Background Etanercept is a soluble tumour necrosis factor receptor fusion protein used in a variety of arthropathies. A new administration device (pen) has recently been marketed.
Purpose To evaluate pain differences and preference between the etanercept syringe and pen as well as the relation between pain and demographic and anthropometric factors.
Materials and Methods All patients with the etanercept pen from 1 January 2012 to 31 March 2012 who had previously used the syringe were chosen. Gender, age, Body Mass Index (BMI), diagnosis, self-administration, pain perception (0 = no pain; 10 = maximum pain) and device preference were recorded. Statistical analysis: Student’s t-test and variance analysis were used for comparisons of means, chi-square and Fisher’s test for proportions, and non-parametric tests for pain.
Results 109 patients (43% men; 57% women) met inclusion criteria. Mean age was 54 ± 13.5 years and mean BMI 26.5 ± 4.8 kg/m². 58.7% had Rheumatoid Arthritis, 19.3% Ankylosing Spondylitis, 1.8% Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, 16.5% Psoriatic Arthritis and 3.7% Psoriasis. 82% self-administrated the pen, and 71% the syringe. The median pain with the syringe was 3 [interquartile range (IQR): 2–6] and with the pen was 4 [IQR: 2–5] (P = 0.008). 65% reported the same pain with both devices. 35% reported differences in pain and most of them (71%) had much pain (>5) with the pen and little pain (<5) with the syringe.
There was a statistically significant association of pain with gender: women had more pain with the pen (P = 0.03), but less with the syringe (p > 0.05). There was no association with BMI, age or diagnosis. 59% preferred the pen, 25% the syringe, and 16% did not mind.
Conclusions An association of pain with pen device and female gender was found. However there was no association with BMI, age or diagnosis. Acceptance of the pen and self-administration were higher even though pain was greater, so it is necessary to maintain both devices to assure adherence.
No conflict of interest.