Atrial fibrillation occurring in a patient taking etanercept plus methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis

Del Med J. 2000 Dec;72(12):517-9.


A 57-year-old man with nodular rheumatoid arthritis was started on a combination of etanercept and methotrexate. After treatment for five months on this therapy, he presented with new-onset atrial fibrillation. While this report is anecdotal, any new drug warrants intense monitoring for unexpected toxicities in the post-marketing period. Etanercept is being tried in patients with congestive heart failure, where TNF-a seems to be increased. Further surveillance and caution are suggested in patients with known coronary artery disease or atrial dysrhythmia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Atrial Fibrillation / chemically induced*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Etanercept
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / adverse effects*
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects*
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Metoprolol / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Metoprolol
  • Etanercept
  • Methotrexate