New Rx Authorized as COVID-19 Treatment

FDA issues authorization for Kineret (anakinra) to treat COVID-19

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a new drug to treat COVID-19.

This medication is found under the brand name Kineret and active ingredient anakinra.

Anakinra is currently on the market to treat several conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. 

This EUA is only for those:

  • In the hospital with COVID-19
  • With pneumonia
  • Needing oxygen
  • Who are at risk of severe respiratory failure (difficult to breathe on their own)
  • Who meet certain criteria

Anakinra belongs to a drug class called Interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor antagonists.

The reason why this is important with COVID-19 is that IL-1 is involved in inflammatory diseases and connected to the severe lung inflammation seen with COVID-19.

This medication is available as an injection that is administered under the fatty layer of the skin. It is injected daily for 10 days.

If you are allergic to E. coli-derived proteins, this medication is not a viable treatment option, according to the FDA. 

Common side effects of Kineret included elevated liver enzymes, injection-site reactions, low white blood cell count and rash.

This medication may decrease the ability to fight infection and, as a result, may increase the risk for serious infections. 

That's why it is important to tell your healthcare provider if it is normal for you to get infections, if you have an infection or if you think you may have any type of infection.

Also, this medication is not recommended to be given around the same time as a live vaccine. If you have received a live vaccine recently, tell your healthcare provider. 

It's important to note that an EUA is not the same as an FDA approval. The drug will continue to be evaluated.

This authorization is granted to Sobi, Inc.