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About RA

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder.

RA affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can lead to bone erosion, joint deformity and chronic, debilitating pain. It can also affect your entire body, causing fevers and fatigue.


Unlike osteoarthritis, which involves joint damage caused by wear and tear over time, RA is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when your immune system attacks your own body's tissues. Scientists don’t know exactly why this happens, but there are several things that contribute to the process. One is the body’s over-production of interleukin-1 (IL-1), a protein in the body that can cause joint damage. Too much IL-1 can lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints.


RA mainly affects the small joints in your hands and feet. However, it can affect other joints as well, including wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees and ankles. Often, RA affects the joints of the body in a symmetrical pattern, meaning that the disease attacks the same joint on both sides of the body—both hands or both feet, for example.

  • RA affects approximately 1% of the population—estimated to be over 2 million people
  • It is more common in women than in men by about a two-to-three ratio.
  • Generally RA occurs between the ages of 40 and 60.


Most doctors studying RA now believe that damage to bones begins during the first year or two that a person has the disease. This is one reason early diagnosis and treatment can be so important in the management of RA.


While there is no cure for RA, treatment options like Kineret® can help. Kineret® helps to block the activity of IL-1 in the body. This helps to reduce the symptoms and slow the progression of RA.


Next: RA Symptoms

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selective IL-1 blocker in RA

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Kineret® is a prescription medicine called an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) used to:

  • Reduce the signs and symptoms, and slow the damage of moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in people age 18 years and older when 1 or more other drugs for RA have not worked
  • Treat people with a form of Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS) called Neonatal-Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease (NOMID)

Kineret is not for children with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis


Do not take Kineret if you are allergic to:

  • proteins made from bacteria called E. coli. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure
  • anakinra or any of the ingredients in Kineret. See the end of the patient leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in Kineret

Before you use Kineret, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have an infection, a history of infections that keep coming back, or other problems that can increase your risk of infections
  • have an allergy to rubber or latex. The inner needle cover on the prefilled syringe contains latex. Do not handle the needle cover if you are allergic to latex
  • have kidney problems
  • are scheduled to receive any vaccines. People using Kineret should not receive live vaccines
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Kineret will harm your unborn baby
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Kineret passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take Kineret or breastfeed

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.Kineret and other medicines may affect each other and cause serious side effects. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take certain other medicines that affect your immune system called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Blockers. Ask your healthcare provider for a list of these medicines if you are not sure.

Kineret may cause serious side effects, including:

  • serious infections. Kineret may lower your ability to fight infections. During treatment with Kineret, call your healthcare provider right away if you get an infection, have any sign of an infection including a fever or chills, or have any open sores on your body. You may get an infection if you receive live vaccines while you use Kineret. You should not receive live vaccines while you use Kineret.
  • allergic reactions. Stop using Kineret and call your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away if you have any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction: swelling of your face, lips, mouth, or tongue; trouble breathing; wheezing; severe itching; skin rash, redness, or swelling outside of the injection site area; dizziness or fainting; fast heartbeat or pounding in your chest (tachycardia); or sweating.
  • decreased ability of your body to fight infections (immunosuppression). It is not known if treatment with medicines that cause immunosuppression, like Kineret, affect your risk of getting cancer.
  • low white blood cell count (neutropenia). Kineret may cause you to have a lower number of certain white cells (neutrophils). Neutrophils are important in fighting infections. You should have blood tests before starting treatment with Kineret, then monthly for 3 months. After the first 3 months you should have your blood tested every 3 months for up to 1 year.

The most common side effects of Kineret for RA include:

  • injection site skin reactions, including redness, swelling, bruising, itching, and stinging. Most injection site reactions are mild, happen early during treatment, and last about 14 to 28 days
  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA) gets worse with treatment
  • sore throat or runny nose
  • headache
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • sinus infection
  • joint pain
  • feeling like you have the flu
  • pain in your stomach area

The most common side effects of Kineret for NOMID include:

  • injection site skin reactions, including redness, swelling, bruising, itching, and stinging. Most injection site reactions are mild, happen early during treatment, and last about 14 to 28 days. Injection site reactions have been observed less frequently in people with NOMID
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • joint pain
  • fever
  • feeling like you have the flu
  • sore throat or runny nose

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of Kineret. For more information ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Please see full Prescribing Information