The rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra (tocilizumab injection) has been linked to serious side effects including heart failure, pancreatitis, stroke, interstitial lung disease, and more than 1,100 deaths.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured by Actemra side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
What is Actemra?
Actemra is used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults. The medicine works by reducing the effects of a substance in the body that causes inflammation. Actemra is manufactured by Roche/Genentech, and was first approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2010.
Arthritis Drug Linked to Hundreds of Patient Deaths, Report Finds
A STAT report published June 5, 2017, found that hundreds of Actemra users died from heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and lung complications.
The researchers looked at over 500,000 side effect reports involving RA medications, and found that patients treated with Actemra had just as high a risk of suffering these complications as patients treated with other arthritis drugs; however, most other competing medications warn about these risks, whereas Actemra does not.
FDA has received at least 1,128 reports of death in Actemra patients, although the agency was not able to determine conclusively whether the medication directly contributed to the deaths, according to STAT. Neither the FDA nor Roche has made an effort to change the drug’s label.
According to an undisclosed group of experts who reviewed Actemra data compiled by STAT, “FDA should immediately consider warnings for heart failure and pancreatitis.”
Actemra Side Effects
Serious side effects of Actemra may include:
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Interstitial lung disease
Other common side effects:
- Runny nose
- Sinus pain
- Sore throat
- Stomach cramps
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
What Other Drugs are Used to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to treat symptoms of RA such as pain and inflammation. NSAIDs include such drugs as ibuprofen, ketoprofen and naproxen sodium, among others.
Do I Have an Actemra Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Actemra lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one suffered any of the injuries in this article after taking Actemra, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.