased compared to placebo-treated patients.
The impact of long-term treatment with Enbrel on the development of autoimmune diseases is unknown.
There have been rare reports of patients, including rheumatoid factor positive patients, who have developed other autoantibodies in conjunction with a lupus-like syndrome or rashes that are compatible with subacute cutaneous lupus or discoid lupus by clinical presentation and biopsy.
Pancytopenia and aplastic anaemia
There have been postmarketing reports of pancytopenia and aplastic anaemia, some of which had fatal outcomes (see section 4.4).
Interstitial lung disease
In controlled clinical trials of etanercept across all indications, the frequency (incidence proportion) of interstitial lung disease in patients receiving etanercept without concomitant methotrexate was 0.06% (frequency rare). In the controlled clinical trials that allowed concomitant treatment with etanercept and methotrexate, the frequency (incidence proportion) of interstitial lung disease was 0.47% (frequency uncommon). There have been postmarketing reports of interstitial lung disease (including pneumonitis and pulmonary fibrosis), some of which had fatal outcomes.
Concurrent treatment with anakinra
In studies when adult patients received concurrent treatment with Enbrel plus anakinra, a higher rate of serious infections compared to Enbrel alone was observed and 2% of patients (3/139) developed neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count < 1000/mm3). While neutropenic, one patient developed cellulitis that resolved after hospitalisation (see sections 4.4 and 4.5).
Elevated liver enzymes
In the double-blind periods of controlled clinical trials of etanercept across all indications, the frequency (incidence proportion) of adverse events of elevated liver enzymes in patients receiving etanercept without concomitant methotrexate was 0.54% (frequency uncommon). In the double-blind periods of controlled clinical trials that allowed concomitant treatment with etanercept and methotrexate, the frequency (incidence proportion) of adverse events of elevated liver enzymes was 4.18% (frequency common).
In controlled clinical trials of etanercept across all indications, the frequency (incidence proportion) of autoimmune hepatitis in patients receiving etanercept without concomitant methotrexate was 0.02% (frequency rare). In the controlled clinical trials that allowed concomitant treatment with etanercept and methotrexate, the frequency (incidence proportion) of autoimmune hepatitis was 0.24% (frequency uncommon).
Undesirable effects in paediatric patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis
In general, the adverse events in paediatric patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis were similar in frequency and type to those seen in adult patients. Differences from adults and other special considerations are discussed in the following paragraphs.
The types of infections seen in clinical trials in juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients aged 2 to 18 years were generally mild to moderate and consistent with those commonly seen in outpatient paediatric populations. Severe adverse events reported included varicella with signs and symptoms of aseptic meningitis, which resolved without sequelae (see also section 4.4), appendicitis, gastroenteritis, depression/personality disorder, cutaneous ulcer, oesophagitis/gastritis, group A streptococcal septic shock, type I diabetes mellitus, and soft tissue and post-operative wound infection.
In one study in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis aged 4 to 17 years, 43 of 69 (62%) children experienced an infection while receiving Enbrel during 3 months of the study (part 1, open-label), and the frequency and severity of infections was similar in 58 patients completing 12 months of open-label extension therapy. The types and proportion of adverse events in juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients were similar to those seen in trials of Enbrel in adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and the majority were mild. Several adverse events were reported more commonly in 69 juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients receiving 3 months of Enbrel compared to the 349 adult rheumatoid arthritis patients. These included headache (19% of patients, 1.7 events per patient year), nausea (9%, 1.0 event per patient year), abdominal pain (19%, 0.74 events per patient year), and vomiting (13%, 0.74 events per patient year).
There were 4 reports of macrophage activation syndrome in juvenile idiopathic arthritis clinical trials.
There have been reports of inflammatory bowel disease and uveitis in JIA patients being treated with Enbrel from post-marketing sources, including a very small number of cases indicating a positive rechallenge (see section 4.4).
Undesirable effects in paediatric patients with plaque psoriasis
In a 48-week study in 211 children aged 4 to 17 years with paediatric plaque psoriasis, the adverse events reported were similar to those seen in previous studies in adults with plaque psoriasis.
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the national reporting system.
No dose-limiting toxicities were observed during clinical trials of rheumatoid arthritis patients. The highest dose level evaluated has been an intravenous loading dose of 32 mg/m2 followed by subcutaneous doses of 16 mg/m2 administered twice weekly. One rheumatoid arthritis patient mistakenly self-administered 62 mg Enbrel subcutaneously twice weekly for 3 weeks without experiencing undesirable effects. There is no known antidote to Enbrel.