The TNF (tumour necrosis factor)-blocking drugs have been responsible for causing lymphoma in patients - and now they have been found to cause tuberculosis (TB). The TNF drug, Enbrel, is causing serious - and sometimes fatal - infections, including TB. Arthritis patients who also suffer from diabetes have been especially vulnerable, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), America's drug regulator, has announced.
Enbrel has also been responsible for serious nervous disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), seizures, and inflammation of the nerves and eyes. In addition, there have also been cases of fatal blood disorders.
As Enbrel lowers the body's natural immune system, it's not surprising that serious illness can follow.
It's reckoned that another arthritis drug, Vioxx, a COX-2 agent, was responsible for at least 60,000 deaths.
(Source: FDA website).