Anakinra (Kineret) is used to treat adults with pain and swelling caused by moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (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, a member of your healthcare team 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:
Anakinra is not for everyone with RA. Talk to your doctor before taking anakinra if you:
If you are prescribed anakinra, there are other precautions that you should take, such as:
If you have tried other RA medications and have not had any relief from your symptoms, talk to your doctor to find out if anakinra is a good option for you.
Food and Drug Administration
Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Arthritis Society
Anakinra. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 7, 2016. Accessed July 14, 2016.
Biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for rheumatoid arthritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 22, 2015. Accessed July 14, 2016.
Bresnihan, B, Alvara-Gracia, JM, Cobby, M, et al. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with recombinant human IL-1 receptor antagonist. Arthritis Rheum. 1998; 41(12):2196-2204.
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. Arthritis Rheum. 2003;48(4):927-934.
Last reviewed July 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 7/14/2016