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Rilonacept is an interleukin-1 blocker that is FDA approved for the treatment of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), including familial cold auto-inflammatory syndrome (FCAS) and muckle-wells syndrome (MWS) in adults and children 12 and older. Common adverse reactions include injection-site reactions and upper respiratory tract infections.
Adult Indications and Dosage
FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Adult)
Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS)
- Treatment should be initiated with a loading dose of 320 mg delivered as two, 2 mL, subcutaneous injections of 160 mg each given on the same day at two different sites. Dosing should be continued with a once-weekly injection of 160 mg administered as a single, 2-mL, subcutaneous injection. ARCALYST should not be given more often than once weekly. Dosage modification is not required based on advanced age or gender.
Off-Label Use and Dosage (Adult)
There is limited information regarding Off-Label Guideline-Supported Use of Rilonacept in adult patients.
Gouty arthritis, acute, During initiation of urate-lowering therapy; Prophylaxis
- Rilonacept 80 mg subQ once weekly with a 160-mg loading dose for 16 weeks.
Pediatric Indications and Dosage
FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Pediatric)
Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS)
- Treatment should be initiated with a loading dose of 4.4 mg/kg, up to a maximum of 320 mg, delivered as one or two subcutaneous injections with a maximum single-injection volume of 2 mL. Dosing should be continued with a once-weekly injection of 2.2 mg/kg, up to a maximum of 160 mg, administered as a single subcutaneous injection, up to 2 mL. If the initial dose is given as two injections, they should be given on the same day at two different sites. ARCALYST should not be given more often than once weekly.
Off-Label Use and Dosage (Pediatric)
There is limited information regarding Off-Label Guideline-Supported Use of Rilonacept in pediatric patients.
There is limited information regarding Off-Label Non–Guideline-Supported Use of Rilonacept in pediatric patients.
- Interleukin -1 (IL-1) blockade may interfere with the immune response to infections. Treatment with another medication that works through inhibition of IL-1 has been associated with an increased risk of serious infections, and serious infections have been reported in patients taking ARCALYST. There was a greater incidence of infections in patients on ARCALYST compared with placebo. In the controlled portion of the study, one infection was reported as severe, which was bronchitis in a patient on ARCALYST.
- In an open-label extension study, one patient developed bacterial meningitis and died. ARCALYST should be discontinued if a patient develops a serious infection. Treatment with ARCALYST should not be initiated in patients with an active or chronic infection.
- In clinical studies, ARCALYST has not been administered concomitantly with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. An increased incidence of serious infections has been associated with administration of an IL-1 blocker in combination with TNF inhibitors. Taking ARCALYST with TNF inhibitors is not recommended because this may increase the risk of serious infections.
- Drugs that affect the immune system by blocking TNF have been associated with an increased risk of reactivation of latent tuberculosis (TB). It is possible that taking drugs such as ARCALYST that block IL-1 increases the risk of TB or other atypical or opportunistic infections. Healthcare providers should follow current CDC guidelines both to evaluate for and to treat possible latent tuberculosis infections before initiating therapy with ARCALYST.
- Since no data are available on either the efficacy of live vaccines or on the risks of secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving ARCALYST, live vaccines should not be given concurrently with ARCALYST. In addition, because ARCALYST may interfere with normal immune response to new antigens, vaccinations may not be effective in patients receiving ARCALYST. No data are available on the effectiveness of vaccination with inactivated (killed) antigens in patients receiving ARCALYST.
- Because IL-1 blockade may interfere with immune response to infections, it is recommended that prior to initiation of therapy with ARCALYST adult and pediatric patients receive all recommended vaccinations, as appropriate, including pneumococcal vaccine and inactivated influenza vaccine.
- Lipid Profile Changes
- Patients should be monitored for changes in their lipid profiles and provided with medical treatment if warranted.
- Hypersensitivity reactions associated with ARCALYST administration in the clinical studies were rare. If a hypersensitivity reaction occurs, administration of ARCALYST should be discontinued and appropriate therapy initiated.
Clinical Trials Experience
- Part A of the clinical trial was conducted in patients with CAPS who were naïve to treatment with ARCALYST. Part A of the study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, six-week study comparing ARCALYST to placebo. Table 1 reflects the frequency of adverse events reported by at least two patients during Part A.
- 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, pruritis, 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
- 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.
There is limited information regarding Postmarketing Experience of Rilonacept in the drug label.
- 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. 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.
