Like all medications, taking etanercept carries some risk of side effects, which must be balanced with the potential benefits. In general, the risk of joint damage and permanent disability is much greater than the risks of side effects from etanercept. When monitored properly the vast majority of side effects are rare and most improve over time and are reversible.
Firstly, etanercept can increase your risk of infections.
Etanercept can rarely cause a reaction (redness, pain, and itching) at the injection site. Talk to your health-care provider if these symptoms become severe.
Rarely some people experience headaches with etanercept. If this becomes severe please speak with your health-care provider.
Some people have developed lupus-like symptoms that disappeared after the medication was stopped. If you have chest pains that do not go away, shortness of breath or a rash on your cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun, call your doctor right away.
There have been rare cases of disorders that affect the nervous system of people taking etanercept or other TNF-blockers. Signs that you could be experiencing a problem affecting your nervous system include: numbness or tingling, problems with your vision, weakness in your legs, and dizziness.
Etanercept very rarely can cause a drop in blood counts.