Diseases Home > Ilaris

Available by prescription only, Ilaris is a medicine used to treat certain genetic autoinflammatory conditions, as well as a certain type of arthritis. It comes in the form of an injection that is given just under the skin. This medicine works by blocking the action of a certain protein that causes inflammation in the body. Side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, and headaches.

What Is Ilaris?

Ilaris® (canakinumab) is a prescription medication approved to treat the following conditions:
  • Rare genetic autoinflammatory conditions known as cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), such as:
    • Familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS)
    • Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS)
  • Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA).
It belongs to a group of medicines known as monoclonal antibodies.
(Click Ilaris Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Ilaris is manufactured by Novartis Pharma Stein AG for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

How Does Ilaris Work?

Ilaris is a manufactured antibody (a protein normally produced by the immune system). It works by blocking the actions of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), a protein that causes inflammation in the body. People with CAPS or SJIA have increased levels of IL-1β. By blocking its action, Ilaris reduces the inflammation and symptoms associated with CAPS or SJIA.

Clinical Effects

In a clinical study, Ilaris was shown to reduce symptoms of CAPS. In the study, 97 percent of people had minimal symptoms or improved symptoms after eight weeks of treatment. No one in the study experienced a flare-up of symptoms over eight months of treatment.
In clinical studies of Ilaris for SJIA, children or adolescents given Ilaris had symptom reduction, as well as a better chance to decrease or eliminate their corticosteroids, compared to a placebo (an injection with no active ingredients). 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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