What is the role of biologic therapy in the management of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)?

Updated: May 14, 2018
  • Author: John O Meyerhoff, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Biologics

In patients whose conditions do not respond to colchicine, biologic therapy—in particular, agents directed toward interleukin-1 (IL-1)—may be effective. In FMF, uninhibited pyrin activity results in uncontrolled production of IL-1, which causes inflammation and may be accompanied by joint pain, swelling, muscle pain, and skin rash. Biologic agents used for FMF include the following:

  • Interferon-alpha
  • The tumor necrosis factor (TNF)–blocking drug etanercept [23]
  • The IL-1 receptor antagonists anakinra [24, 25] and rilonacept
  • Canakinumab

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