Is enbrel an ok treatment for scleroderma

Question

My rheumathologist, has told me that he will be using Embrel to treat my scleroderma/ mixed connective tissue illness. What is your advise on this? I am on metotrexate and plaquenil, but I have noticed that I am deteriorating very fast…finger, hand wrist, arms, knee pain is so bad, so bad, it feels that I will brake bones at any moment, a weeks ago I was not able to close myy rt. hand, the bone and tendons in my wrist were frozen and the pain was horrible, he injected me to reduce the swelling. please advice. Thank you. I am thinking of making an appt. with Dr wigley.

Answer

I, of course, am in favor of your seeing Dr. Wigley in the Scleroderma Center. There are not a lot of controlled trials of Enbrel or other TNF inhibitors in scleroderma. Many rheumatologists are successfully using the TNF inhibitors for the arthritis associated with scleroderma and mixed connective tissue disease to reduce pain and swelling. Unfortunately, I cannot comment specifically on your situation without seeing you.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University