What is Anakinra (Kineret®)?
Anakinra is a drug that reduces the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), such as joint swelling, pain, fatigue, and morning stiffness. It is used for patients who have not gotten better when treated with one or more treatments used for RA. It is also used to treat Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes. Anakinra is known as Kineret® and is an IL-1 inhibitor. It is part of a class of drugs called biologics.
How do I take it?
When anakinra is being used for treating RA, the dose is 100mg per day as an injection under the skin. The drug should be injected at around the same time every day. If you miss a dose, call your healthcare provider to find out when ou should use your next injection.
You will be instructed on how to give yourself injections. You should inject anakinra in a different site every day. You should make sure you have a complete understanding of how to prepare and give the injection, and how to dispose of the empty syringes before beginning this treatment. Do not take more or less medicine than ordered.
What about side effects?
This medicine can cause slight irritation near the injection site. If this happens, the discomfort should be mild. These irritations may happen up for up to 1 month. If you have pain, swelling, warmth, or discoloration near the injection site, you should contact your healthcare provider.
Allergic reactions may happen. Call your healthcare provider or an emergency medical provider if you have any signs of an allergic reaction, such as rashes or hives; swollen face, eyelids, lips, or tongue; and difficulty breathing.
The most common serious side effect is infection. Anakinra can lower the body’s ability to fight infection. Anakinra may cause you to have a decrease in your white blood cells, which may make it harder for you to fight infection. Be sure to contact your physician if have any signs of infection, such as fever, fatigue, cough, or red or painful skin. Inform your doctor if you have a history of recurring infections. You may have to stop abatacept while being treated for an infection. You may also need to stop anakinra if you are planning a surgery.
You will need to have a negative tuberculosis (TB) skin test before beginning abatacept therapy. Your doctor may also want to check your blood to make sure you do not have Hepatitis B or C
What about other medications?
When you are taking anakinra, it is very important that your doctors know if you are taking any other medicine. This includes prescription and non-prescription medicines as well as birth control pills, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Anakinra can be taken with other medications – NSAIDS (Celebrex®, ibuprofen, naproxen), prednisone, methotrexate, and plaquenil. It cannot be taken with TNF inhibitors, such as Enbrel®, Remicade®, and Humira®, or other biologic drugs.
What else should I know?
Your physician will do periodic blood tests to check your blood counts and monitor for side effects. Let your doctor know if you have a latex allergy, (syringes and gloves contain latex products). You will be monitored periodically to check the effectiveness of this treatment. Your doctor may want to stop Kineret if you develop a serious infection.
Notify your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of a serious infection, such as high fever, pneumonia, sinus infection or kidney infection.
A Federal Drug Administration approved medication guide can be found at: