Rheumatoid arthritis is debilitating and can leave you searching for a drug that will ease the pain and improve your mobility. But one of those drugs, Actemra, is also causing serious side effects, including heart failure and heart attacks – and the manufacturer isn’t warning the public. If you or a loved one developed a heart condition after taking Actemra, you may be able to recover money from the company that makes Actemra.
At John Foy and Associates, we are actively investigating claims that Actemra causes heart failure. Our law firm has a long history of successfully making claims in medical cases.
If you have taken Actemra and you have a heart condition, we’d like to help you. We will consult with you for free, listen to your concerns, and explain what we can do. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What Is Actemra Supposed to Do?
Actemra was released in 2010 and is used to treat moderate to severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis. It also goes by the name tocilizumab. It may also be used to treat giant cell arthritis (inflammation of blood vessels in the scalp), and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (arthritis that affects a child’s entire body).
Rheumatoid arthritis is a crippling autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, causing swelling, pain and loss of mobility. Over time, cartilage, bones and joints can become irreversibly damaged. Unlike osteoarthritis, which is associated with aging, rheumatoid arthritis typically shows its first symptoms between the age of 30 and 60. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, ongoing treatment is essential to manage the disease’s effects and slow its progress.
Actemra is one of the newer arthritis drugs, and it seemed promising because the manufacturer touted it as being free of the frightening side effects posed by many competing drugs. Actemra can be injected by a doctor or by the patient at home.
According to Actemra’s website, no one knows exactly how Actemra works in your body. The company believes it blocks the action of a protein known as interleukin-6, or IL-6. IL-6 is believed to play a part in rheumatoid arthritis by sending signals to cells to activate, increasing arthritis symptoms. It is believed that Actemra blocks IL-6 from sending these signals.
Actemra is intended for use by patients who have not received relief from other rheumatoid arthritis drugs. Its website notes that it can be used alone or in combination with disease modifying antirheumatic drugs.
What Kinds of Problems Have Been Caused by Actemra?
Many of the drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis contain warnings of severe side effects like heart attack, stroke and heart failure. But Actemra has been marketed as relatively safe, and it carries no warnings to indicate that heart conditions could be an issue.
In fact, however, patients who take Actemra have had an unusually high number of serious adverse reactions, according to an analysis of Food and Drug Administration reports by the health and wellness reporting website STAT. According to the report, that’s at least as many as for other competing drugs that do carry warning labels. In addition, more than 1100 people have died after taking Actemra. The main causes of death were heart disease, stroke and lunch disease.
The serious heart problems that may be caused by Actemra include heart attacks and strokes as well as heart failure. Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, doesn’t mean that your heart literally stops working, it means that it no longer pumps blood effectively.
Heart failure typically occurs after something has damaged or weakened your heart. The condition may start suddenly or may be ongoing. Symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired and weak
- Swollen feet, ankles and legs
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- A reduction in your ability to exercise
- An ongoing cough with white or pink phlegm
- Swollen abdomen or weight gain from fluid retention
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to get medical attention. In addition, seek Emergency medical care if you have chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack. The right medical care can save your life and help minimize the long-term impact of a heart condition.
Who Makes Actemra? Are They Liable for My Heart Failure?
Actemra is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Roche. It is one of Roche’s biggest moneymakers, pulling in $1.7 billion in sales in 2016. But we don’t believe the high number of serious reactions to this medication are just pure chance, and that’s why we are pursuing claims against Roche for endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who were hoping for relief from their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Drug manufacturers have a duty to thoroughly test their medications before they put them on the market. They also must warn of potential side effects. When companies rush to get a drug on the market without conducting enough tests, they may be held liable. Companies can also be held liable for hiding information about side effects or failing to warn doctors and the public of the side effects that can occur.
For a drug manufacturer to be liable for your heart condition, the drug must have caused or contributed to the condition. For example, if you developed heart failure before you started taking Actemra, the drug could not have caused your heart failure.
It is possible, however, that Actemra made your heart failure worse. If the drug manufacturer is found liable for your condition, you may be able to recover all the costs of managing the condition, as well as the way it has affected your life.
Talk to an Actemra Heart Failure Lawsuit Lawyer
If you took Actemra and you are now suffering from heart failure, or if you lost a loved one who took Actemra, we’d like to talk to you, with no obligation. We are actively pursuing claims against Roche for putting innocent lives in jeopardy.
We’d like to hear about your experience and explain what we do. We will never charge you a fee unless we win you money. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.