April 29, 2017
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"Concerns that females with an autoimmune disease might be predisposed to develop a second autoimmune disorder if exposed to the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine are unfounded, because girls and women who receive the vaccine are slightly less l"...





Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Serious Infections

ILARIS has been associated with an increased risk of serious infections. Physicians should exercise caution when administering ILARIS to patients with infections, a history of recurring infections or underlying conditions which may predispose them to infections. ILARIS should not be administered to patients during an active infection requiring medical intervention. Administration of ILARIS should be discontinued if a patient develops a serious infection.

Infections, predominantly of the upper respiratory tract, in some instances serious, have been reported with ILARIS. Generally, the observed infections responded to standard therapy. Isolated cases of unusual or opportunistic infections (e.g., aspergillosis, atypical mycobacterial infections, cytomegalovirus, herpes zoster) were reported during ILARIS treatment. A causal relationship of ILARIS to these events cannot be excluded. In clinical trials, ILARIS has not been administered concomitantly with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. An increased incidence of serious infections has been associated with administration of another IL-1 blocker in combination with TNF inhibitors. Coadministration of ILARIS with TNF inhibitors is not recommended because this may increase the risk of serious infections [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Drugs that affect the immune system by blocking TNF have been associated with an increased risk of new tuberculosis and reactivation of latent tuberculosis (TB). It is possible that use of IL-1 inhibitors such as ILARIS increases the risk of reactivation of tuberculosis or of opportunistic infections.

Prior to initiating immunomodulatory therapies, including ILARIS, patients should be evaluated for active and latent tuberculosis infection. Appropriate screening tests should be performed in all patients. ILARIS has not been studied in patients with a positive tuberculosis screen, and the safety of ILARIS in individuals with latent tuberculosis infection is unknown. Patients testing positive in tuberculosis screening should be treated according to standard medical practice prior to therapy with ILARIS. All patients should be instructed to seek medical advice if signs, symptoms, or high risk exposure suggestive of tuberculosis (e.g., persistent cough, weight loss, subfebrile temperature) appear during or after ILARIS therapy.

Healthcare providers should follow current CDC guidelines both to evaluate for and to treat possible latent tuberculosis infections before initiating therapy with ILARIS.


The impact of treatment with anti-interleukin-1 (IL-1) therapy on the development of malignancies is not known. However, treatment with immunosuppressants, including ILARIS, may result in an increase in the risk of malignancies.


Hypersensitivity reactions have been reported with ILARIS therapy. During clinical trials, no anaphylactic reactions have been reported. It should be recognized that symptoms of the underlying disease being treated may be similar to symptoms of hypersensitivity. ILARIS should not be administered to any patients with known clinical hypersensitivity to ILARIS [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS].


Live vaccines should not be given concurrently with ILARIS [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Since no data are available on either the efficacy or on the risks of secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving ILARIS, live vaccines should not be given concurrently with ILARIS. In addition, because ILARIS may interfere with normal immune response to new antigens, vaccinations may not be effective in patients receiving ILARIS. Limited data are available on the response to vaccinations with inactivated (killed) antigens in patients receiving ILARIS [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Because IL-1 blockade may interfere with immune response to infections, it is recommended that prior to initiation of therapy with ILARIS, adult and pediatric patients receive all recommended vaccinations, as appropriate and if feasible, including pneumococcal vaccine and inactivated influenza vaccine. (See current recommended immunization schedules at the website of the Centers for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html).

Macrophage Activation Syndrome

Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) is a known, life-threatening disorder that may develop in patients with rheumatic conditions, in particular SJIA, and should be aggressively treated. Physicians should be attentive to symptoms of infection or worsening of SJIA, as these are known triggers for MAS. Eleven cases of MAS were observed in 201 SJIA patients treated with canakinumab in clinical trials. Based on the clinical trial experience, ILARIS does not appear to increase the incidence of MAS in SJIA patients, but no definitive conclusion can be made.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide)

Patients should be advised of the potential benefits and risks of ILARIS. Physicians should instruct their patients to read the Medication Guide before starting ILARIS therapy.

Drug Administration

Patients should be advised that healthcare providers should perform administration of ILARIS by the subcutaneous injection route.


Patients should be cautioned that ILARIS use has been associated with serious infections. Patients should be counseled to contact their healthcare professional immediately if they develop an infection after starting ILARIS. Treatment with ILARIS should be discontinued if a patient develops a serious infection. Patients should be counseled not to take any IL-1 blocking drug, including ILARIS, if they are also taking a drug that blocks TNF such as etanercept, infliximab, or adalimumab. Use of ILARIS with other IL-1 blocking agents, such as rilonacept and anakinra is not recommended. Patients should be cautioned not to receive ILARIS if they have a chronic or active infection, including HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.


Prior to initiation of therapy with ILARIS, physicians should review with adult and pediatric patients their vaccination history relative to current medical guidelines for vaccine use, including taking into account the potential of increased risk of infection during treatment with ILARIS.

