Actemra Liver Failure Lawsuit

Actemra has been linked to reports of severe liver injury, including cases of acute liver failure that required organ transplantation. Patients who suffered serious liver complications while undergoing treatment with this rheumatoid arthritis medication may qualify to file an Actemra lawsuit.

Contact an Actemra Liver Failure Lawyer Today

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now offering free legal reviews to victims of Actemra side effects, including drug-induced liver injury and acute liver failure. To learn more about filing an Actemra liver failure lawsuit, please complete the form on this page or call our office directly at (888) 994-5118.

What is Actemra?

Actemra (tocilizumab) was developed and marketed by Roche AG’s Genentech subsidiary. The medication was the first humanized (IL-6) receptor-inhibiting monoclonal antibody ever approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

The FDA initially approved Actemra in 2010 to treat patients with moderate-to-severe active rheumatoid arthritis who had an inadequate response to one or more tumor necrosis factor medications.  Doctors may prescribe Actemra on its own or in combination with methotrexate or other disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Since 2010, the FDA has expanded Actemra’s approved indications several times:

  • April 2011: Active Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA) in patients two years of age and older, alone or in combination with methotrexate.
  • April 2013: Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA) in children two years of age and older with active disease, alone or in combination with methotrexate.
  • October 2013: Subcutaneous formulation of Actemra for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active RA.
  • May 2017: Subcutaneous Actemra to treat adults with giant cell arteritis
  • August 2017: Severe or life-threatening cytokine release syndrome (CRS), caused by CAR T-cell therapy in patients two years of age and older.

Actemra’s U.S. label advises doctors to monitor liver function. However, it has never included an explicit warning about the possibility of acute liver injury or liver failure.

Canada Actemra Liver Failure Warning

On May 21, 2019, Health Canada, a regulatory agency similar to the FDA, warned doctors that Actemra had been associated with several cases of drug-induced liver injury. Some of these cases progressed to acute liver failure, resulting in the need for an organ transplant.

The Actemra liver injuries occurred anywhere from 2 weeks to more than 5 years after initiation of treatment, with a median latency period 98 days.

Health Canada advised doctors:

  • Not to prescribe Actemra to patients with active liver disease or liver impairment.
  • Test liver function and enzymes before starting therapy and every 4 to 8 weeks in adults and 2 to 4 weeks in children.
  • Do not start patients on Actemra if liver enzymes are 3 times higher than the normal range.
  • Discontinue medication if liver enzymes exceed 5 times normal.
  • Use Actemra with caution in patients whose liver enzymes are 1.5 times normal.

Actemra Liver Failure Symptoms

Actemra patients should contact their healthcare provider if they experience symptoms of a liver injury or liver failure, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Pain in the upper abdomen

Learn More About Filing an Actemra Liver Failure Lawsuit

Victims of Actemra liver failure and acute liver injury may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and any other related damages. To learn if you qualify to file an Actemra liver failure lawsuit, please contact our office today at (888) 994-5118.

Last Modified: May 28, 2019

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