Can etanercept affect other medicines and treatments?
Etanercept may be prescribed along with other drugs, including methotrexate. Check with your doctor before starting any new medications, and remember to mention you're on etanercept if you're treated by anyone other than your usual rheumatology team.
It's recommended that you carry a biological therapy alert card so anyone treating you will know that you're on etanercept – you can get a card from your rheumatology team.
Can I have vaccinations while I'm on etanercept?
It's best to discuss vaccinations with your healthcare team before starting etanercept. It's usually recommended that people on etanercept avoid live vaccines such as yellow fever. However, sometimes a live vaccine may be necessary – for example, rubella immunisation in women of childbearing age.
If you're offered shingles vaccination (Zostavax) it's best if you can have this before starting etanercept. Shingles vaccination isn't recommended for people who are already on etanercept.
Pneumococcal vaccine (which protects against the most common cause of pneumonia) and yearly flu vaccines are safe and recommended.
If possible, children should have the standard immunisations before starting etanercept. Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisation may need to be delayed in children being treated with etanercept.
Can I continue with etanercept if I'm going to have an operation?
Talk this over with your specialists. It's likely you'll be advised to stop etanercept for a time before and after surgery.