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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.

What Is Anakinra?

Anakinra (Kineret®) is a prescription medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Specifically, it is approved to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in people who have not adequately responded to other rheumatoid arthritis medications. It is given as a daily injection just under the skin.
Anakinra is also approved to treat a very rare disorder known as neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID).
(Click What Is Anakinra Used For? for more information on specific uses of the drug, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Anakinra?

Anakinra is made by Swedish Orphan Biovitrum.

How Does It Work?

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:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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