Ilaris is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved to treat certain forms of:

Still’s disease. This is a type of inflammatory arthritis in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body, causing inflammation. Still’s disease includes:

Certain periodic fever conditions. These conditions cause fevers off and on. Ilaris is used to treat:

  • Cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) in adults as well as children ages 4 years and older. The CAPS include:
    • familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS)
    • Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS)
  • Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) in adults and children.
  • Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) in adults and children.
  • Hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD) in adults and children.

For more information about the specific uses of Ilaris, see the “Ilaris uses” section below.

Drug details

Ilaris is the first drug for AOSD that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved.

Ilaris comes as a solution that a healthcare professional will give you as a subcutaneous injection. The drug comes in a strength of 150 milligrams/milliliter (mg/mL).

Ilaris contains the active drug canakinumab and belongs to a class of drugs called interleukin-1B (IL-1B) blockers.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Ilaris, see the “Ilaris uses” section below.

Ilaris is available only as a brand-name medication. Ilaris is a biologic drug. Biologic drugs are made from living cells, so it’s not possible to copy them exactly.

Some biologic drugs have biosimilar versions available. A biosimilar drug is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug. In addition, a biosimilar may cost less than the brand-name biologic. However, Ilaris is not available in a biosimilar form at this time.

Ilaris can cause mild or serious side effects that may differ slightly based on which condition Ilaris is treating. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur with Ilaris. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Ilaris, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Ilaris, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Ilaris can include:

  • headache
  • muscle or bone pain
  • vertigo (feeling of dizziness and spinning)
  • runny nose
  • injection site reaction, such as pain, swelling, and bruising
  • abdominal pain
  • weight gain†
  • mild infection
  • digestive side effects†

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Ilaris. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or see the prescribing information for Ilaris.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Ilaris aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Ilaris.

Weight gain

Weight gain was a common side effect in people who received Ilaris for cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) in clinical trials. People who received the drug for its other approved uses did not report weight gain.

If you notice that you’re gaining weight during Ilaris treatment, talk with your doctor. They can help determine if the drug is the cause. In some cases, your doctor may recommend diet and exercise changes to help limit weight gain.

Infection

Ilaris may cause an increase in infections. This is because the drug can weaken your immune system. If your immune system isn’t as strong as usual, it may not be able to fight off infections well. In clinical trials, people who received Ilaris for any approved condition commonly reported infections.

In most cases, infections are mild. Examples of mild infections that may occur during treatment include the flu, sore throat, stomach flu, and respiratory infections such as the common cold.

It’s possible to develop serious infections with Ilaris as well, including bronchitis and pneumonia.

Symptoms of infection can include:

Be sure to watch for symptoms of infection during your treatment. If you develop any, talk with your doctor right away. The infection is less likely to become serious if they treat it quickly.

Before you first receive Ilaris, your doctor may have you tested for an infection called tuberculosis (TB). To learn more, see the “Ilaris precautions” section below.

Digestive side effects

Digestive side effects may occur with Ilaris. Nausea and diarrhea were common side effects in people who received Ilaris for CAPS in clinical trials. People with CAPS treated with Ilaris also reported stomach flu as a common side effect.

Stomach flu refers to swelling that occurs in your stomach or small intestine. This may cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Stomach flu usually occurs due to an infection, such as a bacterial or viral infection.

People who received Ilaris for Still’s disease reported abdominal pain as a common side effect. Digestive side effects were not common in people who received Ilaris for:

  • familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)
  • tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)
  • hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD)

Be aware of symptoms of digestive side effects during your treatment with Ilaris. If you develop any that are severe or bothersome, talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend ways to ease the side effects. For example, your doctor may suggest medication such as loperamide (Imodium) to relieve diarrhea.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Ilaris.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Ilaris, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

As with all medications, the cost of Ilaris injections can vary. To find current prices for Ilaris in your area, check out WellRx.

The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use. It can also depend on the cost of your visit to the hospital or clinic where you may receive your Ilaris doses.

