Ilaris (Canakinumab) is a is a biologic medicine that helps to treat the signs and symptoms of autoinflammatory syndromes. Autoinflammatory Syndromes include:
- Adult Onset Still’s Disease (AOSD)
- Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA)
- Cryopyrin Associated Periodic Fever Syndromes (CAPS) including Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndromes (FCAS) and Muckle-Wells Syndrome (MWS)
- Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF)
- Hyperimmunoglobulin D Syndrome/Mevalonate Kinase Deficiency (HIDS/MKD)
- Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Associated Periodic Syndrome (TRAPS)
Ilaris works by blocking IL-1 (Interleukin-1), a family of signalling proteins (cytokines) that are involved in the body’s immune and inflammatory response.
Ilaris is available as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection.
Ilaris is taken as a subcutaneous injection once every 4 to 8 weeks. The normal dose is 150 to 300 mg every 4 to 8 weeks.
Watch our video to learn how inject Ilaris at home:Learn how to inject subcutaneous injections
Subcutaneous injections (under the skin injections) are easy to do compared to other types of injections. A small needle pokes just under the skin to deliver medicine into the “fatty tissue” below.
It may take some time to know if Ilaris is working. Patients starting this medicine should be patient and keep taking it, and discuss any concerns with their doctor.
Important Tests and Risks
People taking Ilaris need to have their blood tested occasionally so their doctor can keep track of their condition.
Ilaris can make it a bit harder for people to fight off infections.
People taking this medicine should call their doctor they have a fever, think they have an infection, or have been prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection.
Patients should coordinate with their doctor to stop treatment before any surgery. It can be re-started once things have healed and there’s no sign of infection.
Patients should discuss all vaccinations with their doctor because some are not advisable to get while taking Ilaris.
It is important to get a TB (tuberculosis) skin test and a chest x-ray before starting Ilaris.
Ilaris (canakinumab) is a is a biologic medicine that helps to treat the signs and symptoms of autoinflammatory syndromes. It works by blocking IL-1 (Interleukin-1), a signalling protein (called cytokine), that is involved in the body’s immune and inflammatory response.
Autoinflammatory syndromes are a distinct set of disorders that can cause recurrent fevers, rashes, fatigue, and joint pain. Many of these diseases are due to an abnormal gene which incorrectly triggers the immune system to release of IL-1 (Interleukin-1).
In blocking IL-1, Ilaris suppresses the body’s immune system. Though this suppression can make it slightly harder for patients to fight off infections, it can also help to stabilize an overactive immune system and improve the symptoms of an autoinflammatory syndrome.
In patients with autoinflammatory syndromes, this medicine can:
- Improve fatigue
- Reduce or eliminate fevers
- Improve skin rashes
- Reduce the pain and swelling (inflammation) in joints
- Improve day to day function
- Prevent long-term issues caused by prolonged inflammation
People taking Ilaris should talk to their doctor if they are concerned about any side effects.
All fevers and infections should be reported to a doctor. Occasional blood tests are important so doctors can monitor patients’ disease activity.
MORE COMMON side-effects include:
- The most common side effect of Ilaris is symptoms of a cold.
- Ilaris can cause a reaction (redness, swelling, pain, & itching) at the injection site. Patients should tell their doctor if these are severe.
People who should NOT take Ilaris include:
- Patients who have had a previous serious allergic reaction to Ilaris (canakinumab)
- Women who are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or breast feeding
- Patients with active infections (such as tuberculosis)
It is possible to safely stop taking Ilaris. Patients do not need to wean off of it.
Patients should call their doctor if they feel sick and want to stop, or they are concerned about any side effects.
Other reasons to call a doctor while taking Ilaris include:
- Fever, infection, or suspected infection
- If another doctor has prescribed antibiotics to fight an infection
- Upcoming surgery
- Prior to getting a vaccination – not all vaccinations are safe with Ilaris
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