Taking control of recurrent pericarditis begins with reducing the risk of future flares

Learn about the disease, what causes repeat episodes, and how reducing the risk of future flares is possible with ARCALYST.

What is pericarditis?

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium

The pericardium is a fluid-filled sac that wraps around the heart and expands and contracts as the heart beats.

Think of the pericardium as a water balloon that protects the heart by cushioning it from other organs in the chest, such as the lungs, the diaphragm (breathing muscle), and the trachea (windpipe).

When the pericardium is inflamed, it becomes thicker than usual. This causes the heart to rub against the pericardium, which causes chest pain and other symptoms.

This event is called pericarditis and is commonly described as an episode or a flare.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of pericarditis is chest pain that feels worse when breathing in or lying down.


Other symptoms may include:


Chest pain that moves from one area of the body to another (back, neck, or shoulder pain)


Swelling in the abdomen, legs, or feet


Shortness of breath when lying down


Overall sense of weakness and fatigue




Heart palpitations


Low-grade fever



The types of pericarditis

There are different types of pericarditis, depending on the severity of symptoms and how long they last.



Acute pericarditis

Acute pericarditis

An initial pericarditis episode (or flare) that will often go away completely after treatment or resolve on its own.

Recurrent pericarditis

Recurrent pericarditis

Occurs after an initial flare where symptoms last for a few days or weeks, go away for a period of at least 4 to 6 weeks, and then return again.

Chronic pericarditis

Chronic pericarditis

A pericarditis episode that lasts for more than 3 months.

1 ou of 3

1 out of 3

people with acute pericarditis may
experience recurrent pericarditis.

Up to 30% of people with acute pericarditis will experience another episode within 18 months, totaling about 40,000 people with recurrent pericarditis in the U.S. 

Recurrent pericarditis can
last for many years.

In a study of over 900 people, researchers found that the median duration of disease was:

  • 6 months for people who had experienced 1 recurrent episode
  • About 3 years for people who had experienced 2 or more recurrent episodes

Recurrent pericarditis may be driven by uncontrolled autoinflammation.

Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a protein produced by your body that causes a continuous cycle of autoinflammation in the pericardium, the sac that surrounds and protects your heart. What is autoinflammation? Just like it sounds:


So “autoinflammation” is an abnormal form of
inflammation that happens automatically or continuously
due to a process within the body, not from external causes.

ARCALYST specifically targets IL-1 to address an underlying cause of autoinflammation in recurrent pericarditis.

It’s the only FDA-approved therapy indicated to treat recurrent pericarditis and reduce the risk of future flares.

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If you continue to experience recurrences despite treatment and management approaches you have tried with your healthcare provider, ARCALYST may be a treatment for you.