If you have certain medical conditions, your doctor may prescribe Kineret for you. Kineret is a prescription drug that’s used to treat:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID)
- deficiency of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA)
To learn more about these conditions and how Kineret is used, see the “What is the Kineret injection used for?” section below.
Kineret contains the active ingredient anakinra, which is an interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor antagonist medication. It comes as a solution in a prefilled syringe that you’ll inject under your skin.
Kineret is a biologic medication. A biologic is made from parts of living organisms. Anakinra is only available as the brand-name drug Kineret. It’s not available as a biosimilar drug. (Biosimilars are like generic drugs. But unlike generics, which are made for non-biologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologic drugs).
Keep reading to learn more about Kineret, including details on its uses, side effects, cost, and more.
Kineret’s indications (the conditions it’s approved to treat) are:
- rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults
- neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID)
- deficiency of Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA)
RA is a chronic (long-lasting) immune system condition that causes inflammation (swelling and damage) of the joints. RA can also affect other organs and tissues in the body, such as the heart and lungs.
Kineret helps manage symptoms of moderate to severe RA and can slow the progression of the condition. Before using Kineret, you must have tried another RA medication called a disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD).
NOMID is a rare disease that causes inflammation, and it’s usually diagnosed before a child is 6 months old. This condition causes fever, skin rash, joint swelling, and chronic meningitis.
Kineret is also used to treat deficiency of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA). This is a rare, life-threatening disease that begins at birth. Symptoms of DIRA include skin rash with inflamed pustules (small, fluid-filled bumps), joint swelling, and bone lesions (areas of damaged bone).
Kineret works to treat DIRA by blocking a protein that’s found in many different tissues and organs in the body.
Kineret may also be used off-label for other conditions. (Off-label drug use is when an FDA-approved drug is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.) For more information, talk with your doctor.
Like most drugs, Kineret may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Kineret may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Kineret. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Kineret can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Kineret’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Kineret that have been reported include:
- injection site reactions
- worsening of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
- nausea and vomiting
- abdominal (belly) pain
- joint pain
- sinus and throat infection
- skin rash
- flu-like symptoms
- stomach flu
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Kineret can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Kineret, call your doctor right away. But, if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Kineret that have been reported include:
- serious infection
- low levels of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell)
- allergic reaction*
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Some people may have an allergic reaction to Kineret.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause wheezing or trouble breathing. Sometimes people may have dizziness or fainting, fast heartbeat, or sweating.
It’s important to note that people using Kineret for deficiency of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA) have a higher risk of an allergic reaction to Kineret in the first few weeks of treatment. Doctors will closely monitor people using Kineret for DIRA and will stop treatment if needed.
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Kineret. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. To find current prices for Kineret in your area, visit WellRx.com.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. A program called Kineret On Track may also be available for Kineret.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Kineret that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Kineret comes as a solution in a single-use prefilled syringe. The liquid in the prefilled syringe contains 100 milligrams (mg) of anakinra.
You’ll inject Kineret under your skin, typically once per day. The recommended injection sites for adults and children include:
- the outer area of the upper arm
- the belly (avoiding the 2-inch area around the belly button)
- the front of the thighs
- the upper and outer area of the buttocks
You should rotate your injection sites every day. This can help prevent injection site reactions such as pain, stinging, or swelling at the injection site.
Kineret works best when you take a dose at the same time every day. This helps to keep steady levels of the drug in your body.
Your doctor will explain how to inject the drug and other details about Kineret’s dosing.
Questions about Kineret’s dosage
Below are some common questions about Kineret’s dosage.
- What if I miss a dose of Kineret? If you miss a dose of Kineret, talk with your doctor to find out when you should inject your next dose.
- Will I need to use Kineret long term? Yes, Kineret is usually a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine the drug is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term.
- How long does Kineret take to work? Some people using Kineret may see results within 3 months of starting treatment. If you have questions about what to expect from your Kineret treatment, talk with your doctor.
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Kineret.
Is Kineret used for pericarditis?
Yes, Kineret is sometimes used to treat pericarditis (inflammation of tissue around the heart). The drug isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this use, but it may be prescribed
If you’re interested in using Kineret off label to treat pericarditis, talk with your doctor.
Is Kineret used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis?
No, Kineret isn’t used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). Researchers haven’t determined whether Kineret is safe and effective for children with this condition.
A small study showed that Kineret can help control JRA symptoms when the drug is started early in the disease. But more studies are needed to understand the benefits and risks of prescribing Kineret for JRA.
If you have questions about treatment options for JRA, talk with your doctor.