You may be able to receive your Ilaris doses from a healthcare professional who comes to your home. In such cases, you may need to get your Ilaris prescription from a pharmacy. If so, it’s important to note that you’ll have to get Ilaris at a specialty pharmacy. This type of pharmacy is authorized to carry specialty medications. These are drugs that may be expensive or may require help from healthcare professionals to be used safely and effectively.

Before approving coverage for Ilaris, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Ilaris, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Ilaris, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, the manufacturer of Ilaris, offers assistance in several ways. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 866-972-8315 or visit the drug website.

To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.

Biosimilar version

Ilaris is available only as a brand-name medication. Ilaris is a biologic drug. Biologic drugs are made from living cells, so it’s not possible to copy them exactly.

Some biologic drugs have biosimilar versions available. A biosimilar drug is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug. In addition, a biosimilar may cost less than the brand-name biologic. However, Ilaris is not available in a biosimilar form at this time.

The Ilaris dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re receiving Ilaris for
  • your age and weight
  • other medical conditions you may have

Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Ilaris comes as a solution that a healthcare professional will give you as a subcutaneous injection. The drug comes in a strength of 150 milligrams/milliliter (mg/mL).

Dosage for Still’s disease

The dosage of Ilaris for Still’s disease is based on weight. The dosing is the same whether the drug is prescribed for adult-onset Still’s disease or systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in children ages 2 years and older.

The usual dose is 4 mg/kg (kilogram) of body weight, with a minimum weight requirement of 7.5 kg, which is about 16.5 pounds (lb). One kilogram equals about 2.2 lb.

Ilaris is usually given once every 4 weeks. The maximum dosage of Ilaris to treat Still’s disease is 300 mg once every 4 weeks.

Your doctor will calculate the Ilaris dosage for you or your child.

Dosage for cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS)

Ilaris is approved for use in adults and children to treat cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), which include:

  • familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS)
  • Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS)

The dosage is based on body weight.

If you or your child weighs more than 40 kg (about 88 lb), you’ll likely receive 150 mg of Ilaris once every 8 weeks.

If you or your child weighs 15 kg to 40 kg (about 33 lb to 88 lb), the dosage is typically 2 mg/kg once every 8 weeks. If your child weighs 15 kg to 40 kg, and Ilaris isn’t proving to be effective, the dose may be increased to 3 mg/kg.

Your or your child’s doctor will calculate the appropriate Ilaris dosage.

Dosage for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)

Ilaris is approved to treat familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) in adults and children. The dosage is based on body weight.

If you or your child weighs 40 kg (about 88 lb) or less, the dosage is typically 2 mg/kg once every 4 weeks. If Ilaris isn’t effective in treating FMF, the dose may be increased to 4 mg/kg.

If you weigh more than 40 kg (about 88 lb), the dosage is typically 150 mg once every 4 weeks. If Ilaris isn’t effective in treating FMF, the dose may be increased to 300 mg.

Your or your child’s doctor will calculate the appropriate Ilaris dosage.

Dosage for tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)

Ilaris is approved to treat tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) in adults and children. The dosage is based on body weight.

If you or your child weighs 40 kg (about 88 lb) or less, the dosage is typically 2 mg/kg once every 4 weeks. If Ilaris isn’t effective in treating TRAPS, the dose may be increased to 4 mg/kg.

If you weigh more than 40 kg (about 88 lb), the dosage is typically 150 mg once every 4 weeks. If Ilaris isn’t effective in treating TRAPS, the dose may be increased to 300 mg.

Your or your child’s doctor will calculate the appropriate Ilaris dosage.

Dosage for hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD)

Ilaris is approved to treat hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD) in adults and children. The dosage is based on body weight.

If you or your child weigh 40 kg (about 88 lb) or less, the dosage is typically 2 mg/kg once every 4 weeks. If Ilaris isn’t effective in treating HIDS/MKD, the dose may be increased to 4 mg/kg.

If you weigh more than 40 kg (about 88 lb), the dosage is typically 150 mg once every 4 weeks. If Ilaris isn’t effective in treating HIDS/MKD, the dose may be increased to 300 mg.