Injection-site Reactions

Physicians should explain to patients that a very small number of patients in the clinical trials experienced a reaction at the subcutaneous injection-site. Injection-site reactions may include pain, erythema, swelling, pruritus, bruising, mass, inflammation, dermatitis, edema, urticaria, vesicles, warmth, and hemorrhage. Healthcare providers should be cautioned to avoid injecting into an area that is already swollen or red. Any persistent reaction should be brought to the attention of the prescribing physician.


Patients should be counseled to contact their healthcare provider immediately if they develop signs of allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, nausea, dizziness, skin rash, itching, hives, palpitations or low blood pressure.


Advise female patients of the potential risk to a fetus [see Use in Specific Populations].

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of canakinumab.

As canakinumab does not cross-react with rodent IL-1β, male and female fertility was evaluated in a mouse model using a murine analog of canakinumab. Male mice were treated weekly beginning 4 weeks prior to mating and continuing through 3 weeks after mating. Female mice were treated weekly for 2 weeks prior to mating through gestation day 3 or 4. The murine analog of canakinumab did not alter either male or female fertility parameters at subcutaneous doses up to 150 mg/kg.

Use In Specific Populations


Risk Summary

The limited human data from postmarketing reports on use of ILARIS in pregnant women are not sufficient to inform a drug-associated risk. Monoclonal antibodies, such as canakinumab, are transported across the placenta in a linear fashion as pregnancy progresses; therefore, potential fetal exposure is likely to be greater during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. In animal embryo-fetal development studies with marmoset monkeys, there was no evidence of embryotoxicity or fetal malformations with subcutaneous administration of canakinumab during the period of organogenesis and later in gestation at doses that produced exposures approximately 11 times the exposure at the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) and greater. Delays in fetal skeletal development were observed in marmoset monkeys following prenatal exposure to ILARIS at concentrations approximately 11 times the MRHD and greater. Similar delays in fetal skeletal development were observed in mice administered a murine analog of ILARIS during the period of organogenesis. Delays in skeletal ossification are changes from the expected ossification state in an otherwise normal structure/bone: these findings are generally reversible or transitory and not detrimental to postnatal survival [see Animal Data].

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population(s) are unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.


Animal Data

In embryo-fetal development studies, pregnant marmoset monkeys received canakinumab from gestation days 25 to 140 at doses that produced exposures approximately 11 times that achieved with MRHD and greater (on a plasma area under the curve (AUC) basis with maternal subcutaneous doses of 15, 50, or 150 mg/kg twice weekly). ILARIS did not elicit any evidence of embryotoxicity or fetal malformations. There were increases in the incidence of incomplete ossification of the terminal caudal vertebra and misaligned and/or bipartite vertebra in fetuses at all dose levels when compared to concurrent controls suggestive of delay in skeletal development in the marmoset. Since ILARIS does not cross-react with mouse or rat IL-1β, pregnant mice were subcutaneously administered a murine analog of ILARIS at doses of 15, 50, or 150 mg/kg during the period of organogenesis on gestation days 6, 11, and 17. The incidence of incomplete ossification of the parietal and frontal skull bones of fetuses was increased in a dose-dependent manner at all dose levels tested.


Risk Summary

There is no information regarding the presence of canakinumab in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. Human IgG is known to be present in human milk. The effects of canakinumab in breast milk and possible systemic exposure in the breastfed infant are unknown. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother's clinical need for ILARIS and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from canakinumab or from the underlying maternal condition.

Pediatric Use

The CAPS trials with ILARIS included a total of 23 pediatric patients with an age range from 4 years to 17 years (11 adolescents were treated subcutaneously with 150 mg, and 12 children were treated with 2 mg/kg based on body weight greater than or equal to 15 kg and less than or equal to 40 kg). The majority of patients achieved improvement in clinical symptoms and objective markers of inflammation (e.g., Serum Amyloid A and C-Reactive Protein). Overall, the efficacy and safety of ILARIS in pediatric and adult patients were comparable. Infections of the upper respiratory tract were the most frequently reported infection. The safety and effectiveness of ILARIS in CAPS patients under 4 years of age has not been established [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

The safety and efficacy of ILARIS in SJIA patients under 2 years of age have not been established [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

The TRAPS, HIDS/MKD, and FMF trial included a total of 102 pediatric patients (TRAPS, HIDS/MKD and FMF patients) with an age range from 2 to 17 years who received ILARIS. Overall, there were no clinically meaningful differences in the efficacy, safety and tolerability profile of ILARIS in pediatric patients compared to the overall TRAPS, HIDS/MKD, and FMF populations (comprised of adult and pediatric patients, N=169). The majority of pediatric patients achieved improvement in clinical symptoms and objective markers of inflammation.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of ILARIS did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.

Patients With Renal Impairment

No formal studies have been conducted to examine the pharmacokinetics of ILARIS administered subcutaneously in patients with renal impairment.

Patients With Hepatic Impairment

No formal studies have been conducted to examine the pharmacokinetics of ILARIS administered subcutaneously in patients with hepatic impairment.

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

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/3/2017


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