Active Ingredients

Anakinra – Effects, Use & Risks


Anakinra is a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis . This effectively combats joint inflammation and the patient’s quality of life increases significantly over the long term.

What is anakinra?

Anakinra contains an antagonist for a specific receptor within a cell, which has the effect of inhibiting inflammation in the areas affected by rheumatoid arthritis.

Since a special messenger substance can no longer reach the cell, there is no long-term inflammation and the arthritis is treated. Anakinra is very commonly used in conjunction with methotrexate. It can be used on patients of all ages and genders.

Pharmacological action

Anakinra does not directly affect any specific organs. Instead, it binds to a specific receptor, i.e. a specific molecule within an affected cell, and makes it impossible to interact with an IL-1 type messenger there. This would normally be necessary for the development of inflammation.Anakinra prevents this process so that no inflammation can develop – the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis do not occur. The effect of anakinra occurs over the long term, it is not an acutely effective preparation. Aside from side effects, anakinra should not have any other effect on any organ or the body itself. However, blood count changes can occur (which do not have to be negative). However, contraindications include (probably) pregnancy and lactation .

In addition, the effects of anakinra can be impaired if the patient has asthma or kidney dysfunction . Hypersensitivity to the active ingredient in anakinra can also lead to an unwanted onset of allergies . Because anakinra is often given in conjunction with methotrexate in the treatment of arthritis , when there are undesirable effects on organs and/or the body, it can be difficult to determine which drug is causing the problem.

Medical Application & Use

Typically, anakinra is given as an injection every day for a set period of time. This means that the drug is delivered in the form of a pre-filled syringe, which can be administered either by a doctor or trained staff or by the patient himself.

If the daily administration is observed and not forgotten, the effects should be noticeable after about two weeks, however some patients report a longer time frame. When used correctly, anakinra is only used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It is particularly suitable as a drug for patients who do not respond, or do not respond sufficiently, to common preparations such as methotrexate.

In addition to treating arthritis, anakinra also has a suppressive effect on the immune system and is also anti-inflammatory, which should have a strong pain-relieving effect. As a result, affected areas can no longer become inflamed again, which means that anakinra can fight arthritis in the long term. There is no reliable knowledge about the effect of anakinra during pregnancy, but to be on the safe side you should pay attention to effective contraceptives .

Risks & side effects

Anakinra can cause various gastrointestinal disorders. These include, in particular, nausea and associated vomiting as well as persistent diarrhea or constipation .At the same time, anakinra can make various allergies to the ingredients of the drug noticeable, which is noticeable, among other things, by reddening of the skin or shortness of breath as well as an increased heart rate and significantly increased sweat production. In these cases, immediate notification of the doctor and discontinuation of the drug is advisable.

Common side effects also include infections of the upper respiratory tract , which can cause symptoms such as sinusitis or pneumonia . Since these are serious illnesses, notification of the doctor is also absolutely necessary in these cases. Safer and rarer side effects include transient headache and itching near the injection site after an anakinra injection.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.