Blog Post

Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Actemra Linked to Heart Complications, Death

The FDA has received reports of more than 1,100 patient deaths likely linked to the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) medicine Actemra. Unfortunately, consumers were not warned regarding the medication’s potentially deadly side effects.

Manufactured by Roche/Genentech, Actemra has been prescribed to more than 760,000 patients and has generated sales of $1.7 billion globally. It works by blocking inflammatory agents that cause pain and swelling in the joints. While the drug was marketed as a “unique breakthrough” that would “transform” physicians’ and patients’ expectations, an investigation conducted by Stat News shows the drug has been linked to serious side effects such as heart attack and other cardiovascular and pulmonary complications. While other rheumatoid arthritis medications are linked to similar problems, Actemra’s manufacturer failed to provide any sort of warning on its label regarding the dangerous side effects. The report also indicates the risk for these complications while taking Actemra were as high or higher than for competing drugs.

What Other Complications Have Been Linked to Actemra?

In addition to heart attacks, Acterma may be linked to the following side effects:

  • Strokes
  • Heart Failure
  • Lung Disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Scarring of the Lung Tissue

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and progressive autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints, often in the hands, wrists and feet. Unfortunately, it can result in immobility and deformity of the joints. Whether taking medication for this disease or any other health complication, consumers and physicians alike should always be warned about potentially harmful side effects. The manufacturers of Actemra have failed to do this.

Our product liability attorneys represent those who were injured by medical devices and medications such as Actemra. For more than 35 years, our firm as fought against insurance companies and manufacturers on behalf of those who were injured through no fault of their own. While our main office is located in St. Petersburg, FL, we have consultation offices throughout the Tampa Bay Area and handle product liability cases nationwide. To consult with an attorney about Actemra or other potentially harmful medication, fill out the free case evaluation form on this page, or call us at 888-783-8378.