Actemra is an anti-arthritic medication used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in addition to other diseases. This inerleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist binds to soluble and membrane-bound IL-6 receptors to inhibiting IL-6 activity. IL-6 is a contributor to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.
Actemra can be administered in two different ways: subcutaneous injection or intravenous infusion. For the former, Actemra comes in a single-dose prefilled syringe or a single-dose prefilled autoinjector. For the latter, Actemra comes in vial form in one of three concentrations: 80mg/4ml, 200mg/10ml, or 400mg/20ml.
What is Actemra used for?
Actemra is used in the treatment of a few types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis in adults, giant cell arthritis (GCA) in adults, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA) in patients aged two and older, and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in pediatric patients two years of age and older. Actemra is also indicated for the treatment of a systemic inflammatory disorder called cytokine release syndrome in adults and pediatric patients two years of age and older.
When treating rheumatoid arthritis, Actemra should be used in patients for whom one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD) have failed to produce an adequate response. Actemra can be given alone as monotherapy or in combination with other DMARDs or methotrexate for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.