Discussions that mention enbrel

Back Problems board

I'm not successtory (obviously). I'm going in Wed to talk to my dr's re. my annular tears. I know my neuro's not as impressed w/ IDET as he used to be. They've done 6 - 3 better, 2 same, 1 worse. Did you consider Enbrel? I haven't talked anyone in to prescribing it. But, today I read of the herb DHEA inhibiting TNF-A factor (the burning chemical that leaks from the tears) just as Enbrel does! We'll see, I started today. 30 days worth for $7. I'll tell you if it helps any!!
Amy R -

I have heard that many things can seal a tear (enbrel, DHEA, glucosamine/chondroition/dmso intradiscally, etc....). It is all anectdodal. Until I see some real clinical studies, it is just pot shots from docs who want to make a few more $$$$. Sounds pessimistic I know, but no more docs guessing what "could or might" work.

Successtory -

Nucleo is for contained herniations only. There are no guarentees about annular tears. I have spoke with the med director at Arthrocare, my doc, your doc out in California, and some other nucleo docs. It's only purpose is to decompress any material touching a nerve root. I have a bad feeling about IDET from everything I have read, read on these posts, talked to docs, etc...
I take glucosamin/chondroitin in large (normal) doses thinkin that might help, so far no luck. If I can't find anything, or if SED is not an option, I may end up with another discogram to see exactly how large the tear is. If very small, I'll just have to survive with shots until ADR is more a possiblity.
See what ya think about SED!

I guess I keep showing up as the Enbrel Scrooge, but I don't mean to be. If one has had apparent success with it, terrific. But there are simply no studies (beyond anecdotal) that show usefulness more broadly, and even the anecdotal study--although it appeared in a journal--was written by a guy who has patented the use of Enbrel for back pain and has an acknowledged financial interest in its being thus used. When I wrote to him in order to get fuller numbers about the proportion of successes and failures among those back pain patients he's treated, I heard nothing back. Nada. Given my own profession, I am used to being in touch with authors of journal articles; do so all the time. This is the first time in my experience that one has refrained from responding at all to this sort of query. Make of that what you will.

Enbrel is a drug with a black box warning--the most serious warning the FDA requires for possible adverse reactions (short of withdrawing a drug from use). It may well be worth it to some patients to try it, just as many RA patients use it regularly and with good results. It's important to know the potential risks/benefits though, and, for back pain patients, we essentially have no useful info at this point on which to predict potential benefits.