Anakinra has been evaluated for rheumatoid arthritis in several different studies. In these studies, anakinra was given to people who had unsuccessfully tried various other rheumatoid arthritis medications. In these studies, people who took anakinra had fewer tender or swollen joints and were better able to perform their usual daily activities (such as walking, eating, or dressing), compared to people who did not take the drug. Anakinra also slowed the structural damage to the joints.
Anakinra has also been studied for NOMID in a small group of individuals (NOMID is a very rare disease). In the study, anakinra helped reduce the symptoms of the disease. When people stopped using anakinra, the symptoms returned quickly (within a few days). When people restarted the drug, symptoms again improved. Perhaps most importantly, studies suggest that anakinra actually halts the organ damage caused by NOMID.
General considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
- Anakinra is given as a daily injection under the skin. After your healthcare provider shows you how to give the injection, you may give yourself your anakinra dose daily. Although most people take it daily, some people need to take it every other day or twice a day.
- Anakinra comes in a prefilled, single-dose syringe.
- Although anakinra is stored in the refrigerator, each day you should let one syringe come to room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes before using it.
- Do not freeze or shake anakinra syringes, as this can damage the medication. Make sure they are not cloudy, and do not use a syringe that has been dropped, as the needle or glass syringe may be damaged.
- The medication is injected into the upper outer arms, the abdomen, the front of the middle of the thighs, or the upper outer area of the buttocks.
- After the injection, be sure to dispose of the syringe and needle in a puncture-resistant container, such as a coffee can or empty soda bottle. If you prefer, you can buy a "sharps container," which is a container specifically designed to store used needles.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.