Your or your child’s doctor will calculate the appropriate Ilaris dosage.

Children’s dosage

Ilaris is approved to treat systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children ages 2 years and older. The drug is also approved to treat the following in children:

  • certain cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), which include:
    • familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS)
    • Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS)
  • familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)
  • tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)
  • hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD)

For details on Ilaris dosing in children, see the relevant dosage sections above. If you’d like to learn more, talk with your child’s doctor.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss an appointment for a dose of Ilaris, reschedule it as soon as you remember. To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Will I need to receive this drug long term?

Ilaris is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Ilaris is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Ilaris to treat certain conditions. Here’s some information about the drug’s indications (uses).

Ilaris for Still’s disease

Ilaris is approved to treat a type of inflammatory arthritis called Still’s disease. There are two different types: adult-onset Still’s disease and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

The type of Still’s disease you have depends mostly on whether you were an adult or a child when you were diagnosed.

With Still’s disease and inflammatory arthritis in general, your immune system mistakenly attacks your body, causing inflammation. This can cause your joints to swell and produce inflammation throughout the rest of your body.

You can learn more about Still’s disease and other types of arthritis here.

Adult-onset Still’s disease

Ilaris is approved to treat adult-onset Still’s disease (AOSD). The Still’s disease must be active, which means you currently have symptoms.

AOSD is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in adults. It’s not known exactly why AOSD occurs. Symptoms of AOSD can include:

Symptoms of AOSD may go away and come back again. Each person’s symptoms and episodes of inflammation may be different.

Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Ilaris is approved to treat systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in children ages 2 years and older. The Still’s disease must be active, which means your child currently has symptoms.

SJIA is a type of arthritis in children that affects at least one joint. It’s not known exactly what causes SJIA. Symptoms may include:

SJIA is also referred to as “Still’s disease in children.”

Effectiveness for Still’s disease

Ilaris is an effective treatment option for Still’s disease, including AOSD and SJIA.

Ilaris is the first drug for AOSD that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved.*

At this time, there aren’t treatment guidelines available for AOSD. However, Ilaris has been found effective for treating AOSD in clinical trials. To see how Ilaris performed in clinical trials, refer to the drug’s prescribing information.

The American College of Rheumatology recommends Ilaris in its treatment guidelines as an option for children with SJIA.

* Steroids such as prednisone (Rayos) and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate (Trexall) have been used to treat AOSD. However, these were off-label uses. Off-label drug use is when an FDA-approved drug is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Ilaris for periodic fever syndromes

Ilaris is approved to treat the following types of periodic fever syndromes:

  • familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS) and Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS), which are types of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS)
  • familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)
  • tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)
  • hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD)

Periodic fever syndromes cause fevers that go away and come back. Between fevers, you tend to feel as you usually do and are free of symptoms.

It’s not known exactly what causes periodic fever syndromes. However, they may be genetic conditions, which means they can run in families. These fevers are not caused by bacterial or viral infections like fevers usually are.

Symptoms of these conditions may be recurrent, which means they can go away and then come back. For more information about the use of Ilaris for periodic fever syndromes, including details about each condition, see below.

Cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS)

Ilaris is approved to treat certain cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) in adults and children. CAPS are conditions that occur when a protein in your body called cryopyrin is overactive. The extra activity causes symptoms of CAPS, which may include inflammation and fevers. The two types of CAPS that Ilaris is specifically approved to treat are familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS) and Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS).

Familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS)

FCAS is a rare condition that’s triggered by exposure to cold temperatures. FCAS can cause symptoms such as:

  • fever
  • skin rash
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • swelling and redness in the white part of the eye

Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS)

MWS is a rare condition that causes inflammation throughout the body. MWS can cause symptoms such as:

  • skin rash
  • fever
  • joint pain
  • swelling and redness in the white part of the eye
  • hearing loss
  • amyloidosis (buildup of a protein called amyloid, which can cause weakness, dizziness, and other problems)

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)

Ilaris is approved to treat familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) in adults and children. This condition may run in families of Mediterranean descent. Symptoms of FMF may include:

  • fever
  • abdominal pain
  • chest pain
  • joint pain or swelling
  • skin rash
  • amyloidosis (buildup of a protein called amyloid, which can cause weakness, dizziness, and other problems)

Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)

Ilaris is approved to treat tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) in adults and children. This condition occurs due to a change in one gene that causes your body to have an overactive immune system. TRAPS can cause symptoms such as:

  • swelling of the eyes
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • skin rash
  • joint pain
  • swelling throughout your body, including in your mouth and digestive tract
  • amyloidosis (buildup of a protein called amyloid, which can cause weakness, dizziness, and other problems)
  • muscle pain
  • headache

Hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD)

Ilaris is approved to treat hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD) in adults and children. HIDS/MKD is a condition in which your immune system becomes overactive. Symptoms of HIDS/MKD may include:

  • fever
  • skin rash
  • joint swelling or pain
  • canker sores (sores in your mouth)
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • swollen lymph nodes

Effectiveness for periodic fever syndromes

Ilaris is an effective treatment option in adults and children with certain periodic fever syndromes.

Clinical trials have found Ilaris effective for treating CAPS, FMF, TRAPS, and MKD/HIDS in adults and children. To see how Ilaris performed in clinical trials, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Ilaris and children

Ilaris is approved to treat systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children ages 2 years and older. The drug is also approved to treat the following in children:

  • certain cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), which include:
    • familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS)
    • Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS)
  • familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)
  • tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)
  • hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD)

To learn more about these conditions, see the relevant dosage sections above. You can also talk with your child’s doctor.

Ilaris comes as a solution that a healthcare professional will give you as a subcutaneous injection. This is an injection given just under the skin. You’ll likely receive your doses of Ilaris in your doctor’s office. It’s possible that you’ll go to a hospital or clinic instead. In some cases, you may be able to receive your Ilaris doses from a healthcare professional who comes to your home.

Because you won’t inject Ilaris yourself, you will not need injection instructions. However, the healthcare professional will likely review the administration process with you before your injection, so you know what to expect. Administration refers to how a drug is given.

When it’s given

Depending on which condition Ilaris is treating, you’ll likely receive a dose of Ilaris once every 4 weeks or once every 8 weeks. You can talk with your doctor about your treatment plan.

To help make sure that you don’t miss an appointment for a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Ilaris.

Is Ilaris approved to treat lung cancer?

No, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Ilaris to treat lung cancer. However, clinical trials are researching whether Ilaris is a safe and effective treatment option for people with certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. For example, one trial is looking at the use of Ilaris alone. Another trial is researching the use of Ilaris in combination with other lung cancer treatment options.

If you have other questions about Ilaris or treatments for lung cancer, talk with your doctor.

Could my doctor prescribe Ilaris to treat my gout?

Ilaris is not FDA-approved to treat gout. In fact, the FDA rejected the medication for this use in 2011 due to the risk of side effects. However, a clinical trial showed that the drug may be an effective treatment option for certain people with gout. So your doctor may prescribe Ilaris for off-label use. Off-label use is when an FDA-approved drug is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Ilaris is approved to treat gout in Europe.

If you’re interested in receiving Ilaris to treat gout, talk with your doctor. They can recommend the best treatment plan for you.

How do Ilaris and Kineret compare?

Both Ilaris and anakinra (Kineret) belong to the same class of medications: interleukin-1 (IL-1) blockers. This means the medications work in similar ways. Ilaris and Kineret are approved to treat certain cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS).

CAPS are a type of periodic fever syndrome, which cause fevers off and on. There are three different CAPS:

  • familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS)
  • Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS)
  • neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID)

Ilaris is approved to treat FCAS and MWS in adults and children. Kineret is approved to treat NOMID in adults and children.