Use in Specific Populations
- Pregnancy Category C
- There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of ARCALYST in pregnant women. Based on animal data, ARCALYST may cause fetal harm. An embryo-fetal developmental toxicity study was performed in cynomolgus monkeys treated with 0, 5, 15 or 30 mg/kg given twice a week (highest dose is approximately 3.7-fold higher than the human doses of 160 mg based on body surface area). The fetus of the only monkey with exposure to rilonacept during the later period of gestation showed multiple fusion and absence of the ribs and thoracic vertebral bodies and arches. Exposure to rilonacept during this time period was below that expected clinically. Likewise, in the cynomolgus monkey, all doses of rilonacept reduced serum levels of estradiol up to 64% compared to controls and increased the incidence of lumbar ribs compared to both control animals and historical control incidences. In perinatal and postnatal developmental toxicology studies in the mouse model using a murine analog of rilonacept (0, 20, 100 or 200 mg/kg), there was a 3-fold increase in the number of stillbirths in dams treated with 200 mg/kg three times per week (the highest dose is approximately 6-fold higher than the 160 mg maintenance dose based on body surface area). ARCALYST should be used during pregnancy only if the benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
- Nonteratogenic effects. A peri- and post-natal reproductive toxicology study was performed in which mice were subcutaneously administered a murine analogue of rilonacept at doses of 20, 100, 200 mg/kg three times per week (the highest dose is approximately 6-fold higher than the 160 mg maintenance dose based on body surface area). Results indicated an increased incidence in unscheduled deaths of the F1 offspring during maturation at all doses tested.
- Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) Pregnancy Category
There is no Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) guidance on usage of Rilonacept in women who are pregnant.
Labor and Delivery
There is no FDA guidance on use of Rilonacept during labor and delivery.
- It is not known whether rilonacept is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when ARCALYST is administered to a nursing woman.
- Six pediatric patients with CAPS between the ages of 12 and 16 were treated with ARCALYST at a weekly, subcutaneous dose of 2.2 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 160 mg) for 24-weeks during the open-label extension phase. These patients showed improvement from baseline in their symptom scores and in objective markers of inflammation (e.g. Serum Amyloid A and C-Reactive Protein). The adverse events included injection site reactions and upper respiratory symptoms as were commonly seen in the adult patients.
- The trough drug levels for four pediatric patients measured at the end of the weekly dose interval (mean 20 mcg/mL, range 3.6 to 33 mcg/mL) were similar to those observed in adult patients with CAPS (mean 24 mcg/mL, range 7 to 56 mcg/mL).
- Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 12 have not been established.
- When administered to pregnant primates, rilonacept treatment may have contributed to alterations in bone ossification in the fetus. It is not known if ARCALYST will alter bone development in pediatric patients. Pediatric patients treated with ARCALYST should undergo appropriate monitoring for growth and development.
- In the placebo-controlled clinical studies in patients with CAPS and other indications, 70 patients randomized to treatment with ARCALYST were ≥ 65 years of age, and 6 were ≥ 75 years of age. In the CAPS clinical trial, efficacy, safety and tolerability were generally similar in elderly patients as compared to younger adults; however, only ten patients ≥ 65 years old participated in the trial. In an open-label extension study of CAPS, a 71 year old woman developed bacterial meningitis and died. Age did not appear to have a significant effect on steady-state trough concentrations in the clinical study.
There is no FDA guidance on the use of Rilonacept with respect to specific gender populations.
There is no FDA guidance on the use of Rilonacept with respect to specific racial populations.
- No formal studies have been conducted to examine the pharmacokinetics of rilonacept administered subcutaneously in patients with renal impairment.
- No formal studies have been conducted to examine the pharmacokinetics of rilonacept administered subcutaneously in patients with hepatic impairment.
Females of Reproductive Potential and Males
There is no FDA guidance on the use of Rilonacept in women of reproductive potentials and males.
There is no FDA guidance one the use of Rilonacept in patients who are immunocompromised.
Administration and Monitoring
There is limited information regarding Monitoring of Rilonacept in the drug label.
There is limited information regarding IV Compatibility of Rilonacept in the drug label.
Signs and Symptoms
- There have been no reports of overdose with ARCALYST. Maximum weekly doses of up to 320 mg have been administered subcutaneously for up to approximately 18 months in a small number of patients with CAPS and up to 6 months in patients with an unapproved indication in clinical trials without evidence of dose-limiting toxicities. In addition, ARCALYST given intravenously at doses up to 2000 mg monthly in another patient population for up to six months were tolerated without dose-limiting toxicities. The maximum amount of ARCALYST that can be safely administered has not been determined.
- In case of overdose, it is recommended that the patient be monitored for any signs or symptoms of adverse reactions or effects, and appropriate symptomatic treatment instituted immediately.
