Familial Mediterranean Fever Medication

Updated: Dec 14, 2021
  • Author: John O Meyerhoff, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of therapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications. Colchicine is the drug of choice; patients who do not respond to colchicine or cannot tolerate it may benefit from the addition or substitution of biologic agents that inhibit interleukin-1. Of those, canakinumab, anakinra, and rilonacept have demonstrated efficacy, but only canakinumab is approved for use in the United States.


Anti-inflammatory agents

Class Summary

Colchicine is the drug of choice for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF).

Colchicine (Colcrys)

Decreases leukocyte motility and phagocytosis in inflammatory responses.


Interleukin Inhibitors

Class Summary

In patients with 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.

Canakinumab (Ilaris)

Human monoclonal anti-human IL-1beta antibody of the IgG1/kappa isotype. It binds to human IL­1beta and neutralizes its activity by blocking its interaction with IL-1 receptors. It is indicated for the treatment of FMF in adult and pediatric patients.