Etanercept For Back Pain Relief


As much as possible, each of us would want to live a comfortable and happy life but pain is inevitable. It can be emotional or psychological but more often than not, we experience physical pain. One of the common physical pains one experiences is back pain and back pain relief is often sought by people who have back problems.


Studies and research are continuously done to find the best back pain treatment. These studies of course are done to look at different options as to how we can best deal with the pain that back injuries or problems cause. There have been recent studies and developments and one of the options researchers may look into is etanercept for back pain relief.


Read on to learn more about recent medical testing results with etanercept in treating back pain.



Etanercept for back pain relief?

Etanercept For Back Pain Relief

Etanercept For Back Pain Relief Has Not Been As Successful As First Thought

Millions of Americans suffer from back pain and are desperate for relief. While new genetically engineered drugs show great promise, a new study found the tried and true method of steroid injections was more effective to the newer, safer compounds at easing back pain.


For the study, researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore tested back pain treatments on 84 adults with sciatica. Sciatica is back pain that’s typically caused by a herniated disk that radiates to the hip, outer side of the thigh and/or leg, due to pressure on a nerve.


The researchers randomized study participants to either receive either an epidural injection of 60 milligrams of an anti-inflammatory steroid, 4 milligrams of another type of anti-inflammatory drug named etanercept, or a placebo. Sold under the brand-name Enbrel, etanercept is a so-called “tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor” that’s genetically engineered to target the inflammatory molecules that cause sciatica and other pain conditions (like arthritis), and keep the molecules from binding to receptors in the nervous system, thus preventing pain. Steroids work by combating inflammation generally.


One month after receiving the second of two injections, the researchers tested the patients and found those taking steroid reported less pain and disability compared to participants in the other two groups. Seventy-five percent of patients taking epidural steroids reported a 50 percent or greater reduction in pain after one month compared with 50 percent of saline patients and 42 percent of etanercept patients. Twenty-one percent of patients taking steroids reported low levels of disability, compared with 38 percent of patients taking etanercept.


The study is published in the April 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.


Researchers called the findings disappointing, since drugs like etanercept were created to find a safer and reliable alternative to steroids for pain, as steroids may lead to side effects and complications and only relieve pain temporarily.


“People are desperate for a safer, more effective drug,” study author Dr. Steven P. Cohen, an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a written statement. “This new treatment shows a lot of promise, but at least in the doses we gave it — the dose known to be safe — steroids still work better. And in those lower doses, etanercept may not be the drug everyone’s hoping it is. There’s still a lot more work to be done.”


Steroids weren’t a miracle drug either. After six months, Cohen said, slightly more patients in the saline and etanercept groups reported less pain than those taking steroids.


“The effect of the steroids didn’t last,” Cohen said, “affirming the fact that steroids work, but not for very long.” He said future research should look at if higher doses of etanercept could be safe for patients.


Dr. Daryll Dykes, spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, who was not involved in the research, told USA Today that many people with back pain “do heal on their own without treatment. But for the people who suffer from this kind of pain, and it can be intense, it is important to know studies are looking at different options.”


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If not cure the “disease” people just look for ways to ease the pain. Research will be continuously done to find the best treatment but treatment doesn’t mean we only need drugs. It is understandable that people who experience back pain, especially if it’s really intense, would want a faster back pain relief and it would be good to have an effective medicine like etanercept for back pain relief  to give them that.


Like what Dykes said, many people with back pain do heal on their own. Just like the researchers that do their best to find the best treatment for back pain, we can also look for alternative treatments on our own. Who knows? The best solution for you is just right around the corner. Surely there’s an option that would work specifically for you. On the other hand, we do hope that cures for all types of back problems would be discovered soon.


If you want to read more about back pain relief, we encourage you to sign up on our website. Read more, know more, and learn more.




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