Actemra

Clinical Effects of Actemra

Actemra has been evaluated for treating rheumatoid arthritis in several different studies. In these studies, Actemra was given either alone or in combination with other rheumatoid arthritis medications, and then compared to the results of treatment with just the other rheumatoid arthritis medications (without Actemra).
 
These studies showed that Actemra worked better than methotrexate and that adding Actemra to methotrexate or other rheumatoid arthritis medications provided additional benefit (compared to the other medications alone).
 
Studies have also shown that Actemra works better than a placebo (injections with no active ingredients) for treating systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Additionally, more people (69 percent) given Actemra were improved enough to allow for reduction or elimination of their steroids, compared to only 24 percent of people given the placebo.
 
Studies have also shown that Actemra can reduce polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis flares. In one study, 26 percent of people given Actemra had a flare, compared to 48 percent of those given a placebo.
 

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations include the following:
 
  • Actemra can be given in two different ways. Your healthcare provider can administer it intravenously via an IV infusion (also known as an IV drip) that lasts 60 minutes, once every four weeks, for rheumatoid arthritis, or every two weeks for systemic or polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Alternatively, Actemra comes as a subcutaneous injection that is injected under the skin once a week or every other week. 
     
  • For IV use, your healthcare provider will dilute Actemra in a sodium chloride solution, but no other medications should be directly added to the IV.
  • For subcutaneous use, choose an injection site on the front of the thighs or abdomen (stomach), excluding two inches around your navel. The arm can also be used, but only if a healthcare provider is giving the injection. Don't try to do a subcutaneous injection into the arm by yourself.
  • Choose a new injection site that is at least an inch away from the previous site for each new subcutaneous injection. Do not inject into moles, scars, bruises, or areas where the skin is tender, red, hard, or injured.
  • For this medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
     
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Actemra Medication Information

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