There is limited information regarding Chronic Overdose of Rilonacept in the drug label.
|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
Mechanism of Action
- CAPS refer to rare genetic syndromes generally caused by mutations in the NLRP-3 [Nucleotide-binding domain, leucine rich family (NLR), pyrin domain containing 3] gene (also known as Cold-Induced Auto-inflammatory Syndrome-1 [CIAS1]). CAPS disorders are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern with male and female offspring equally affected. Features common to all disorders include fever, urticaria-like rash, arthralgia, myalgia, fatigue, and conjunctivitis.
- In most cases, inflammation in CAPS is associated with mutations in the NLRP-3 gene which encodes the protein cryopyrin, an important component of the inflammasome. Cryopyrin regulates the protease caspase-1 and controls the activation of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). Mutations in NLRP-3 result in an overactive inflammasome resulting in excessive release of activated IL-1β that drives inflammation.
- Rilonacept blocks IL-1β signaling by acting as a soluble decoy receptor that binds IL-1β and prevents its interaction with cell surface receptors. Rilonacept also binds IL-1α and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) with reduced affinity. The equilibrium dissociation constants for rilonacept binding to IL-1β, IL-1α and IL-1ra were 0.5 pM, 1.4 pM and 6.1 pM, respectively.
- Rilonacept is a dimeric fusion protein consisting of the ligand-binding domains of the extracellular portions of the human interleukin-1 receptor component (IL-1RI) and IL-1 receptor accessory protein (IL-1RAcP) linked in-line to the Fc portion of human IgG1. Rilonacept has a molecular weight of approximately 251 kDa. Rilonacept is expressed in recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells.
- ARCALYST is supplied in single-use, 20-mL glass vials containing a sterile, white to off-white, lyophilized powder. Each vial of ARCALYST is to be reconstituted with 2.3 mL of Sterile Water for Injection. A volume of up to 2 mL can be withdrawn, which is designed to deliver 160 mg for subcutaneous administration only. The resulting solution is viscous, clear, colorless to pale yellow, and essentially free from particulates. Each vial contains 220 mg rilonacept. After reconstitution, each vial contains 80 mg/mL rilonacept, 46 mM histidine, 50 mM arginine, 3.0% (w/v) polyethylene glycol 3350, 2.0% (w/v) sucrose, and 1.0% (w/v) glycine at a pH of 6.5 ± 0.3. No preservatives are present.
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and Serum Amyloid A (SAA) are indicators of inflammatory disease activity that are elevated in patients with CAPS. Elevated SAA has been associated with the development of systemic amyloidosis in patients with CAPS. Compared to placebo, treatment with ARCALYST resulted in sustained reductions from baseline in mean serum CRP and SAA to normal levels during the clinical trial. ARCALYST also normalized mean SAA from elevated levels.
- The average trough levels of rilonacept were approximately 24 mcg/mL at steady-state following weekly subcutaneous doses of 160 mg for up to 48 weeks in patients with CAPS. The steady-state appeared to be reached by 6 weeks.
- No pharmacokinetic data are available in patients with hepatic or renal impairment.
- No study was conducted to evaluate the effect of age, gender, or body weight on rilonacept exposure. Based on limited data obtained from the clinical study, steady state trough concentrations were similar between male and female patients. Age (26-78 years old) and body weight (50-120 kg) did not appear to have a significant effect on trough rilonacept concentrations. The effect of race could not be assessed because only Caucasian patients participated in the clinical study, reflecting the epidemiology of the disease.
- Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of rilonacept. The mutagenic potential of rilonacept was not evaluated.
- Male and female fertility was evaluated in a mouse surrogate model using a murine analog of rilonacept. Male mice were treated beginning 8 weeks prior to mating and continuing through female gestation day 15. Female mice were treated for 2 weeks prior to mating and on gestation days 0, 3, and 6. The murine analog of rilonacept did not alter either male or female fertility parameters at doses up to 200 mg/kg (this dose is approximately 6-fold higher than the 160 mg maintenance dose based on body surface area).
- The safety and efficacy of ARCALYST for the treatment of CAPS was demonstrated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with two parts (A and B) conducted sequentially in the same patients with FCAS and MWS.
- Part A was a 6-week, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group period comparing ARCALYST at a dose of 160 mg weekly after an initial loading dose of 320 mg to placebo. Part B followed immediately after Part A and consisted of a 9-week, patient-blind period during which all patients received ARCALYST 160 mg weekly, followed by a 9-week, double-blind, randomized withdrawal period in which patients were randomly assigned to either remain on ARCALYST 160 mg weekly or to receive placebo. Patients were then given the option to enroll in a 24-week, open-label treatment extension phase in which all patients were treated with ARCALYST 160 mg weekly.
