Anakinra is a rheumatoid arthritis medication that is prescribed to people who have not responded to other treatments. It is also used for the treatment of neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease. After your healthcare provider shows you how to give anakinra injections, you can administer the drug yourself on a daily basis. Side effects of the drug may include headache, diarrhea, and nausea.
People with rheumatoid arthritis often have high levels of a certain protein called interleukin-1 (IL-1) in their joints. IL-1 causes inflammation, cartilage damage, and bone erosion. Anakinra is a synthetic form of a different naturally occurring protein in the body that inhibits the effects of IL-1. By binding to IL-1, anakinra can help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, along with the physical damage to the joints.
Anakinra works to treat NOMID in the same manner (by inhibiting the inflammatory IL-1 protein).
Because anakinra targets a specific part of the immune system (IL-1), it is called a "biological response modifier" because it changes (modifies) the body's immune response. It is also known as a "biologic" medication, because it is a protein.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Kineret [package insert]. Stockholm, Sweden: Swedish Orphan Biovitrum;2012 December.
National Institutes of Health. Drug halts organ damage in inflammatory genetic disorder: NIH study shows benefits of long-term Kineret therapy in people with NOMID (February 10, 2013). NIH Web site. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2012/2_10.asp. Accessed February 24, 2013.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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