Ilaris is also approved to treat other periodic fever syndromes, as well as Still’s disease.* Kineret, on the other hand, is approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis and another condition called DIRA. This is short for deficiency of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. DIRA is a rare genetic (inherited) condition that causes inflammation throughout the body. DIRA can cause symptoms such as severe skin lesions and bone damage.

Both of these medications are given as subcutaneous injections. However, their side effects and dosing may differ.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ilaris or Kineret, talk with your doctor.

* To learn more about the uses of Ilaris, see the “Ilaris uses” section above.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Ilaris, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Alternatives for Still’s disease

Ilaris is used to treat Still’s disease, which includes adult-onset Still’s disease and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Examples of other drugs that may be for this purpose include:

Alternatives for cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS)

Ilaris is used to treat cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), which include familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS) and Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS). Examples of other drugs that may be used for this purpose include:

  • anakinra (Kineret)
  • rilonacept (Arcalyst)

Alternatives for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) include:

  • colchicine (Colcrys)
  • rilonacept (Arcalyst)
  • anakinra (Kineret)

Alternatives for tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) include:

Alternatives for hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD)

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome/mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD) include:

  • anakinra (Kineret)
  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • ibuprofen (Advil)
  • prednisone (Rayos)

There are no known interactions between Ilaris and alcohol. However, you may be at an increased risk of some side effects of Ilaris if you drink alcohol. For example, Ilaris may cause nausea, vomiting, or headache. Drinking alcohol can also cause these effects. So drinking alcohol during your treatment with Ilaris may increase the risk of these side effects occurring.

Talk with your doctor about how much alcohol, if any, is safe for you to drink during your treatment with Ilaris.

Ilaris can interact with several other medications. The drug is not known to interact with supplements or foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Ilaris and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Ilaris. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Ilaris.

Before taking Ilaris, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

There haven’t been any clinical trials to see what drugs Ilaris may interact with. So, at this time, there aren’t many known drug interactions. However, there are some medications to avoid during Ilaris treatment.

Types of drugs that can interact with Ilaris include:

Tumor necrosis factor blockers. Medications called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers may be used to treat conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or plaque psoriasis.

If you receive Ilaris and take a TNF blocker, the combination may increase your risk of infection or low blood cell levels. Although this interaction has not been studied in people receiving Ilaris, it has been reported in people taking medications in the same drug class as Ilaris. (Ilaris belongs to a class of drugs called interleukin-1 [IL-1] blockers.) Due to this risk, using Ilaris with a TNF blocker is not recommended. Examples of TNF blockers include:

Interleukin-1 blockers. IL-1 blockers may be used to treat conditions such as RA, cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), or pericarditis (swelling of the membrane around the heart). Ilaris is an IL-1 blocker, so taking another IL-1 blocker with Ilaris may increase your risk of side effects from the drugs. Due to this risk, using Ilaris with another IL-1 blocker is not recommended. Examples of other IL-1 blockers include:

  • anakinra (Kineret)
  • rilonacept (Arcalyst)

Warfarin. Warfarin (Jantoven) is a blood thinner that’s used to help prevent blood clots. The use of Ilaris and warfarin may change the level of warfarin in your body. Due to this risk, your doctor may monitor your blood during your Ilaris treatment to see if your warfarin dose is still working for you. In some cases, they may adjust your dose of warfarin.

Ilaris and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Ilaris. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products during Ilaris treatment.

Ilaris and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Ilaris. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Ilaris, talk with your doctor.

Ilaris and vaccines

Receiving live vaccines during Ilaris treatment is not recommended. Live vaccines contain small, weakened pieces of the live virus or bacterium they’re meant to protect against. If your immune system is healthy, live vaccines don’t usually cause infection.

Ilaris may weaken your immune system. This can make it harder for your body to fight off the virus or bacterium in the vaccine, which increases your risk of infection.

Examples of live vaccines that you should avoid during your treatment with Ilaris may include:

It’s important to talk with your doctor about any vaccines you may need before you start treatment with Ilaris.

Ilaris is approved to treat a type of inflammatory arthritis called Still’s disease.* The drug is also used to treat certain periodic fever conditions,* which cause fevers off and on.

