Anakinra, sold under the brand name Kineret, is an injectable immunosuppressant. It can be used to treat the symptoms of several conditions but is prescribed primarily for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. While the drug’s primary purpose is reducing inflammation, which in turn reduces symptoms, it may also be able to slow the progression of the disease. It is typically a second-line treatment, prescribed only after other first-line treatments have proved unsuccessful.
- What is anakinra (Kineret) used for?
- How does anakinra (Kineret) work?
- How much does anakinra (Kineret) cost?
- How do you inject anakinra (Kineret)?
- How long does anakinra take to work?
- What are the side effects of anakinra?
- What is the correct dosage of anakinra?
- What should I avoid while taking anakinra?
1. What is anakinra (Kineret) used for?
Anakinra is prescribed either alone, or in combination with other drugs, to help reduce the swelling and pain that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis. It is used as a second-line treatment to manage symptoms after a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) like methotrexate has already failed. In some cases, it can be prescribed in combination with DMARDs.
Anakinra may also treat neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID), a congenital disease characterized by inflammation and tissue damage throughout the body, including the nervous system, skin, and joints.
2. How does anakinra (Kineret) work?
Anakinra belongs to a class of medications known as immunomodulatory agents. The goal of using anakinra is to reduce the joint damage associated with rheumatoid arthritis by decreasing erosions and cartilage destruction. It achieves this by targeting the immune system and decreasing the activity of a protein called interleukin-1. Interleukin-1 is a protein that causes inflammation and tissue damage in joints.
3. How much does anakinra (Kineret) cost?
The price of anakinra will vary greatly depending on the patient’s location and insurance coverage. However, the cash price of Kineret, the brand name under which anakinra is sold, is $203.51 per unit. Many patients are prescribed a100 mg dose per day. This means patients can expect to pay a cash price of $3,811.85. It is, however, worth noting that most patients do not pay the full price for Kineret.
4. How do you inject anakinra (Kineret)?
Patients often wonder how to best inject anakinra themselves. However, it is important to note that you should not attempt to give any injections without first speaking with your doctor. If your doctor has decided that at-home injections are the best route, then the following video from Sobi Kineret provides helpful step-by-step instructions and demonstration:
5. How long does anakinra take to work?
Typically, patients taking anakinra want to know how long it will take to see results. The time it takes to be effective will vary between patients. Some patients may feel the effects of anakinra quickly and may even notice improvement within the first month. However, for most patients, it takes between three and six months to experience the full effects of the drug.
6. What are the side effects of anakinra?
Anakinra may cause side effects ranging from mild to severe. The following lists include some of the most reported side effects but are not complete. Mild side effects typically subside within a few days or weeks of consistent medication-taking. However, if they persist or worsen you should speak to your doctor.
Common side effects:
- Redness or bruising at the injection site
- Stomach cramps
- Flu-like symptoms
Serious side effects:
- Redness spreading along the skin
- Bacterial skin infection
- Malignant lymphoma or melanoma
- Low platelet count
If you experience any of these serious side effects, you should speak with your doctor or seek immediate medical attention if it is an emergency.
In some rare cases, patients can experience allergic reactions. Seek emergency medical care if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking anakinra.
- Skin rash
- Tightness in the throat or chest
- Difficulty talking or breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
7. What is the correct dosage of anakinra?
The proper dosage of anakinra will vary between patients and is based on several factors. You should always follow your doctor’s instructions or the directions on the label. The information below refers to typical doses of anakinra. If these doses are not consistent with your prescription, follow your prescription. In most cases, anakinra will be prescribed at 100mg per day. This is conveniently the same dosage as the prefilled syringes that the drug comes in. However, for some other conditions that the drug may be used to treat, other than rheumatoid arthritis, the dosage may be based on the patient’s weight. People with severe kidney disease may be prescribed 100 mg every other day.
8. What should I avoid while taking anakinra?
While taking anakinra, or many other immunosuppressants, it is important to avoid live vaccines. You should also avoid getting a live vaccine up to three months before starting treatment. Not all vaccines are considered “live vaccines,” so be sure to speak with your healthcare provider about any vaccines you are scheduled to receive before receiving them if you take anakinra. Aside from live vaccinations, patients should take extra care to avoid infections as their bodies may not be able to fight them off effectively.
Patients should also avoid injecting anakinra in the same location every time. While this is not necessarily critical, rotating injection sites may be able to reduce discomfort and pain/redness after the injection. Keeping a log of injections with a journal or an injection site tracker may make this easier.
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