anakinra, Kineret

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GENERIC NAME: anakinra


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Anakinra is a synthetic (man-made), injectable, interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor antagonist that blocks the effects of human interleukin-1. It is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. IL-1 is a protein that is produced by many cells in the body. It is found in increased amounts within joints that are inflamed by arthritis. IL-1 attaches to receptors on the tissues within and surrounding the joints as well as on the cells that are responsible for inflammation, for example, white blood cells. The attachment of IL-1 activates the cells to release enzymes that promote inflammation. The enzymes destroy the cartilage and bone and contribute to pain and swelling of the joints. Anakinra attaches to the IL-1 receptor and prevents IL-1 from attaching to the receptor. Thus, the inflammatory and enzyme-releasing effects of IL-1 are prevented and pain and swelling of the joints are reduced. Anakinra was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in November 2001.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Anakinra is used for treating the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in individuals 18 years of age or older. It is not a first-line drug but is used in individuals who have failed at least one of the other disease-modifying drugs that are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It can be used alone or in combination with other agents, but it should not be used with drugs that block tumor necrosis factor alpha such as infliximab (Enbrel) and etanercept (Remicade). (See drug interactions.)

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2014

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