Is Kineret similar to the rheumatoid arthritis drugs Actemra (tocilizumab) and Kevzara (sarilumab)?
Kineret, Actemra, and Kevzara are all used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They belong to the same group of drugs and work in similar ways in your body. But Kineret targets a different protein in the body than Actemra and Kevzara.
Kineret, Actemra, and Kevzara all come in a solution that you inject under your skin. Actemra can also be given with an intravenous (IV) injection, which is an injection into your vein.
If you have questions about how Kineret compares with other drugs, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor will explain how to administer Kineret. They’ll also explain how much to use and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Kineret comes as a solution in a prefilled syringe. You’ll inject Kineret under your skin. Your doctor will show you how to inject Kineret. You can inject it into the following areas:
- outer area of the upper arm
- belly (avoiding the 2-inch area around the belly button)
- front of the thighs
- upper and outer area of the buttocks
Accessible medication containers and labels
If it’s hard for you to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- contain a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text into audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that offers these options if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Also, if you’re having trouble opening your medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to put Kineret in an easy-open container. Your pharmacist may also recommend tools to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
Using Kineret with other drugs
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis may need to use Kineret with other drugs, such as methotrexate, to manage their condition. Methotrexate is another disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) used for arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that’s progressive, which means it gets worse over time. To help manage your symptoms, you may need to add or remove other medications to your treatment plan over time.
Glucocorticoids are another drug you might need to take with Kineret. Low doses of glucocorticoids can help manage your condition if Kineret alone isn’t effective enough.
Questions for your doctor
You may have questions about Kineret and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.
Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:
- Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
- How will Kineret affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
- Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable.
- If you don’t understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.
Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.
Some important things to discuss with your doctor when considering Kineret treatment include your overall health and any medical conditions you may have.
Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.
Before taking Kineret, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter types. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Kineret.
Interactions with drugs or supplements
Kineret can interact with several types of drugs. These drugs include:
This list does not contain all types of drugs that may interact with Kineret. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that may occur with use of Kineret.
Kineret weakens your immune system, which can increase your risk of infection. For this reason, doctors usually will not recommend getting live vaccines during your Kineret treatment.
Live vaccines contain a weakened form of a virus or germ they’re mean to protect against. People with weakened immune systems can get serious infections with a live vaccine.
Examples of live vaccines include:
- measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- yellow fever
Before starting Kineret, talk with your doctor about any vaccines you may need. And if you need a live vaccine while using Kineret, talk with your doctor first.
Kineret may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Kineret. Factors to consider include those in the list below.
- End-stage kidney disease or severe kidney disease. Your kidneys are responsible for removing Kineret from your blood. If you have end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) or severe kidney disease, your kidneys may not be effective at clearing Kineret from your body. This can raise your risk of side effects from the drug. You may still be able to use Kineret you have ESKD or severe kidney disease, but you’ll need a lower dosage. Before starting treatment, you may need a blood test to check how well your kidneys are working. Depending on the results, your doctor may adjust your dosage. If you have kidney disease, talk with your doctor about whether Kineret is right for you.
- Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Kineret or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Kineret. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.
Kineret and alcohol
It should be safe to drink alcohol while using Kineret.
If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the amount that may be safe for you to drink with your condition and treatment plan.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether Kineret is safe to use during pregnancy. But it’s important to note that uncontrolled rheumatoid arthritis is risky during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risk and benefits of using Kineret.
It’s also unknown whether it’s safe to use Kineret while breastfeeding. If you’re breastfeeding or considering breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before using Kineret.
Don’t take more Kineret than your doctor prescribes. Injecting more than this can lead to serious side effects. For this reason, your doctor will carefully determine your dosage of Kineret.
What to do in case you take too much Kineret
Call your doctor if you think you’ve injected too much Kineret. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.
If you have questions about taking Kineret, talk with your doctor. Some questions you may want to ask include:
- Can Kineret cure my condition?
- Which natural remedies can I use with Kineret to manage rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms?
- How should I store Kineret?
If you’re taking Kineret for RA, this article about treatment options may be helpful. Also, consider signing up for Healthline’s RA newsletter to get helpful tips for managing your condition. You can also find support and advice from our Bezzy RA community.
Will I have withdrawal symptoms if I need to stop using Kineret?Anonymous
No, Kineret doesn’t cause withdrawal symptoms. (Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can occur when you stop using a drug that your body has become dependent on.)
But once you stop using Kineret, the symptoms of your condition (such as inflammation) may return. In studies of Kineret, some people with neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID) had their symptoms return within about 5 days of stopping treatment.
If you’d like to end your Kineret treatment, talk with your doctor first. They can discuss other treatment options with you.The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.