Sometimes, for unclear reasons, the immune system turns against the body and attacks it. This process is called autoimmunity. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of many different autoimmune diseases.
Actemra (a biologic) is used when rheumatoid arthritis does not respond enough to other Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs). According to the FDA, Actemra infusions can reduce joint pain and swelling, improve physical function and reduce worsening of joint damage. Actemra should not be taken with other biologic medicines.
Other FDA-approved uses: Juvenile rheumatoid arhritis (polyarticular or systemic).
Moderately-to-severely active means at least 5 inflamed joints, high inflammation blood tests and possibly inflammation or bone damage on x-ray
Actemra in intravenous (IV) form was approved by FDA in 2010 for rheumatoid arthritis. Important side effects may emerge after Actemra is on the market when larger numbers of people - with other conditions and on other medications - have used the drug.
The drug company was required to create a pregnancy registry to learn more about safety during pregnancy and to conduct additional studies about possible side effects‚ including heart attacks and strokes, side effects from long-term use, and the effect of Actemra on vaccines.
Including etanercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira), infliximab (Remicade), rituximab (Rituxan), abatacept (Orencia), anakinra (Kineret), certolizumab (Cimzia), or golimumab (Simponi)
Actemra can reduce your body's ability to fight infections. Stop taking Actemra until the infection is controlled.
Only take if potential benefits outweigh potential harm to baby (FDA Category C)
Do not breastfeed while taking Actemra - either stop breastfeeding or stop Actemra