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
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
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
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
(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