Foods to Avoid While Taking Enbrel

Foods to Avoid While Taking Enbrel

Navigating dietary guidelines while on medication can be a challenging endeavor. Enbrel (etanercept) is a commonly prescribed medication for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis. Though Enbrel is known for its efficacy, certain foods may interact with its function. This article delves into foods you should avoid while taking Enbrel.

Understanding Enbrel

Enbrel is a biologic medicine that targets tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein that promotes inflammation in the body. By blocking TNF, Enbrel helps in reducing inflammation and its associated symptoms.

Why Food Interactions Matter

Though Enbrel is not directly impacted by most foods, the effectiveness of the drug can be influenced by certain dietary choices that may either aggravate the underlying condition or interfere with the body’s absorption and metabolism of the drug.

Alcohol: A Major No-No

Alcohol can interact adversely with many medications, and Enbrel is no exception. Consuming alcohol while on Enbrel may worsen your condition and can also put added stress on the liver, a key organ in drug metabolism.

High Sodium Foods

Enbrel can cause fluid retention in some cases, making it essential to avoid high-sodium foods like processed snacks, canned soups, and fast foods.

Grapefruit and Citrus Fruits

While the direct interaction between Enbrel and grapefruit is not well-studied, grapefruit is known to interfere with enzymes that metabolize various drugs. It is advised to consult your healthcare provider about this.

Foods Rich in Saturated Fats

Saturated fats can exacerbate inflammation, which might counteract the anti-inflammatory effects of Enbrel. Reducing the intake of foods like fatty cuts of meat and full-fat dairy can be beneficial.

Sugar and High-Glycemic Foods

High sugar levels can increase inflammation, thereby negating the effects of Enbrel. It’s wise to avoid sugary beverages, candies, and high-glycemic foods.


1. Can I consume alcohol in moderation while on Enbrel?

It’s best to avoid alcohol entirely while taking Enbrel, but consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

2. Are there any foods that can enhance the effectiveness of Enbrel?

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish can potentially enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of Enbrel.

3. How long should I follow these dietary guidelines?

It’s best to maintain these dietary guidelines for as long as you are taking Enbrel, unless advised otherwise by a healthcare provider.

4. Can I take Enbrel with milk?

Yes, milk does not seem to interfere with Enbrel. However, make sure the milk is low-fat if you are concerned about inflammation.

5. Does caffeine interact with Enbrel?

There is no well-documented interaction between caffeine and Enbrel, but consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.


While Enbrel is an effective medication for managing various autoimmune conditions, awareness about potential food interactions is crucial for its optimal effectiveness. Always consult your healthcare provider for tailored dietary advice.