Page Highlights:
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a lifelong condition
  • Common symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis
  • Download questions to ask your doctor

What is ankylosing spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a lifelong condition that causes the joints of your spine to hurt and swell. About 350,000 adults in the United States have it. Take a few minutes to learn more about ankylosing spondylitis in the slideshow below.

Too much TNF in spine
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What’s going on inside your body?

Ankylosing spondylitis usually affects the joints between your spine, and almost always affects the area where your spine meets your pelvis. It also causes swelling at the spot where connective tissue joins the bone. In many people, joints of the arms and legs can also be affected.

See how ENBREL helps treat ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis back pain
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What are common symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?

Most people with AS feel pain and stiffness in their lower back and/or buttocks. That pain is usually worse in the morning and evening, and may get better after a warm shower or light exercise. There are other signs, as well. Some people have pain and swelling in the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. Others feel tired or have trouble taking deep breaths.

Person with ankylosing spondylitis
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Who gets ankylosing spondylitis?

Anyone can get ankylosing spondylitis, but it’s more common in men than in women. Typically, people with AS start to see symptoms before the age of 30. But, symptoms can start at any age. There is a family connection with AS, so if a family member has ankylosing spondylitis, you are more likely to get it. Doctors will often look for a specific gene called HLA-B27. Having that gene puts you at higher risk, but not everyone who has the gene will develop AS.

Spine joints
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Is your ankylosing spondylitis getting worse?

The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis can get worse over time. The pain and stiffness may begin in your lower back, but can later spread to other joints in your body. Without treatment, AS can make your back stiffer and joints in your spine can fuse together. This can cause problems with standing up straight or sitting up straight. You can use the Appointment Guide below to help you start a conversation with your doctor.
Download an Appointment Guide

How do your symptoms affect you?

Take a few minutes to note how your ankylosing spondylitis symptoms affect your life, and share the results with the doctor.

Please see the full Prescribing Information, Important Safety Information, and Medication Guide for more details about ENBREL.

Ankylosing spondylitis doctor
How is AS treated?
Biologic medicines are one of several ways to treat AS.
See treatment options

Find a rheumatologist near you.

Please see the full Prescribing Information, Important Safety Information, and Medication Guide for more details about ENBREL.

Prescription Enbrel® (etanercept) is taken by injection.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about ENBREL?

ENBREL is a medicine that affects your immune system. ENBREL can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Serious infections have happened in patients taking ENBREL. These infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some patients have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before you take ENBREL and monitor you closely for TB before, during, and after ENBREL treatment, even if you have tested negative for TB.

There have been some cases of unusual cancers reported in children and teenage patients who started using tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers before 18 years of age. Also, for children, teenagers, and adults taking TNF blockers, including ENBREL, the chances of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. Patients with RA or psoriasis may be more likely to get lymphoma.

Before starting ENBREL, tell your doctor if you:
  • Have any existing medical conditions
  • Are taking any medicines, including herbals
  • Think you have, are being treated for, have signs of, or are prone to infection. You should not start taking ENBREL if you have any kind of infection, unless your doctor says it is okay
  • Have any open cuts or sores
  • Have diabetes, HIV, or a weak immune system
  • Have TB or have been in close contact with someone who has had TB
  • Were born in, lived in, or traveled to countries where there is more risk for getting TB. Ask your doctor if you are not sure
  • Live, have lived in, or traveled to certain parts of the country (such as, the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, or the Southwest) where there is a greater risk for certain kinds of fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis. These infections may develop or become more severe if you take ENBREL. If you don’t know if these infections are common in the areas you’ve been to, ask your doctor
  • Have or have had hepatitis B
  • Have or have had heart failure
  • Develop symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness while taking ENBREL
  • Use the medicine Kineret® (anakinra), Orencia® (abatacept), or Cytoxan® (cyclophosphamide)
  • Are taking anti-diabetic medicines
  • Have, have had, or develop a serious nervous disorder, seizures, any numbness or tingling, or a disease that affects your nervous system such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Are scheduled to have surgery
  • Have recently received or are scheduled for any vaccines. All vaccines should be brought up-to-date before starting ENBREL. Patients taking ENBREL should not receive live vaccines.
  • Are allergic to rubber or latex
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • Have been around someone with chicken pox
What are the possible side effects of ENBREL?

ENBREL can cause serious side effects including: New infections or worsening of infections you already have; hepatitis B can become active if you already have had it; nervous system problems, such as multiple sclerosis, seizures, or inflammation of the nerves of the eyes; blood problems (some fatal); new or worsening heart failure; new or worsening psoriasis; allergic reactions; autoimmune reactions, including a lupus-like syndrome and autoimmune hepatitis.

Common side effects include: Injection site reactions, upper respiratory infections (sinus infections), and headache.

In a medical study of patients with JIA, side effects were generally similar in frequency and type as those seen in adult patients. The kinds of infections reported were generally mild and similar to those usually seen in children.

These are not all the side effects with ENBREL. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

If you have any questions about this information, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

INDICATIONS
Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting worse, and improving physical function in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. ENBREL can be taken with methotrexate or used alone.

Moderately to Severely Active Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in children ages 2 years and older.

