May 25, 2017
Recommended Topic Related To:


"Adalimumab added to methotrexate (MTX) significantly delayed treatment failure in patients with uveitis associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and reduced the treatment failure rate at 18 months by more than half, a new study has fou"...



Side Effects


Six serious adverse reactions were reported by four patients during the clinical program. These serious adverse reactions were Mycobacterium intracellulare infection; gastrointestinal bleeding and colitis; sinusitis and bronchitis; and Streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis [see Malignancies].

The most commonly reported adverse reaction associated with ARCALYST was injection-site reaction (ISR) [see Injection-Site Reactions]. The next most commonly reported adverse reaction was upper respiratory infection [see Malignancies].

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The data described herein reflect exposure to ARCALYST in 600 patients, including 85 exposed for at least 6 months and 65 exposed for at least one year. These included patients with CAPS, patients with other diseases, and healthy volunteers. Approximately 60 patients with CAPS have been treated weeklywith 160 mg of ARCALYST. The pivotal trial population included 47 patients with CAPS. These patients were between the ages of 22 and 78 years (average 51 years). Thirty-one patients were female and 16 were male. All of the patients were White/Caucasian. Six pediatric patients (12-17 years) were enrolled directly into the open-label extension phase.

Clinical Trial Experience

Part A of the clinical trial was conducted in patients with CAPS who were na´ve to treatment with ARCALYST. Part A of the study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, six-week study comparing ARCALYST to placebo [see Clinical Studies]. Table 1 reflects the frequency of adverse events reported by at least two patients during Part A.

Table 1: Most Frequent Adverse Reactions (Part A, Reported by at Least Two Patients )

Adverse Event ARCALYST 160 mg
(n = 23)
(n= 24)
Any AE 17 (74%) 13 (54%)
Injection-site reactions 11 (48%) 3 (13%)
Upper respiratory tract infection 6 (26%) 1 (4%)
Nausea 1 (4%) 3 (13%)
Diarrhea 1 (4%) 3 (13%)
Sinusitis 2 (9%) 1 (4%)
Abdominal pain upper 0 2 (8%)
Cough 2 (9%) 0
Hypoesthesia 2 (9%) 0
Stomach discomfort 1 (4%) 1 (4%)
Urinary tract infection 1 (4%) 1 (4%)

Injection-Site Reactions

In patients with CAPS, the most common and consistently reported adverse event associated with ARCALYST was injection-site reaction (ISR). The ISRs included erythema, swelling, pruritus, mass, bruising, inflammation, pain, edema, dermatitis, discomfort, urticaria, vesicles, warmth and hemorrhage. Most injection-site reactions lasted for one to two days. No ISRs were assessed as severe, and no patient discontinued study participation due to an ISR.


During Part A, the incidence of patients reporting infections was greater with ARCALYST (48%) than with placebo (17%). In Part B, randomized withdrawal, the incidence of infections were similar in the ARCALYST (18%) and the placebo patients (22%). Part A of the trial was initiated in the winter months, while Part B was predominantly performed in the summer months.

In placebo-controlled studies across a variety of patient populations encompassing 360 patients treated with rilonacept and 179 treated with placebo, the incidence of infections was 34% and 27% (2.15 per patient-exposure year and 1.81 per patient-exposure year), respectively, for rilonacept and placebo.

Serious Infections: One patient receiving ARCALYST for an unapproved indication in another study developed an infection in his olecranon bursa with Mycobacterium intracellulare. The patient was on chronic glucocorticoid treatment. The infection occurred after an intraarticular glucocorticoid injection into the bursa with subsequent local exposure to a suspected source of mycobacteria. The patient recovered after the administration of the appropriate antimicrobial therapy. One patient treated for another unapproved indication developed bronchitis/sinusitis, which resulted in hospitalization. One patient died in an open-label study of CAPS from Streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis.



Hematologic Events

One patient in a study in an unapproved indication developed transient neutropenia (ANC < 1 x 109/L) after receiving a large dose (2000 mg intravenously) of ARCALYST. The patient did not experience any infection associated with the neutropenia.


Antibodies directed against the receptor domains of rilonacept were detected by an ELISA assay in patients with CAPS after treatment with ARCALYST. Nineteen of 55 patients (35%) who had received ARCALYST for at least 6 weeks tested positive for treatment-emergent binding antibodies on at least one occasion. Of the 19, seven tested positive at the last assessment (Week 18 or 24 of the open-label extension period), and five patients tested positive for neutralizing antibodies on at least one occasion. There was no correlation of antibody activity and either clinical effectiveness or safety.

The data reflect the percentage of patients whose test results were positive for antibodies to the rilonacept receptor domains in specific assays, and are highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assays. The observed incidence of antibody (including neutralizing antibody) positivity in an assay is highly dependent on several factors including assay sensitivity and specificity, assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to rilonacept with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.

Lipid Profiles

Cholesterol and lipid levels may be reduced in patients with chronic inflammation. Patients with CAPS treated with ARCALYST experienced increases in their mean total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. The mean increases from baseline for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides were 19 mg/dL, 2 mg/dL, 10 mg/dL, and 57 mg/dL respectively after 6 weeks of open-label therapy. Physicians should monitor the lipid profiles of their patients (for example after 2-3 months) and consider lipid-lowering therapies as needed based upon cardiovascular risk factors and current guidelines.

Read the Arcalyst (rilonacept) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


TNF-Blocking Agent And IL-1 Blocking Agent

Specific drug interaction studies have not been conducted with ARCALYST. Concomitant administration of another drug that blocks IL-1 with a TNF-blocking agent in another patient population has been associated with an increased risk of serious infections and an increased risk of neutropenia. The concomitant administration of ARCALYST with TNF-blocking agents may also result in similar toxicities and is not recommended [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. The concomitant administration of ARCALYST with other drugs that block IL-1 has not been studied. Based upon the potential for pharmacologic interactions between rilonacept and a recombinant IL-1ra, concomitant administration of ARCALYST and other agents that block IL-1 or its receptors is not recommended.

Cytochrome P450 Substrates

The formation of CYP450 enzymes is suppressed by increased levels of cytokines (e.g., IL-1) during chronic inflammation. Thus it is expected that for a molecule that binds to IL-1, such as rilonacept, the formation of CYP450 enzymes could be normalized. This is clinically relevant for CYP450 substrates with a narrow therapeutic index, where the dose is individually adjusted (e.g., warfarin). Upon initiation of ARCALYST, in patients being treated with these types of medicinal products, therapeutic monitoring of the effect or drug concentration should be performed and the individual dose of the medicinal product may need to be adjusted as needed.

Read the Arcalyst Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/28/2016

Side Effects

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Related Drugs
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations