Can Enbrel Cause Hair Loss? Understanding the Risks

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

If you or a loved one are using Enbrel (etanercept) to manage an autoimmune disorder, you may be concerned about potential side effects, including hair loss. This article will answer the question, "Can Enbrel cause hair loss?" and provide you with all the information you need on this topic.

Enbrel and Hair Loss: What You Need to Know

Enbrel is a medication used to treat a variety of autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis. While hair loss is not a commonly reported side effect of Enbrel, it has been mentioned in rare cases (source).

According to clinical studies, hair loss was not reported as a side effect in people taking Enbrel (source). However, it is possible for hair loss to occur with certain serious side effects of the medication. In some rare cases, biologic DMARDs like Enbrel and adalimumab (Humira) have been associated with hair loss (source). The reason behind this is not fully understood, but it is suspected that these drugs affect the balance of messenger molecules called cytokines in the body (source).

Other Factors to Consider

It is important to note that other factors can contribute to hair loss in patients using Enbrel. For instance, people with rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis may also be prescribed methotrexate, which is known to cause hair loss (source). Additionally, hair loss can sometimes be caused by the underlying condition Enbrel is used to treat, such as plaque psoriasis (source).

Enbrel Side Effects

While hair loss is not a common side effect of Enbrel, it is essential to be aware of other potential side effects. Mild side effects can include upper respiratory tract infections, skin reactions at the injection site, and gastrointestinal issues (source). More severe side effects may include dry eyes, dry mouth, skin rash, and irritation or soreness of the mouth (source). If you experience any of these side effects, it is crucial to consult your healthcare provider for further guidance.

What to Do If You Experience Hair Loss

If you suspect that Enbrel is causing hair loss, it is essential to discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. They can help determine if the hair loss is related to Enbrel, another medication, or an underlying health condition. Your doctor may also suggest alternative treatment options or provide recommendations to manage hair loss.


In conclusion, while hair loss is not a common side effect of Enbrel, it has been reported in rare cases. If you are concerned about hair loss while taking Enbrel, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the cause and explore potential solutions. Remember that managing your autoimmune disorder is the priority, and your doctor can help you find the right treatment plan that addresses both your symptoms and concerns about side effects like hair loss.

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Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S. graduated from the Jinnah Sindh University in Karachi. He'll take the official medical licensing program in the US (USMLE) in September 2023. Bilal has a passion for research and has extensively fact-check and medically review articles under his name to make sure you have the most accurate information.