Kineret (Anakinra) - Subcutaneous

What Is Kineret?

Kineret (anakinra) is an injectable medication in the drug class called interleukin-1 antagonists. It is injected under the skin (subcutaneous) and can be used to treat multiple diseases that affect the immune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as well as more rare conditions.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Anakinra

Brand Name: Kineret

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Subcutaneous

Therapeutic Classification: Immunological agent

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Anakinra

Dosage Form: Solution

What Is Kineret Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Kineret for three conditions: 

  • RA in adults who have not had success in being treated with a different type of medication called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
  • Neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID) in infants
  • Deficiency of interleukin-1 antagonist (DIRA), a rare and life-threatening systemic inflammatory condition that emerges within the first few days of birth

How to Take Kineret

Kineret is given through subcutaneous injection, usually once a day. It should be administered around the same time every day. 

Either you or the person giving the injection should receive training from your healthcare provider on administering it properly. Only use the needles and syringes once and dispose of them properly.


Keep the medication in the refrigerator and do not shake the syringes. Kineret syringes are prefilled with the dose needed in the syringe. However, the amount in the syringe may be more than the dose needed, so be sure to administer the proper amount.

Off-Label Uses 

Healthcare providers can prescribe Kineret to treat other types of inflammatory conditions. When a drug is prescribed for purposes not listed on the product label, it is known as off-label use. 

Off-label uses of Kineret include:

  • Still’s disease
  • Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Familial Mediterranean fever
  • Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome

How Long Does Kineret Take to Work?

Knowing how well Kineret will work for you can take some time. At the earliest, you may see results after one month of being on the medication. However, in some cases, it can take longer.

What Are the Side Effects of Kineret?

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at or 1-800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects from taking Kineret include:

Severe Side Effects

Call your healthcare team right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if you think your symptoms are life-threatening or think you’re having a medical emergency. 

Serious side effects from Kineret can include the following:

  • Serious infections (fever, chills, non-healing wounds on the skin)
  • Allergic reaction (swelling of the lips or tongue, difficulty breathing, hives, itching)
  • Low white blood cell counts

Report Side Effects

Kineret may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Kineret Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form (solution):
    • For rheumatoid arthritis:
      • Adults—100 milligrams (mg) per day injected under the skin.
      • Children—Use is not recommended.
    • For neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID) and deficiency interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA):
      • Adults and children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 1 to 2 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight injected under the skin per day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 8 mg per kg of body weight per day.


Kineret can be used in both children and adults. However, it should be used cautiously in older adults (65 and older) due to the risk of developing infections.

Missed Dose 

If you miss a dose of Kineret, contact the healthcare provider to ask when the next dose should be given.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Kineret?

There have not been any reported overdoses of Kineret, and no symptoms were noted in clinical trials at higher doses. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you think you’ve taken too much Kineret.

What Happens If I Overdose on Kineret?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Kineret, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t wake up after taking too much Kineret, call 911 immediately.


Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

If you will be using this medicine for a long time, it is important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide whether you should continue to use it. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis skin test.

Your body's ability to fight infection may be reduced while you are being treated with anakinra, it is very important that you call your doctor at the first signs of any infection (for example, if you get a fever or chills).

Do not use this medicine together with adalimumab (Humira®), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia®), etanercept (Enbrel®), golimumab (Simponi®), or infliximab (Remicade®).

Anakinra may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis or angioedema, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash, itching, large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs, trouble breathing, or chest pain after you receive the medicine.

This medicine may increase your risk of developing infections. Tell your doctor if you have any kind of infection before you start using this medicine. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had an infection that would not go away or an infection that kept coming back.

Do not have any live vaccines (immunizations) while you or your child are being treated with anakinra. Be sure to ask your child's doctor if you have any questions about this.

This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often.

This medicine may cause severe tenderness and pain at the site of the injection. Call your doctor right away if you have bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Kineret? 

Do not take Kineret if you are allergic to the medication or its ingredients or if you are allergic to any of the proteins from E.Coli bacteria.

People who intend to become pregnant should discuss the use of Kineret during pregnancy with their healthcare provider. As active RA can be a problem during pregnancy, the risks of taking Kineret versus the benefits should be considered. You should also talk to your healthcare provider about the potential risks versus benefits of breastfeeding while taking this medication.

What Other Medications Interact With Kineret?

Taking tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, such as Remicade (infliximab) or Humira (adalimumab), can increase the risk of severe infections in people who are also taking Kineret. Using these two medications together is not recommended.

Avoid receiving live vaccines while you are taking Kineret. There is currently no data on the effects of live vaccination in people receiving this medication. You may need to make sure you are up to date on your immunizations before starting Kineret.

What Medications Are Similar?

Other medications work on similar pathways in the body to treat inflammatory conditions and symptoms. For example, Arcalyst (rilonacept) and Ilaris (canakinumab) are medications similar to Kineret used to treat inflammatory diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Kineret used for?

    Kineret is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease, and deficiency of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist.

  • How does Kineret work?

    Interleukin-1 is a protein in the body that causes inflammation. Kineret works by blocking this protein.

  • How long does it take Kineret to work?

    It can take at least one month, sometimes longer, of taking Kineret before you notice an improvement in symptoms.

  • What are the common side effects of Kineret?

    The common side effects of Kineret include:

    • Injection site reaction
    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Headache
    • Joint pain
    • Flu-like symptoms

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Kineret?

It is essential to stay healthy when taking Kineret, mainly because this medication can potentially lower the immune system’s ability to fight off infection. 

Be aware of any new symptoms you experience and report them to your healthcare team. Preventing infections through good hand washing and staying away from others who are sick is important. Be sure to ask your healthcare team any questions about taking Kineret.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Food and Drug Administration. Kineret label.

  2. Vitale A, Insalaco A, Sfriso P, et al. A snapshot on the on-label and off-label use of the interleukin-1 inhibitors in Italy among rheumatologists and pediatric rheumatologists: a nationwide multi-center retrospective observational study. Front Pharmacol. 2016;7:380.

  3. Food and Drug Administration. Information for patients and caregivers.

  4. Bachove I, Chang C. Anakinra and related drugs targeting interleukin-1 in the treatment of cryopyrin- associated periodic syndromes. OARRR. 2014;6:15-25.