This is for information only. Always consult your doctor.
Anakinra (brand name Kineret/Swedish Orphan Biovitrum) is a biologic medication that is used, alone or in combination with other medications, to reduce the pain and swelling associated mainly with severe rheumatoid arthritis where other drugs have failed, but also with various other autoinflammatory conditions. Anakinra is a recombinant nonglycosylated human IL-1 receptor antagonist and isin a class of medications called interleukin antagonists. It works by blocking the activity of interleukin, a protein in the body that causes joint damage.
How is this medicine used?
Anakinra comes as a solution to inject subcutaneously (under the skin). It is usually injected once a day, at the same time every day. You must use anakinra exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Anakinra comes in prefilled syringes. There are 7 syringes in each box, one for each day of the week. Each syringe is used only once. Used syringes are discarded in a puncture-resistant container (sharps box, which you can get from your doctor).
It is injected in the outer thigh or stomach if self-administered. If someone else is administering, it can also be injected into the back of the arms or buttocks.
It may take several weeks before the full benefit of anakinra is felt, if it works.
Special precautions that should be followed
Before taking anakinra you must:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to anakinra, proteins made from bacterial cells (E. coli), latex, or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: etanercept (Enbrel); infliximab (Remicade); and medications that suppress the immune system such as azathioprine (Imuran), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), sirolimus (Rapamune), and tacrolimus (Prograf). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have an infection, asthma, HIV infection or AIDS, or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
- If you become pregnant while using anakinra, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using anakinra.
- do not have any vaccinations (e.g., measles or flu shots) without talking to your doctor.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Anakinra may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- redness, swelling, bruising, or pain at the site of injection(sometimes extremely severe and painful);
- runny nose;
- stomach pain.
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
- flu-like symptoms;
- fever, sore throat, chills, and other signs of infection;
- coughing, wheezing, or chest pain;
- hot, red, swollen area on the skin.
Anakinra may cause other side effects. Call your doctor immediately if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.