Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Cancer risks: People taking this medication may have a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer. Talk to your doctor about cancer screening and your risk of cancer.
Dizziness: Canakinumab may cause dizziness or a spinning sensation, affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid these and other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Serious infections: Canakinumab can affect the way your body's natural defences work to fight infection. This makes the body more likely to develop infections due to bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This effect is increased if you are taking canakinumab with other medications that reduce the body's ability to fight infection. For some people, these infections have been fatal. If you have a history of chronic or frequent infections, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Stop taking the medication and tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of a serious infection, such as fever, chills, headache, flu-like symptoms, feeling tired, cough, blood in the sputum, shortness of breath, night sweats, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, frequency or burning while passing urine, redness or swelling of skin or joint, cold sores, tooth pain, or new or worsening pain in any part of the body.
Tuberculosis: For people who have latent tuberculosis (TB) infection (the bacteria causing TB are alive in the body but are not active) the use of canakinumab may cause the tuberculosis bacteria to become active. Some people who have had tuberculosis (a lung infection) in the past have had this infection return when they are using canakinumab. Your doctor will likely want to do a TB skin test before you begin using this medication. If you have a history of tuberculosis, or have come into recent contact with someone who has tuberculosis, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
If you experience symptoms of TB such as unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, chills or night sweats contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Vaccinations: People taking this medication should not receive certain vaccines. Talk to your doctor about whether any vaccines you are scheduled to take may be used with this medication.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Women who may become pregnant while using this medication should use effective birth control while using canakinumab and for 3 months after the last dose. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if canakinumab passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 2 years of age or those having a body weight of less than 9 kg.