Anakinra (Kineret) is FDA-approved to treat adults with pain and swelling caused by moderate to severe active
(RA) who have not found relief from other treatments.
Anakinra blocks the action of the protein interleukin-1 (IL-1). IL-1 is produced in excessive amounts in people with RA. High levels of IL-1 contribute to the joint pain, swelling, and stiffness of RA. By blocking IL-1, anakinra can help reduce these symptoms.
You may need to take anakinra for several weeks before your RA symptoms begin to improve.
Anakinra is given once a day as an injection. If you are prescribed anakinra, the doctor or nurse will teach you how to give yourself the injection so that you can do it at home.
The main side effect of this drug is mild redness, swelling, and pain at the injection site. Other side effects include:
Infections (anakinra suppresses the immune system)HeadacheNauseaDiarrheaFlu-like symptomsAbdominal painLow white blood cell count
Anakinra is not for everyone with RA. Talk to your doctor before taking anakinra if you:
Have a fever or think you may have an infectionAre taking certain medicines, including TNF blockers (eg, adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab)Are allergic to proteins made from bacteria cells or any ingredient in the medicineHave a latex allergy
HIV or AIDS
, or kidney disease
Are pregnant or breastfeeding
If you are prescribed anakinra, there are other precautions that you should take, such as:
Telling your doctor or dentist that you are taking anakinra before you have a procedureTalking to your doctor before you have a live virus vaccine
If you have tried other RA medicines and have not had any relief from your symptoms, talk to your doctor to find out if anakinra is a good option for you.
Bresnihan, B, Alvara-Gracia, JM, Cobby, M, et al. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with recombinant human IL-1 receptor antagonist.
Fleischmann, RM, Schechtman, J, Bennett, R, et al. Anakinra, a recombinant human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (r-metHuIL-1ra), in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: A large, international, multicenter, placebo-controlled trial.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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