Kineret For Rheumatoid Arthritis
A New Kid On The Block

Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Medical Editor: Leslie J. Schoenfield, MD, PhD

A new drug is available for adult patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who have not responded to other disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)! The brand name of the new drug is Kineret and its generic name is anakinra.

This is big news in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. You see, anakinra (Kineret) is a new type of biological response modifier (BRM) for treating this disease. Thus, anakinra (Kineret) acts by blocking the biological effects of the chemical messenger, Interleukin-1 (IL-1). IL-1 is a protein that is produced by many cells in the body. It is found, however, in increased amounts within joints that are inflamed by rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, IL-1 promotes the inflammation and destruction of cartilage and bone in rheumatoid arthritis. Accordingly, this BRM, like the traditional DMARDS, can prevent progressive joint destruction.

What are advantages of Kineret?

  • Anakinra (Kineret) may be used alone or in combination with methotrexate (Rheumatrex) or other DMARDs.
  • To date, no cases of the activation of tuberculosis or other opportunistic infections (such as serious fungus infections) have been reported with the use of anakinra (Kineret). In contrast, opportunistic infections have been reported with another type of BRM drugs that includes infliximab (Remicade) and etanercept (Enbrel). (These biological response modifiers work by blocking another of the body's promoters of joint inflammation called tumor necrosis factor, TNF).
  • Patients can become intimately involved in their own treatment by self-injecting anakinra (Kineret) under the skin.
  • Patients will have the option of self-injecting 100 mg prefilled syringes or loading these into a specially designed injector device, called the Simpleject™.