Psoriatic Arthritis

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting worse, and improving physical function in patients with psoriatic arthritis. ENBREL can be used with or without methotrexate.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis.

Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis

ENBREL is indicated for the treatment of adult patients (18 years or older) with chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about ENBREL?

ENBREL is a medicine that affects your immune system. ENBREL can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Serious infections have happened in patients taking ENBREL. These infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some patients have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before you take ENBREL and monitor you closely for TB before, during, and after ENBREL treatment, even if you have tested negative for TB.

There have been some cases of unusual cancers reported in children and teenage patients who started using tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers before 18 years of age. Also, for children, teenagers, and adults taking TNF blockers, including ENBREL, the chances of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. Patients with RA or psoriasis may be more likely to get lymphoma.

Before starting ENBREL, tell your doctor if you:
What are the possible side effects of ENBREL?

ENBREL can cause serious side effects including: New infections or worsening of infections you already have; hepatitis B can become active if you already have had it; nervous system problems, such as multiple sclerosis, seizures, or inflammation of the nerves of the eyes; blood problems (some fatal); new or worsening heart failure; new or worsening psoriasis; allergic reactions; autoimmune reactions, including a lupus-like syndrome and autoimmune hepatitis.

Common side effects include: Injection site reactions, upper respiratory infections (sinus infections), and headache.

In a medical study of patients with JIA, side effects were generally similar in frequency and type as those seen in adult patients. The kinds of infections reported were generally mild and similar to those usually seen in children.

These are not all the side effects with ENBREL. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

If you have any questions about this information, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

INDICATIONS
Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting worse, and improving physical function in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. ENBREL can be taken with methotrexate or used alone.

Moderately to Severely Active Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in children ages 2 years and older.

Psoriatic Arthritis

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting worse, and improving physical function in patients with psoriatic arthritis. ENBREL can be used with or without methotrexate.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis.

Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis

ENBREL is indicated for the treatment of adult patients (18 years or older) with chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

  • Close
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: What is the most important information I should know about Enbrel® (etanercept)?

ENBREL is a medicine that affects your immune system. ENBREL can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Serious infections have happened in patients taking ENBREL. These infections include tuberculosis(TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some patients have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before you take ENBREL and monitor you closely for TB before, during, and after ENBREL treatment, even if you have tested negative for TB.

There have been some cases of unusual cancers reported in children and teenage patients who started using tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers before 18 years of age. Also, for children, teenagers, and adults taking TNF blockers, including ENBREL, the chances of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. Patients with RA or psoriasis may be more likely to get lymphoma.

Before starting ENBREL, tell your doctor if you:

What are the possible side effects of ENBREL?

ENBREL can cause serious side effects including: New infections or worsening of infections
you already have; hepatitis B can become active if you already have had it; nervous system
problems
, such as multiple sclerosis, seizures, or inflammation of the nerves of the eyes;
blood problems (some fatal); new or worsening heart failure; new or worsening psoriasis;
allergic reactions; autoimmune reactions, including a lupus-like syndrome and autoimmune
hepatitis.

Common side effects include: Injection site reactions, upper respiratory infections (sinus
infections), and headache.

In a medical study of patients with JIA, side effects were generally similar in frequency and type as those seen in adult patients. The kinds of infections reported were generally mild and similar to those usually seen in children.

These are not all the side effects with ENBREL. Tell your doctor about any side effect that
bothers you or does not go away.

If you have any questions about this information, be sure to discuss them with your doctor.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit
www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

INDICATIONS
Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting
worse, and improving physical function in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid
arthritis. ENBREL can be taken with methotrexate or used alone.

Moderately to Severely Active Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active
polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in children ages 2 years and older.

Psoriatic Arthritis

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting
worse, and improving physical function in patients with psoriatic arthritis. ENBREL can be
used with or without methotrexate.

Ankylosing Spondylitis(AS)

ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms in patients with active ankylosing
spondylitis.

Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis

ENBREL is indicated for the treatment of adult patients (18 years or older) with chronic
moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or
phototherapy.



At Enbrel.com, you can learn about Enbrel® (etanercept), a self-injected biologic medicine
used to treat inflammatory diseases with long-term effects. You can find information about
moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis(RA), moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, psoriatic
arthritis, moderately to severely active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis(JIA), and
ankylosing spondylitis(AS). You can learn about symptoms, treatment, how Enbrel®
(etanercept) works for each condition, results for each condition, results for each condition, and safety information.

Enbrel.com supports you and your loved ones from diagnosis to treatment. You can find
resources like injection demonstrations, patient testimonial videos, questions to ask your
doctor, and even help with finding a rheumatologist or dermatologist near you.

Enbrel.com also provices ongoing assistance with ENBREL SupportTM, a patient support
program to help with out-of-pocket costs and connect you with registered nurses and
ENBREL Nurse Partners. The resources available will help you get started. Resources
include the ENBREL Starter Kit, injection and medicine refill reminders, free needle disposal
containers, travel packs, and ongoing education.

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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:
What is the most important information I should know about Enbrel® (etanercept)?

ENBREL is a medicine that affects your immune system. ENBREL can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Serious infections have happened in patients taking ENBREL. These infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some patients have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before you take ENBREL and monitor you closely for TB before, during, and after ENBREL treatment, even if you have tested negative for TB.