A Brief Overview of Recurrent Pericarditis Management and the Potential of Rilonacept as a New Therapeutic Option

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American journal of cardiovascular drugs : drugs, devices, and other interventions




Recurrent pericarditis affects 15-30% of patients after acute pericarditis. A large number of the patients with recurrent pericarditis can become corticosteroid dependent, leading to disease chronicity and drug dependence, with additional morbidity from long-term steroid use. Recent randomized trials indicate the efficacy of the interleukin-1 inhibitors anakinra and rilonacept in recurrent pericarditis, including colchicine-resistant and corticosteroid-dependent cases. In particular, rilonacept was assessed in the RHAPSODY clinical trial and found to be a potential treatment option that would decrease recurrent episodes, enabling patients to be weaned off steroids. Additionally, new data indicate that rilonacept should be considered as an option for patients with recurrent pericarditis, as add-on therapy to colchicine and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, in place of steroids. We review the current management options for recurrent pericarditis as well as rilonacept as a prospective new addition to our armamentarium.