Canakinumab is used to treat periodic fever syndromes. These syndromes refer to diseases that cause periodic (episodic) fever that do not have an infectious (viral or bacterial) cause.
This medicine may also be used to treat arthritis (painful inflammation and stiffness of joints) in adolescents and children; and gout (type of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood) in adults.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Canakinumab is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh, upper arm or abdomen area).
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
This medicine must be used regularly for it to be effective. Continue using Canakinumab even when you feel better. Do not stop using it unless instructed by the doctor.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Canakinumab.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have any active or severe infection as Canakinumab may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- active or history of tuberculosis (TB), risk of acquiring TB e.g. in close contact with a person with TB
- history of repeated infections
- conditions that increase your risk of getting an infection e.g, low level of white blood cells.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do not receive any vaccinations while being treated with this medicine and for at least 3 months after your last dose. Make sure you are up to date with all your vaccines before starting treatment.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Before starting treatment with Canakinumab, your doctor will need a tuberculosis (TB) test (e.g. tuberculin skin test, chest x-ray).
- Your doctor may also need to do routine blood tests (e.g. complete blood count, tissue injury and inflammation marker tests) while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have tests.
Canakinumab may cause vertigo, a feeling that you or the environment around you is moving or spinning. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects may include any of the following: headache, weight gain, diarrhoea, upper stomach pain, nausea, flu, muscle or bone pain, and respiratory tract infections (e.g. runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, phlegm, sore throat).
You may also experience redness, itching, pain, swelling, bruising, or a small amount of blood loss at the injection site.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- signs of serious infection (e.g. fever for more than 3 days, shivering, chills, loss of appetite, sore throat or mouth ulcers, warmth or swelling of skin)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking other medicines for inflammation e.g. adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept, anakinra.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8 °C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Keep medicine in their original package to protect from light.
Do not use this medicine if it becomes cloudy or if it has changed in colour.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.