August 27, 2016
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Ilaris Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 3/21/2016

Ilaris (canakinumab) Subcutaneous Injection is a monoclonal antibody that reduces the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation used to treat rare genetic conditions such as Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndrome (FCAS) and Muckle-Wells Syndrome (MWS) in adults and children who are at least 4 years old. Common side effects of Ilaris include:

  • injection site reactions (redness, itching, pain, warmth, or swelling)
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • joint or muscle pain, or
  • weight gain

The recommended dose of Ilaris varies and depends on the condition being treated. Ilaris may interact with adalimumab, certolizumab, cyclosporine, digoxin, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, blood thinners, sirolimus or tacrolimus, theophylline, seizure medications, or heart rhythm medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, should be used only if prescribed. It is unknown if Ilaris passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Ilaris (canakinumab) Subcutaneous Injection Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Ilaris in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, unusual weakness;
  • cough with yellow or green mucus;
  • stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath; or
  • severe dizziness or spinning sensation.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • runny or stuffy nose;
  • diarrhea, mild nausea;
  • headache;
  • joint or muscle pain;
  • mild dizziness; or
  • weight gain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Ilaris (Canakinumab Injection)

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Ilaris Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: Redness, itching, pain, warmth, or swelling at the injection site may occur. Dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, or headache may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

This medication can affect your immune system. It can lower your body's ability to fight an infection. You may be more likely to get serious infections, such as pneumonia, bone/joint infections, skin infections, or sinusitis. It may also be harder to fight an infection you already have. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any signs of an infection, such as fever/chills, cough, or cold/flu symptoms.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Ilaris (Canakinumab Injection)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Ilaris FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


Three hundred ninety-five patients, including approximately 250 children (aged 2 to 17 years) have been treated with ILARIS in interventional trials in CAPS or SJIA. The most frequently reported adverse drug reactions were infections predominantly of the upper respiratory tract. The majority of the events were mild to moderate although serious infections were observed. The type and frequency of adverse drug reactions appeared to be consistent over time.

Opportunistic infections have also been reported in patients treated with ILARIS [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Clinical Trial Experience

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.

Treatment Of CAPS

The data described herein reflect exposure to ILARIS in 104 adult and pediatric CAPS patients, including 20 FCAS, 72 MWS, 10 MWS/NOMID (Neonatal Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder) overlap, 1 non-FCAS non-MWS, and 1 misdiagnosed in placebo-controlled (35 patients) and uncontrolled trials. Sixty-two patients were exposed to ILARIS for at least 6 months, 56 for at least 1 year, and 4 for at least 3 years. A total of 9 serious adverse reactions were reported for CAPS patients. Among these were vertigo (2 patients), infections (3 patients), including intra-abdominal abscess following appendectomy (1 patient). The most commonly reported adverse reactions associated with ILARIS treatment in the CAPS patients were nasopharyngitis, diarrhea, influenza, headache, and nausea. One patient discontinued treatment due to potential infection.

CAPS Study 1 investigated the safety of ILARIS in an 8-week, open-label period (Part 1), followed by a 24-week, randomized withdrawal period (Part 2), followed by a 16-week, open-label period (Part 3). All patients were treated with ILARIS 150 mg subcutaneously or 2 mg/kg if body weight was greater than or equal to 15 kg and less than or equal to 40 kg (see Table 1).

Since all CAPS patients received ILARIS in Part 1, there are no controlled data on adverse events (AEs). Data in Table 1 are for all AEs for all CAPS patients receiving canakinumab. In CAPS Study 1, no pattern was observed for any type or frequency of adverse events throughout the three study periods.

Table 1 : Number (%) of Patients with AEs by Preferred Terms, in > 10% of Patients in Parts 1 to 3 of the Phase 3 Trial for CAPS Patients

Preferred Term ILARIS
n (%)
n % of Patients with Adverse Events 35 (100)
Nasopharyngitis 12 (34)
Diarrhea 7 (20)
Influenza 6 (17)
Rhinitis 6 (17)
Nausea 5 (14)
Headache 5 (14)
Bronchitis 4 (11)
Gastroenteritis 4 (11)
Pharyngitis 4 (11)
Weight increased 4 (11)
Musculoskeletal pain 4 (11)
Vertigo 4 (11)


Vertigo has been reported in 9% to 14% of patients in CAPS studies, exclusively in MWS patients, and reported as a serious adverse event in two cases. All events resolved with continued treatment with ILARIS.

Injection Site Reactions

In CAPS Study 1, subcutaneous injection site reactions were observed in 9% of patients in Part 1 with mild tolerability reactions; in Part 2, one patient each (7%) had a mild or a moderate tolerability reaction and, in Part 3, one patient had a mild local tolerability reaction. No severe injection-site reactions were reported and none led to discontinuation of treatment.