These conditions produce inflammation throughout the body. To be specific, the conditions are caused by the increased activity of a protein called interleukin-1 (IL-1). The increased activity can lead to inflammation that causes symptoms such as fevers and swollen joints.

Ilaris works by attaching to IL-1. As a result, IL-1 can’t work to cause inflammation. This helps relieve symptoms of your condition.

* To learn more about these conditions, see the “Ilaris uses” section above.

How long does it take to work?

Ilaris begins to work in your body right after you receive your first dose. However, it may take time before you notice your symptoms ease. Talk with your doctor about how long it may take Ilaris to work to treat your specific condition.

It’s not known how Ilaris may affect pregnancy. At this time, there’s not enough information to determine whether Ilaris may harm a developing fetus.

However, Ilaris can pass through the placenta (an organ that grows in your womb while you’re pregnant). So the fetus would be exposed to the drug. Due to this exposure to Ilaris, it’s possible for the child to have a weakened immune system. If their immune system isn’t as strong as usual, they may be at risk of infection from live vaccines.* Due to this risk, it’s recommended to wait 4 to 12 months before giving live vaccines to children exposed to Ilaris in pregnancy. The timing is based on when the pregnant person last received a dose of Ilaris.

Animal studies did not show an increased risk of congenital anomalies (commonly known as birth defects) in children born to people who received Ilaris during pregnancy. However, some offspring had slower bone development than usual. It’s important to note that animal studies do not always predict what may happen in humans.

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can recommend the right treatment plan for you.

* Live vaccines usually do not cause infection in people with a healthy immune system. To learn more, see “Ilaris and vaccines” in the “Ilaris interactions” section above.

It’s not known if Ilaris is safe to receive during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs during your Ilaris treatment.

For more information about taking Ilaris during pregnancy, see the “Ilaris and pregnancy” section above.

It’s not known if Ilaris passes into breast milk or what effects the drug may have on a child who is breastfed. If you are breastfeeding or are thinking about it, talk with your doctor. They can review the benefits and risks of the medication with you.

You’ll receive your doses of Ilaris from a healthcare professional. So it’s unlikely that an overdose will occur.

However, the use of more Ilaris than what’s recommended may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.

What to do in case you take too much Ilaris

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

This drug comes with several precautions. Before taking Ilaris, talk with your doctor about your health history. Ilaris may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Infection. If you currently have symptoms of an infection, be sure to talk with your doctor before you start Ilaris treatment. The medication may weaken your immune system. This means your body might not be able to fight the infection as well as it should. Your doctor will likely treat your infection before you first receive Ilaris.
  • Tuberculosis. Before you start Ilaris treatment, your doctor will usually have you tested for tuberculosis (TB). If you currently have TB symptoms, the drug may worsen them. If you have had TB in the past, Ilaris can make the virus that causes TB active again. Your doctor may monitor you closely during your treatment with Ilaris. In some cases, they may be able to treat the TB before you receive Ilaris. In other situations, your doctor may recommend a different treatment option for you.
  • HIV or hepatitis. Before you start receiving Ilaris, tell your doctor if you have HIV or hepatitis. The medication can weaken your immune system, which may worsen HIV or hepatitis. If you have either condition, your doctor may monitor you more often during Ilaris treatment or recommend a different medication.
  • Vaccination. Getting live vaccines during Ilaris treatment is not recommended. (For details, see “Ilaris and vaccines” in the “Ilaris interactions” section above.) Your doctor can help determine if you need to get any vaccines before you start treatment.
  • Low white blood cell levels. If you have low levels of white blood cells, Ilaris may lower them further. Your doctor may monitor your levels more often while you receive Ilaris. In some cases, they may recommend a different treatment.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Ilaris or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Ilaris. Ask your doctor what other medications may be better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known how Ilaris may affect pregnancy. For more information, see the “Ilaris and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s not known if Ilaris passes into breast milk or what effects the drug may have on a child who is breastfed. For more information, see the “Ilaris and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Ilaris, see the “Ilaris side effects” section above.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.