When I was first told that I would be a candidate for Enbrel, I was not sure what this treatment would entail. My AS Nurse explained what this biologic, anti-TNF therapy was in detail, making sure that I understood the implications of being on this would be. Including the fact that the long term side were not fully known as this treatment had not been in use for long enough for these to be known. This did not bother me, as I feel that without people like me, willing to try these new forms of medications how would the development of these progress and it would help give the medical profession a better understanding of these. Which will greatly benefit other patients in the future.
However when I was presented with the information pack that I was asked to read before my prescription arrived, I did feel a little daunted. As I have never been prescribed a medication whose drug information that was much more than a pamphlet. Here I was given a box with several booklets, the medical alert card you have to carry if on anti-TNFs, as they can react badly to certain medications, and a couple of DVD's in it (pictured below). When I opened the box and read the information within, my worries were alleviated as the information provided within, was almost exactly what I had been told by my AS Nurse.
Today my first 4 week supply of Enbrel was delivered by Homehealth along with a sharps bin to put the used 'pens' in. The 4 injector pens have to be kept in the fridge and only removed when they are required to be used. You have to let them warm up to room temperature before use, which takes about 15 minuets.
I have yet to take the first 50ml dose, as I need to wait for the Homehealth Nurse to visit and teach me how to use them. The do appear quite straight forward and one of the dvds was on how to use the pens. She will go through what to avoid when on Enbrel, like certain medications which you cannot take, which include antibiotics. She will also make sure that I am fully aware of the implications of taking an anti-TNF, answer any questions that I have and make sure that I am best equipped with the knowledge of this medication.
I will be seeing her next Monday and then I will be starting to take Enbrel, one pen a week for the foreseeable future. I am hopeful that it will aid with the pain, stiffness and bring about a positive change to my life. The same change that others i have spoken with who are on Enbrel have had.