Treatment Of SJIA

A total of 201 SJIA patients aged 2 to less than 20 years have received ILARIS in clinical trials. The safety of ILARIS compared to placebo was investigated in two phase 3 studies [see Clinical Studies]. Patients in SJIA Study 1 received a single dose of ILARIS 4 mg/kg (n=43) or placebo (n=41) via subcutaneous injection and were assessed at Day 15 for the efficacy endpoints and had a safety analysis up to Day 29. SJIA Study 2 was a two-part study with an open-label, single-arm active treatment period (Part I) followed by a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, event-driven withdrawal design (Part II). Overall, 177 patients were enrolled into the study and received ILARIS 4 mg/kg (up to 300 mg maximum) in Part I, and 100 patients received ILARIS 4 mg/kg (up to 300 mg maximum) every 4 weeks or placebo in Part II. Adverse drug reactions listed in Table 2 showed higher rates than placebo from both trials. The adverse drug reactions associated with ILARIS treatment in SJIA patients were infections, abdominal pain, and injection site reactions. Serious infections (e.g., pneumonia, varicella, gastroenteritis, measles, sepsis, otitis media, sinusitis, adenovirus, lymph node abscess, pharyngitis) were observed in approximately 4% to 5% (0.02 to 0.17 per 100 patient-days) of patients receiving ILARIS in both studies.

Adverse reactions are listed according to MedDRA version 15.0 system organ class.

Table 2 : Tabulated Summary of Adverse Drug Reactions from Pivotal SJIA Clinical Trials

  SJIA Study 2 SJIA Study 1
Part I Part II
n (%) (IR)^
n (%) (IR)
n (%) (IR)
n (%) (IR)
n (%) (IR)
Infections and infestations
All Infections (e.g., nasopharyngitis, (viral) upper respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, rhinitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, urinary tract infection, gastroenteritis, viral infection) 97 (54.8%) (0.91) 27 (54%) (0.59) 19 (38%) (0.63) 13 (30.2%) (1.26) 5 (12.2%) (1.37)
Gastrointestinal disorders
Abdominal pain (upper) 25 (14.1%) (0.16) 8 (16%) (0.15) 6 (12%) (0.08) 3 (7%) (0.25) 1 (2.4%) (0.23)
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Injection site reaction*
  mild 19 (10.7%) 6 (12.0%) 2 (4.0%) 0 3 (7.3%)
  moderate 2 (1.1%) 1 (2.0%) 0 0 0
n= number of patients
^ IR=Exposure adjusted incidence rate per 100 patient-days
* No injection site reaction led to study discontinuation


During clinical trials, no anaphylactic reactions have been reported. In CAPS trials one patient discontinued and in SJIA trials no patients discontinued due to hypersensitivity reactions. ILARIS should not be administered to any patients with known clinical hypersensitivity to ILARIS [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].


A biosensor binding assay or a bridging immunoassay was used to detect antibodies directed against canakinumab in patients who received ILARIS. Antibodies against ILARIS were observed in approximately 1.5% and 3.1% of the patients treated with ILARIS for CAPS and SJIA, respectively. No neutralizing antibodies were detected. No apparent correlation of antibody development to clinical response or adverse events was observed. The CAPS clinical studies employed the biosensor binding assay, and most of the SJIA clinical studies employed the bridging assay. The data obtained in an assay are highly dependent on several factors including assay sensitivity and specificity, assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, underlying disease, and the number of patients tested. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to canakinumab between the CAPS and SJIA clinical studies or with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.

Laboratory Findings


During clinical trials with ILARIS, mean values decreased for white blood cells, neutrophils and platelets.

In the randomized, placebo-controlled portion of SJIA Study 2 decreased white blood cell counts (WBC) less than or equal to 0.8 times lower limit of normal (LLN) were reported in 5 patients (10.4%) in the ILARIS group compared to 2 (4.0%) in the placebo group. Transient decreases in absolute neutrophil count (ANC) to less than 1x109/L were reported in 3 patients (6.0%) in the ILARIS group compared to 1 patient (2.0%) in the placebo group. One case of ANC less than 0.5x109/L was observed in the ILARIS group and none in the placebo group.

Mild (less than LLN and greater than 75x109/L) and transient decreases in platelet counts were observed in 3 (6.3%) ILARIS-treated patients versus 1 (2.0%) placebo-treated patient.

Hepatic Transaminases

Elevations of transaminases have been observed in patients treated with ILARIS.

In the randomized, placebo-controlled portion of SJIA Study 2, high ALT and/or AST greater than or equal to 3 times upper limit of normal (ULN) were reported in 2 (4.1%) ILARIS-treated patients and 1 (2.0%) placebo patient. All patients had normal values at the next visit.


Asymptomatic and mild elevations of serum bilirubin have been observed in patients treated with ILARIS without concomitant elevations of transaminases.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Ilaris (Canakinumab Injection)

Ilaris - User Reviews

Ilaris User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Ilaris sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


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