Actemra & Synovitis

Studies have linked the rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra (tocilizumab injection) to serious side effects including Synovitis, stroke,  heart attack and more than 1,100 deaths.

About Actemra

In early 2010, the FDA first approved the Roche manufactured drug, Actemra to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The drug works by reducing inflammation.

Over 1.5 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis, which is a debilitating autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints of the hands, feet, knees, elbows, and ankles. Inflammation occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue. This results in swelling and pain around the joints. If untreated, damage to cartilage and bone can occur. In some cases, irreversible joint deformity happens. This is why treatment is vital.

Roche cashed in on it, too. Actemra is Roche’s fifth highest-grossing drug, according to health and medicine publication STAT, netting $1.7 billion in global sales last year alone.

Actemra & Synovitis

Synovitis is inflammation of the joint lining. This often occurs when a joint starts bleeding and is not treated early or correctly. With Synovitis, the membrane in the joint will thicken and grow more blood vessels. This will cause even more bleeding in the joint.

Recently,  evidence suggests drugs like Acterma may cause Synovitis. eHealthMe tracked 14,000 adverse reports. Almost 300 patients complained have having Synovitis while using the RA drug. The majority of incidents reported inflammation after 1-12 months and over 5 years of use.  87% of those affected were female. Synovitis is a painful side effect, yet Roche keeps Actemra on the marketing without a warning.

Lack of Warning

Many of the RA drugs on the market bring the same risk of developing Synovitis. The difference is the other drugs warn about it, and Acterma does not. The FDA should monitor the safety of prescription medications. However, it doesn’t verify the adverse event reports it receives. If they did, they would have known to immediately consider warnings for Synovitis.

Not having a warning makes one medication seem safer than the other which has it.

Actemra & Synovitis Symptoms

The symptoms of Synovitis are

  • Spongy joints even after treatment
  • Pain in the joint
  • Loss of motion in the joint

 How We Can Help

When you experience side effects from a dangerous drug, it can have devastating effects on your entire life. You may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. The types of losses that can be recovered include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of an ability to work; and
  • Pain and suffering

If a person dies from complications from a drug, family members may be able to recover damages for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses prior to death
  • Loss of economic support; and
  • Loss of companionship

Therefore, if the conduct of a drug company in manufacturing and selling drug is found to be highly reckless, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the company and deter similar conduct in the future. If you developed Synovitis after taking Actemra, please speak to us to learn more about your rights.

Case evaluations are free of cost and without obligation. Call us today at (877) 513-9517 or contact us online to speak with an attorney about your options. We may be able to get you the help you need.

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