Medications

Kineret

Kineret (Anakinra) is a is a biologic medicine that helps the pain and swelling of arthritis. Kineret is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, but it can be used to treat other diseases as well.

Kineret works by blocking IL-1 (Interleukin-1), a family of signalling proteins (cytokines) that are involved in the body’s immune and inflammatory response.

Taking Kineret

Kineret is available as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection.

Kineret – Administration, Dose, and Frequency

Kineret is taken as a subcutaneous injection once a day. The normal dose is 100 mg every day.

Watch our video to learn how inject Kineret at home:

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 many weeks to know if Kineret is working. Patients starting this medicine should be patient and keep taking it, and discuss any concerns with their doctor.

Important Tests and Risks

Blood Tests

People taking Kineret need to have their blood tested occasionally so their doctor can keep track of their arthritis and to make sure their blood counts are ok.

Risk of Infection

Kineret 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 Kineret.

Tuberculosis (TB) Testing

It is important to get a TB (tuberculosis) skin test and a chest x-ray before starting Kineret.

Science

How Kineret Works

Kineret (anakinra) is a is a biologic medicine that helps the pain and swelling of arthritis. It works by blocking IL-1 (Interleukin-1), a signalling protein (called cytokine), that is involved in the body’s immune and inflammatory response.

IL-1 is also involved in the body’s natural process of breaking down bones (bone resorption) and can stimulate tissue degradation including of the cartilage in the body’s joints.

As an IL-1 blocker, Kineret can both improve the symptoms of arthritis and can also help the bones of patients and prevent damage to cartilage in the joints of patients with RA.

In blocking IL-1, Kineret 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.

In patients with arthritis, this medicine can:

  • Reduce the pain and swelling (inflammation) in arthritic joints
  • Improve day to day function
  • Prevent long-term damage caused by joint inflammation

Safety

Side Effects

People taking Kineret 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’ arthritis and blood counts.

MORE COMMON side-effects include:

  • Kineret can cause a reaction (redness, swelling, pain, & itching) at the injection site. Patients should tell their doctor if these are severe. Reactions can get better over time.

Who Should NOT Take Kineret

People who should NOT take Kineret include:

  • Patients who have had a previous serious allergic reaction to Kineret (anakinra)
  • 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 Kineret. Patients do not need to wean off of it.

When to Call a Doctor

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 Kineret include:

  • Fever, infection, or suspected infection
  • If another doctor has prescribed antibiotics to fight an infection
  • Upcoming surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior to getting a vaccination – not all vaccinations are safe with Kineret
  • Development of a rash

Video

Watch Dr. Andy Thompson, a Canadian rheumatologist, introduce Kineret in this short video:

Drug Identification Number (DIN)

02245913 (SC)