This medication is used to treat a certain group of inherited disorders called cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), including familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome and Muckle-Wells syndrome. Canakinumab works by blocking a certain natural protein in your body (interleukin-1 beta) that may worsen the symptoms of CAPS. Canakinumab does not cure CAPS, but it can help lessen the symptoms, including rash, joint/muscle pain, fever, eye redness, and tiredness.
Canakinumab is also used to treat a certain type of rheumatoid arthritis in children (systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis-SJIA).
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using canakinumab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is injected under the skin as directed by your doctor. If you are using this medication to treat CAPS, it is usually given every eight weeks. If you are using this medication to treat SJIA, it is usually given every 4 weeks. The dosage is based on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.
If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. While preparing the liquid, gently swirl the vial to dissolve the powder. Do not shake the vial. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. The mixed medication should be clear, and either colorless or a pale brownish yellow color. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. It is important to change the location of the injection site each time to avoid problem areas under the skin. Do not inject into skin that is tender, red, or hard. Never reuse syringes or needles.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it on the same day every 8 weeks. It may help to mark your calendar with a reminder.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Redness, itching, pain, warmth, or swelling at the injection site may occur. Dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, or headache may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication can affect your immune system. It can lower your body's ability to fight an infection. You may be more likely to get serious infections, such as pneumonia, bone/joint infections, skin infections, or sinusitis. It may also be harder to fight an infection you already have. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any signs of an infection, such as fever/chills, cough, or cold/flu symptoms.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using canakinumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: immune system problems (such as HIV infection), current/recent/returning infection (including hepatitis and tuberculosis), cancer.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before starting this drug, you should take a tuberculosis (TB) skin test to check for a type of tuberculosis that may not be causing any symptoms (latent TB). If you are diagnosed with TB, you must first be treated for it before you start canakinumab to prevent a serious TB infection.
Canakinumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose. Also avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, flu). Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other IL-1 blockers (such as anakinra, rilonacept), live vaccines, TNF-blockers (such as adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as CBC, liver function) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store unmixed drug in the original container in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not freeze. After mixing, if not used within 1 hour, store in the refrigerator and use within the time specified in the product instructions. Each vial of medication is for single use only. Throw away any unused portion. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised May 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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