Clinical pharmacokinetics of etanercept: a fully humanized soluble recombinant tumor necrosis factor receptor fusion protein

J Clin Pharmacol. 2005 May;45(5):490-7. doi: 10.1177/0091270004273321.


Etanercept, a fully humanized soluble recombinant tumor necrosis factor receptor fusion protein, is an approved treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis. Etanercept is absorbed slowly from the site of subcutaneous injection, with time to peak concentration at approximately 48 to 60 hours, and is cleared slowly from the body with a t(1/2) of 70 to 100 hours. The absolute bioavailability of etanercept was 58% in healthy subjects following subcutaneous administration. The 25-mg twice-weekly dosage regimen generates systemic exposures comparable to 50 mg once weekly, as predicted by pharmacokinetic modeling and simulation and later confirmed by clinical studies. The pharmacokinetics of etanercept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis are comparable to those in healthy individuals and patients with ankylosing spondylitis, congestive heart failure, and psoriasis. In children with polyarticular-course juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, after subcutaneous doses of 0.4 mg/kg twice weekly, the clearance of etanercept may be slightly reduced in children aged 4 to 8 years. Pharmacokinetic simulation predicts that a dose of 0.8 mg/kg once weekly generates comparable systemic exposure as 0.4 mg/kg twice weekly. No requirement for etanercept dosage adjustment is needed when etanercept is coadministered with warfarin, digoxin, or methotrexate.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antirheumatic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Interactions
  • Etanercept
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / pharmacology
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / drug therapy


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Etanercept