If you have certain genetic conditions that cause inflammation throughout the body, you may benefit from Ilaris. This prescription medication is specifically licensed to treat certain cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes, including familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome and Muckle-Wells syndrome. It is also used to treat a certain type of juvenile arthritis. Ilaris is approved for use in adults and children as young as two years old.
What Is Ilaris Used For?Ilaris® (canakinumab) is a prescription injectable medication approved to treat people who have cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS). It is approved for use in adults and children as young as four years old. It is also approved to treat systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in children two years and older.
CAPS is a group of rare genetic syndromes that cause inflammation throughout the body. There are three conditions that make up CAPS. They primarily differ in the severity of symptoms. These conditions include:
- Familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS)
- Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS)
- Neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID).
People with CAPS have an inherited mutation in a gene that causes an autoinflammatory response. This means the immune system attacks the body's own tissues, leading to inflammation. The inflammation then causes the symptoms of the disease. Symptoms of CAPS can include but are not limited to:
- A rash
- Muscle and joint pain
- Eye inflammation, such as:
- Conjunctivitis (swelling of the membrane lining the eyelids or conjunctiva)
- Uveitis (swelling of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye).
FCAS is generally the least severe form of CAPS. Most people with FCAS live in the United States. Symptoms usually occur after exposure to cold temperatures, and can last as long as 24 hours.
MWS is generally more severe than FCAS. The symptoms are not usually related to exposure to cold temperature. In addition, the symptoms often occur more frequently and last longer than those of FCAS. In some cases, complications like hearing loss may occur.
NOMID is the most severe form of CAPS. As the name implies, the onset of the disease is around the time of birth. Symptoms can occur daily, often affect multiple organs and body systems, and usually lead to severe complications, such as:
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
- Joint damage
Ilaris is approved to treat FCAS and MWS. In clinical studies, the medication was shown to reduce the symptoms of these conditions when given once every eight weeks. It is unclear whether using Ilaris can prevent or reverse long-term complications of the disease, such as hearing loss.