Drug-induced systemic lupus erythematosus associated with etanercept therapy

Lancet. 2002 Feb 16;359(9306):579-80. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)07714-0.


Specific antagonists of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha have rapidly gained popularity for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The monoclonal antibody against TNF-alpha, infliximab, has been associated with induction of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); however, there have been no published reports of drug-induced SLE associated with the soluble TNF-alpha receptor etanercept. We describe four female patients who developed signs and symptoms of SLE during treatment with etanercept; in two SLE was unambiguous. On diagnosis of SLE, etanercept was discontinued and the SLE-related symptoms promptly resolved. Etanercept should be considered in the list of agents associated with drug-induced SLE.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Etanercept
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / adverse effects*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / chemically induced*
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Etanercept