Generic Name: Anakinra Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is anakinra used for?

Anakinra reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that are involved in inflammatory and immune responses.

Anakinra is used to treat the symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. It may also help slow the progress of the disease. Anakinra is usually given after other arthritis medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Anakinra is also used in newborn babies to treat a rare genetic condition called neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID). NOMID is a form of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS). This condition causes uncontrolled inflammation in many parts of the body, including the skin, joints, and central nervous system.

How should I take anakinra?

Anakinra is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not inject this medicine yourself if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Anakinra is usually given once per day, or once every other day. Follow your doctor’s instructions. Inject your dose at the same time of day when you use the medicine.

Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject anakinra. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row. Each injection should be given at least 1 inch away from where you last injected the medicine.

Do not shake the prefilled syringe or you may ruin the medicine. Prepare your dose in a syringe only when you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors, looks cloudy, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medication.

Each prefilled syringe of anakinra is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.

Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof “sharps” disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Use anakinra regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Call your doctor if your arthritis symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using anakinra.

Anakinra can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to get sick from being around others who are ill. You will need regular medical tests to be sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects. Your doctor may also want to check your blood cells for several months after you stop using this medicine. Visit your doctor regularly.

How do I store anakinra?

Anakinra is best stored in the refrigerator. To prevent drug damage, do not freeze. There may be different brands of anakinra that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush anakinra down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.


Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using anakinra?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of anakinra or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You are allergic to other medicines that contain E. coli bacteria proteins. You also should not use this medicine if you have an active infection.

It is not known whether anakinra will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether anakinra passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Anakinra is not approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in anyone younger than 18 years old.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using anakinra during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking anakinra. Anakinra is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from anakinra?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to anakinra: hives, sweating, severe itching; wheezing, difficult breathing; fast or pounding heartbeats; dizziness, fainting; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Serious infections may occur during treatment with this medicine. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • Fever, sweating, chills, tired feeling
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Sores in your mouth and throat
  • Flu symptoms (fever, chills, body aches)
  • Weight loss

Common side effects may include:

  • Worsening of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Flu symptoms
  • Cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat
  • Redness, bruising, pain, or swelling where the injection was give

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with anakinra?

Anakinra may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Certolizumab (Cimzia)
  • Etanercept (Enbrel)
  • Golimumab (Simponi)
  • Infliximab (Remicade)
  • Adalimumab (Humira)
  • Cancer medicines, steroids, or medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection

Does food or alcohol interact with anakinra?

Anakinra may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with anakinra?

Anakinra may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Kidney disease
  • An active or chronic infection
  • A history of recurrent infections
  • Fever, chills, or open sores on your skin
  • A weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicines)
  • Asthma
  • A history of tuberculosis


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using anakinra.

What is the dose of anakinra for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

100 mg subcutaneously once daily

Use: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): To reduce symptoms and slow the progression of structural damage in moderately to severely active RA, in patients 18 years of age or older who have failed 1 or more disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

Usual Adult Dose for Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndrome:

Initial dose: 1 to 2 mg/kg subcutaneously daily

Maximum dose: 8 mg/kg subcutaneously daily

Use: Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS): Treatment of Neonatal-Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease (NOMID)

What is the dose of anakinra for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndrome:

Initial dose: 1 to 2 mg/kg subcutaneously daily

Maximum dose: 8 mg/kg subcutaneously daily

Use: Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS): Treatment of Neonatal-Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease (NOMID) 

How is anakinra available?

Anakinra is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Injection

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of anakinra, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: October 9, 2017 | Last Modified: October 9, 2017

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