Pharmacology Immune Drugs #5


A nurse is preparing a client taking etanercept for discharge. Which statement by the client indicates understanding of the drug?


  1. "I will not take acetaminophen while taking etanercept because it will cause damage to my liver."
    • This answer is not correct because there is no drug interaction between acetaminophen and etanercept. There is no evidence that suggests taking acetaminophen as directed with etanercept will increase liver injury risk.

  2. "I will discontinue taking my other medications for RA while taking etanercept."
    • This answer is not correct because clients should not discontinue any of their medications unless otherwise instructed by their health care provider (HCP). Etanercept can be taken alone or with other medications for RA.

  3. "I will inject the medicine into my arm muscle and rotate injection sites"
    • This answer is not correct because etanercept is administered subcutaneously into the middle of the thigh, the abdomen, or the outer area of the upper arms. Client is to rotate the sites for each injection.

  4. "I will report flu-like symptoms or fever immediately to my physician."
    • This answer is correct because etanercept suppresses the immune system. The client should inform their health care provider (HCP) if they experience any signs of infection. Signs of infection include flu-like symptoms, fever, sudden fatigue, cough, diarrhea, skin redness or warmth, urinary frequency or pain with urinating.


Etanercept is an immunosuppressive drug. Immunocompromised clients should report any flu-like symptoms or other signs of infections to their health care provider (HCP) right away.

Learning Outcomes

Etanercept is a tumor necrosis inhibitor used in adults to prevent joint damage. It reduces inflammation and also weakens the immune system in clients with autoimmune diseases whose immune systems are attacking their own bodies. Clients taking etanercept are more susceptible to getting infections that could be fatal. The client should be instructed to stay away from sick people and report any symptoms of infection. Any live virus immunizations should be avoided while on etanercept so those should be given prior to beginning treatment.

Test Taking Tip

Understand what immunosuppressant drugs do and the main risk associated with them (infection). Know how drugs are administered.