Rheumatoid Arthritis and maybe Enbrel is working???


I haven’t wanted to write this post. I don’t want to call it too soon.  So I will refrain from saying what I am thinking.  I’ll just say this.

I had my first Enbrel shot one week ago.  The day following the shot, I had very little pain.  The next two days were slightly worse, but still good. Then the next three days were pretty mild also.

Some pain in the mornings.  Some stiffness.  A period in the middle of the day where there was not much pain at all.  Twinges and tweaks here and there.  Certainly no mind numbing,  gnawing pain. No screw-driver stabs and twists.  No deep aches in the joint.

Best of all, energy!  No lead weights on my shoulders…ok, maybe lighter ones.  But a big improvement.

The downside is I’ve had a horrible cold.  So I’ve had a headache and some muscles aches. But the RA pain, the RA fatigue, much reduced.

Last night the pain returned.  I struggled to sleep.  Today the pain is quite bad.  I have been wanting to take my endone…but I haven’t.

You see I’m off to get my next shot soon.  And I want to test it.  Will the shot make me feel about 40-50% better again?  Will  it?  I don’t want to mask it by taking oxycodone.  I want to see what Enbrel does this week, all on its own.

It’s meant heat packs and heated throw, and misery this morning.  But I need to see what happens.

So no endone today…unless it gets  unbearable.  I am hopeful.  Very hopeful.  But we will see…soon.


  1. Stay with it! In my first three weeks (1 shot a week) I felt no significant change. Everything still hurt and I was soo tired. In fact, I even thought I was showing some allergic symptoms; swollen throat, diffulculty swallowing, headache, sinus pressure. But after that third shot…oh boy! It was like my body was blooming! And by the fourth shot, dare I say, I felt ‘normal’! Today, I worked an 8 hour day, went to the mall for 2 hours and came home and did chores. I’m tired, but I DON’T HURT!!! You’ve got to give it a chance. For some people, it takes 2-3 months. I don’t see anything wrong with taking meds to help take the edge off. You’ve got to do what you can to make it through the day. Stay strong and good luck!

    • Thanks Christian, I’m actually feeling very hopeful. The last week I have been feeling better than I have in months…and the pain and fatigue only returned full force yesteryday. I did have to resort to endone in the end…but I am hopefuly that tomorrow I will wake up feeling 50% better again. After reading your comment I;m wondering if my ‘cold’ (sore throat, headache, congested head) may be side effects of enbrel. Either way, I’m prepared to ride that out…compare to RA its not a big deal! And it went away for you, so it give me hope! So thanks muchly!!!

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  2. I had the same experience as Christina. I also noticed in the beginning that it did kind of wear off the day before the shot. Seems like the body needed to build up on it. Now I don’t get that wearing off period. I’m on humira have been for 2 years. I still get some break thru flares which I think some are caused by stress and hormones. Stay strong warrior!

    • thanks J…I’m hopeful that I will be the same…the first shot didn’t last the full week. But I was under the impression that it would build up over time. Thanks for confirming it! Sorry you still get flares…impossible to get rid of the stress in our lives. I get hormonal flares too! Still meaning to research that more!

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    • Thanks Gillian! Its the day after the shot, and again I’m feeling a lot better. If things keep going like this, life is going to be very, very different for me!

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  3. Enbrel is generally prescribed in combination with methotrexate. Yes it does work. I’ve been taking both for 8 years, once a week both on the same day. 20 mg methotrexate a week and a 50 mg injection of Enbrel once a week (etanercept). Vitamin D2 and D3 (prescription strength) seem to lessen fatigue greatly. Also, physical work everyday is best therapy. When I work I feel better. My Rheumatologist is wonderful, and he and his staff are totally committed to patients.
    Curiously, I wouldn’t use heat for RA. Heat generally makes the inflammation and swelling worse. I broke my shoulder in Dec. and was off Enbrel for 3 weeks. Had a flare-up in right wrist (hot and swollen) and ice and ibuprofen worked well. I didn’t realize how well Enbrel was working until that happened. Good luck on your course of therapy. If etanercept is the drug for you, the results should begin to show soon in a gradual sense of feeling better.

    • Thanks Susan! I can’t tolerate methotrexate, but I’m also on 15mg prednisone, 1500 naprosyn and plaquenil. I’m hoping that I can at least get off the prednisone. Maybe even the naprosyn. Plaquenil is tic tacs, anyway 🙂 I also take Vitamin D regularly…must admit, I forget sometimes! I think the Enbrel has lessened my fatigue radically. And again, the day after the shot I feel heaps better. 40-50% maybe? Still in pain, but its manageable. High hopes for continued improvement..this is only week 2!!!

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  4. Hello from Arizona! Five weeks ago out of the blue I was suddenly hit with some form of severe arthritis. No diagnosis yet, but likely RA. The first couple of weeks I spend hour after hour searching and reading everything I could find on the web, and in the process found your site. Thank you for this! The information here, and reading your posts have been helpful. I now check your site often for new posts just to see how you’re doing. I really hope the Enbrel brings you some relief.

    • Hi Tom, nice to have you here! Have you seen a rheumy yet? I hope you get a quick, accurate diagnosis and can start the right treatment quickly. No matter what kind of arthritis it turns out to be, it hurts! And early treatment brings the best outcomes. I hope you’re doing OK, and please if you have any questions, or need some support, come here or the facebook page. The first few weeks/months can be very hard. All the best to you!

  5. So, as a first timer here I wanted to say that your site is completely superb! We’re interested in starting a volunteer community initiative in this niche. The tips on your blog were extremely helpful to us, as it gave us something to work on. Thanks.

  6. Had my 1st shot of Enbrel on a fri felt great for the nxt 3days…reduced swelling of joints and could not believe how much enery i had…felt like old times and cant wait for my 2nd injection…

  7. hey! i was searching for some info about Enbrel and found your site.
    very intresting to read.
    i got RA 20years back. Got it when i was 10y old.
    Im going to do some test next week if my body is up to Enbrel or not.



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