- Using a daily diary questionnaire, patients rated the following five signs and symptoms of CAPS: joint pain, rash, feeling of fever/chills, eye redness/pain, and fatigue, each on a scale of 0 (none, no severity) to 10 (very severe). The study evaluated the mean symptom score using the change from baseline to the end of treatment.
- The changes in mean symptom scores for the randomized parallel-group period (Part A) and the randomized withdrawal period (Part B) of the study are shown in Table 2. ARCALYST-treated patients had a larger reduction in the mean symptom score in Part A compared to placebo-treated patients. In Part B, mean symptom scores increased more in patients withdrawn to placebo compared to patients who remained on ARCALYST.
- Improvement in symptom scores was noted within several days of initiation of ARCALYST therapy in most patients.
- In Part A, patients treated with ARCALYST experienced more improvement in each of the five components of the composite endpoint (joint pain, rash, feeling of fever/chills, eye redness/pain, and fatigue) than placebo-treated patients.
- In Part A, a higher proportion of patients in the ARCALYST group experienced improvement from baseline in the composite score by at least 30% (96% vs. 29% of patients), by at least 50% (87% vs. 8%) and by at least 75% (70% vs. 0%) compared to the placebo group.
- Serum Amyloid A (SAA) and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels are acute phase reactants that are typically elevated in patients with CAPS with active disease. During Part A, mean levels of CRP decreased versus baseline for the ARCALYST treated patients, while there was no change for those on placebo (Table 3). ARCALYST also led to a decrease in SAA versus baseline to levels within the normal range.
- During the open-label extension, reductions in mean symptom scores, serum CRP, and serum SAA levels were maintained for up to one year.
- Each 20-mL glass vial of ARCALYST contains a sterile, white to off-white, preservative-free, lyophilized powder. ARCALYST is supplied in a carton containing four vials (NDC 61755-001-01).
- The lyophilized ARCALYST product is to be stored refrigerated at 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) inside the original carton to protect from light. Do not use beyond the date stamped on the label. After reconstitution, ARCALYST may be kept at room temperature, should be kept from light, and should be used within three hours of reconstitution. ARCALYST does not contain preservatives; therefore, unused portions of ARCALYST should be discarded. Discard the vial after a single withdrawal of drug.
There is limited information regarding Rilonacept Storage in the drug label.
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Patient Counseling Information
- The first injection of ARCALYST should be performed under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. If a patient or caregiver is to administer ARCALYST, he/she should be instructed on aseptic reconstitution of the lyophilized product and injection technique. The ability to inject subcutaneously should be assessed to ensure proper administration of ARCALYST, including rotation of injection sites. (See Patient Information Leaflet for ARCALYST®). ARCALYST should be reconstituted with preservative-free Sterile Water for Injection to be provided by the pharmacy. A puncture-resistant container for disposal of vials, needles and syringes should be used. Patients or caregivers should be instructed in proper vial, syringe, and needle disposal, and should be cautioned against reuse of these items.
- Injection-site Reactions: Physicians should explain to patients that almost half of the patients in the clinical trials experienced a reaction at the injection site. Injection-site reactions may include pain, erythema, swelling, pruritis, bruising, mass, inflammation, dermatitis, edema, urticaria, vesicles, warmth, and hemorrhage. Patients 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.
- Infections: Patients should be cautioned that ARCALYST has been associated with serious, life-threatening infections, and not to initiate treatment with ARCALYST if they have a chronic or active infection. Patients should be counseled to contact their healthcare professional immediately if they develop an infection after starting ARCALYST. Treatment with ARCALYST should be discontinued if a patient develops a serious infection. Patients should be counseled not to take any IL-1 blocking drug, including ARCALYST, if they are also taking a drug that blocks TNF such as etanercept, infliximab, or adalimumab. Use of ARCALYST with other IL-1 blocking agents, such as anakinra, is not recommended.
- Vaccinations: Prior to initiation of therapy with ARCALYST 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 ARCALYST.
Precautions with Alcohol
- Alcohol-Rilonacept interaction has not been established. Talk to your doctor about the effects of taking alcohol with this medication.
Look-Alike Drug Names
There is limited information regarding Rilonacept Look-Alike Drug Names in the drug label.
The contents of this FDA label are provided by the National Library of Medicine.
- Mitha E, Schumacher HR, Fouche L, Luo SF, Weinstein SP, Yancopoulos GD; et al. (2013). "Rilonacept for gout flare prevention during initiation of uric acid-lowering therapy: results from the PRESURGE-2 international, phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled trial". Rheumatology (Oxford). 52 (7): 1285–92. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ket114. PMID 23485476.
- "ARCALYST- rilonacept injection, powder, lyophilized, for solution".