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

Side Effects of Kineret

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)

Anyone who becomes pregnant while taking Kineret notify their doctor.

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

Kineret Video

Watch Dr. Andy Thompson, a Canadian rheumatologist, introduce Kineret.