Actemra – Risks & Side Effects
Those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis rely on medications such as Actemra in order to enjoy a normal semblance of life. The problem is that this medication also involves a variety of side effects, some more severe than others.
Actemra (also known as Tocilizumab) is an interleukin receptor inhibitor prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in both children and adults. Patients receive this medication intravenously every four weeks in the doctor’s office. It can be taken in combination with methotrexate, but is not a requirement.
It’s important for patients to inform their doctor about all medications and supplements they are taking. Those who are pregnant should only take Actemra if the benefits outweigh the risks to the fetus. It is unknown at this time whether the medication passes into breast milk.
Actemra may negatively interact with several types of drugs, including:
- Oral contraceptives
- Blood thinners (e.g., Pradaxa, Eliquis)
- Cholesterol-lowering medications
- Seizure medications
- Heart rhythm medications
- Drugs that weaken your immune system
- Pain or arthritis medications
Common, yet less-severe side effects of Actemra may include a stuffy or runny nose, headache, dizziness, sinus pain, sore throat, and mild stomach cramps.
Some more serious side effects that a patient should report to his or her doctor include:
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody or tarry stools
- Upper stomach pain
- Painful and blistering skin rash with burning, itching, or tingling
- Bloody vomit or vomiting that has the appearance of coffee grounds
- Dark urine
- Stools that are clay-colored
- Severe stomach pain, including constipation
- Urinary tract infection
Very Serious Side Effects
A recent analysis was conducted of over 500,000 reports on the side effects of medications for rheumatoid arthritis. This analysis revealed that Actemra is linked to many extremely serious side effects of which the manufacturer failed to warn patients or doctors. These serious side effects include:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Interstitial lung disease
- Tears in the gastrointestinal tract
- Wrongful death
What the study also revealed was that this medication had an unusually high number of serious side effects that were not listed on the warning label. It also revealed that patients taking Actemra had a 50 percent higher chance of having a heart attack or stroke than patients taking Embrel.
There are countless claims currently being brought before court in several states due to injuries caused by the side effects linked to Actemra.
If you believe you have been harmed by the side effects of Actemra, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in product liability law. To discuss your legal options for free right now, call us at 1-877-659-2580.