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Kineret (Anakinra)

Kineret is an engineered biologic medication that is approved for use against rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces the signs and symptoms of RA and slows the structural damage that occurs in adults with moderately- to severely-active RA who have failed one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Kineret can be used alone or with other medications.

Kineret is used less commonly than other biologic medications, because it isn’t as effective as anti-TNF therapies. It also requires a daily injection, which is not appealing to many patients.2

Kineret is not available in generic forms.

What are the ingredients in Kineret?

The active ingredient in Kineret is anakinra.1

How does Kineret work?

Kineret is known as an interleukin antagonist, because it blocks interleukin-1 (IL-1), a protein that plays an important role in promoting inflammation and immune system cell functions that cause joint damage for patients with RA.1

What are the possible side effects of Kineret?

Common side effects with Kineret include4:

  • redness, itching, pain, bruising, or swelling at the site of injection
  • headache
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • runny nose
  • stomach pain

In some patients, Kineret can cause more harmful side effects. Patients who take Kineret are at increased risk for serious infections, including tuberculosis.1 Some patients also develop headaches or blood problems while on the medication, but it is very rare.2

This is not an exhaustive list of all potential side effects of Kineret. For more information, consult your doctor or healthcare provider. If you notice any new or worsening side effects, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.

Things to note about Kineret

Before taking Kineret, tell your doctor if you1:

  • Have a current infection or are prone to recurring infections, including open cuts
  • Have kidney problems
  • Are scheduled to receive a vaccine
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding

People who are allergic to the bacterium E. coli should not take Kineret1.

With Kineret, there is an increased risk for serious infection. This is because Kineret can decrease the ability of the immune system to fight infections. If an infection develops while you are taking this medication, or if you have a severe allergic reaction, contact your doctor immediately.1,s

Patients taking this medication should not take other biologic medications against RA, because they all decrease the activity of the immune system.2 You should also not receive live vaccines while you are taking Kineret.

It is important for doctors to test you for TB before you take Kineret and to monitor for infections and blood problems while you are on the medication.3

Dosing information

The recommended dose of Kineret for RA treatment is 100 mg/day, by injection under the skin. You should take the medicine at approximately the same time every day for the best treatment results.

Each syringe comes pre-filled and is intended for a single use. You will be given your first dose of Kineret in a medical office, and after that, you may be able to administer it at home. You can inject Kineret anywhere on the front of your thighs or stomach, but it is best to use a different site for each injection, to reduce soreness at the injection site.

Make sure you have been instructed about how to give an injection of Kineret before you do it yourself. If you have any questions about how to prepare and administer this medication, call your doctor.4

Written by: Sara Finkelstein | Last reviewed: September 2019.
  1. Prescribing Information. Kineret. Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, Stockholm, Sweden. Revised September 2015. Accessed June 4, 2018.
  2. Carolina Negrei, Violeta Bojinca, Andra Balanescu, et. al., Management of rheumatoid arthritis: Impact and risks of various therapeutic approaches. Exp Ther Med. 2016 Apr; 11(4): 1177–1183. Published online 2016 Feb 2. doi: 10.3892/etm.2016.3045 Accessed May 26, 2018.
  3. Alexei Grom and Stacy Ardoin. Anakinra (Kineret). American College of Rheumatology. Updated March 2017. Accessed June 3, 2018.
  4. Anakinra. MedLinePlus. US National Library of Medicine. Bethesda, MD. Revised January 15, 2016. Accessed June 3, 2018.