Smith Stag is evaluating potential Actemra lawsuit filings on behalf of individuals who suffered serious complications allegedly related to its use, including heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, lung disease, and death.
Actemra (tocilizumab) is prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and giant cell arteritis (GCA). It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010, and since then the agency has received reports of 1,128 associated with the drug, according to a recent article published in STAT. According to STAT, Actemra carries the same or higher risk of life-threatening side effects as other drugs used to treat RA, but others warn about the risks while Actemra does not.
Actemra Side Effects
Actemra risks, not listed on the warning label, include:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Lung complications, including interstitial lung disease
Dangerous side effects on the label include:
- Gastrointestinal tears
- Severe allergic reaction
- Serious infections, including hepatitis B
- Nervous system problems
According to the STAT report, users have reported other side effects such as hair loss, memory problems, problems thinking clearly, heart rhythm abnormalities and tremors.
There May Have Been Many More Deaths
STAT look at data from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), which showed 1,128 deaths among the 13,500 Actemra adverse event reports. It is a voluntary reporting system that only captures a small portion of actual adverse events. Far more are not reported. The FDA and others have estimated that FAERS data only represents about 10% of cases.
Failure to Warn
RA sufferers have chosen Actemra over competitors because they and their doctors were led to believe that it is safer. But the data shows otherwise. Experts who reviewed the data said that Actemra should carry warnings for heart failure and pancreatitis.
Actemra users who have been harmed are now seeking compensation for their injuries based on failure to warn.
If you believe that you or someone you love has been harmed by Actemra, the defective drug and medical device attorneys of Smith Stag can help. Please call us at 504-593-9600 or contact us online today.