Etanercept Injection

What is Etanercept?

  • Etanercept is a prescription medication that is administered by injection.
  • It is used to treat various conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • In pain medicine, it may be used to treat sciatica and low back pain due to spinal nerve root inflammation
  • It works by neutralising an inflammatory protein (TNF-alpha) released from the inflamed disc(s). 
  • By working on the immune system, it helps reduce inflammation and pain and prevent the spine from getting worse.
  • Because it works on your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. 
    • If you have any sign of an infection, including a fever, cough, flu-like symptoms, or have any open sores on your body, please notify HPC. 
  • This procedure is always performed in the day surgery using an X-ray machine.


Prior to the Procedure

  • All blood thinning products (except aspirin) must be stopped prior to your procedure. You will be advised by letter when to stop taking these medications at the time that your admission date is arranged.
  • You are able to take your other regular medications with a sip of water on the morning of your procedure.
  • If you are an insulin dependent diabetic you will always be at the beginning of the list. Please bring your insulin with you and it will be given to you following your procedure.
  • Hamilton Day Surgery Centre staff will advise you of your fasting and admission times.
  • You must not have anything to eat, drink, smoke or chew prior to your procedure.
  • You will need to organise someone to drive you home after the procedure as you will not be able to drive for 24 hours after your procedure.


What Will Happen?

  1. You will be admitted to the day surgery by a nurse and you will be asked to change into a gown.
  2. The anaesthetist will speak with you and place a cannula (plastic needle) into a vein in your hand.
  3. You will be assisted to position on the procedure table.
  4. The anaesthetist will give you some sedation into your vein.
  5. An X-ray machine will be used to determine where the doctor will place the needle for your procedure. This will be marked with a pen.
    • The procedure will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
  6. After the procedure, you will be placed on a trolley and taken to recovery, where you will remain for approximately 1 hour.
  7. After having something to eat and drink, you will be discharged with a carer.


Post Procedure

  • You should not drive for 24 hours and we suggest you take it easy for 48 hours prior to returning to your pre-procedure activities.
  • A nurse from HPC will telephone 24 to 48 hours following your procedure to discuss the outcome of the procedure and organise a follow-up appointment.

If you require further explanation of the procedure, please contact Hunter Pain Clinic nursing staff on (02) 4985 1800.


* Image courtesy of patrisyu at