You are so right to be concerned, especially being young.
Here is my take as a 57 year old grandmother, I am being treated mainly for Psoriatic Arthritis, the Spondylitis type, which mainly targets the Spinal cord and SI joints, but a systemic disease just the same. Once damage is done to a joint, or an organ it is irreversible.
All of my grandkids have Psoriasis, the great grandson was born with it, because this goes so far back in the family, and they have the skin lesions they have a very good chance of getting this, and I also have secondary Sjogrens and Raynauds, they expect Lupus and/or MS to eventually test positive, along with others in my Overlap syndrome diagnosis.
Not only do I want to stay upright for as long as possible, for me and for them, I also want to be part of the guinea pig experience for them, I told Enbrel that I will take part in their ongoing research of my progress and problems with the med at anytime for my duration of usage.
I think that today may be the very best that I will ever be the rest of my life, I want to be able to walk them through the yard, take them to the park, and have them come to stay when I am still able. I want to help them work the 'bugs and glitches' out of the meds, as I want them to stand a better chance, as their likelyhood of having this/these diseases are high enough. My maternal grandmothers have been hunched, hump-backed, gnarled and crippled for as long as I can trace them back, and my Rheumatologist insists this is a genetic disease.
My insurance dictated that I start the clinical trials with the chemical drugs Sulfasalazine, after 3 months of that my arthritis was worse, and I had an ulcer from it. So then on to 4 months of Methotrexate, I felt more tired and sick to my stomach from that, and woke up one morning with my mouth so full of blisters, I could not wear my dentures (lost nearly all of my teeth from Sjogrens) plus I had about 50 blisters all over the outside of my mouth. Talk about flip out! (this is a chemo med, by the way) My GP and my Rheumatologist both said it was from the med, in the meantime the arthritis progressed, I have less movement, more pain, less cartilage, less disc and bone.
Though summertime is not my biggest challenge, even though I still have bad days and flares, there is a marked improvement in my mobility, my energy, less pain and suffering, it is slowing down the progression of the disease. Many of the severe side effects have gone down drastically with increased usage by the population and are rarer and rarer.
The main cause of death in the US is from car accidents, the automakers still make a fortune, and no one really hesitates to get into a car.
There is a new biologic in clinical trials for Crohns disease right now, the patients chosen for this trial had taken the standard chemical drugs for and average of 14 years, after 9 days using this biologic the photos show that they have a colon that looks like a brand new one! I will have to look further in my notes for that one, and will post it for you.
So these are just my personal feelings and experiences about the meds. The people in Australia, Canada, and the UK cannot be treated with biologics unless they test positive in bloodwork for their particular disease, and there is only a small percentage that will ever test positive in bloodwork, they are getting knee and hip replacements because of lack of treatment.
I surely would never discount your opinions or fears about a medicine, never. I just wanted you to know my experience and thoughts on them. I am in love with my Enbrel and what it has done for my life.
Big hugs to you, wishing you WELL,