To understand how ACTEMRA may work, let’s start with what may contribute to SJIA. SJIA occurs when the immune system, the system that protects the body from harmful bacteria and viruses, starts attacking healthy cells.
In a healthy immune system, many different cells protect the body by fighting harmful bacteria and viruses. These include white blood cells called B cells and T cells. Our immune system uses messengers called cytokines to tell them when and where to attack.
There are many different types of cytokines, including:
- Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)
- Interleukin-1 (IL-1)
- Interleukin-6 (IL-6)
Most patients with SJIA have too much of a particular kind of cytokine in their bodies. This increases the activity of the white blood cells that are attacking healthy cells, which can contribute to the signs and symptoms of SJIA.
So, in order for the cytokine IL-6 to cause cell activation, it needs to connect to the cell. But ACTEMRA works by blocking IL-6 from connecting to the cell.
ACTEMRA is a medicine that affects your child's immune system. ACTEMRA can lower the ability of your child's immune system to fight infections. Some people have serious infections while taking ACTEMRA, including tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that can spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections.
Your child's rheumatologist should monitor your child for TB before and during treatment with ACTEMRA.
Find out more in the Caregiver Resources section.
See the data behind our clinical studies.