Get to Know ACTEMRA for Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA)
ACTEMRA is the first prescription medicine approved by the FDA to treat GCA. When first prescribed, ACTEMRA is taken with a steroid taper. A steroid taper is when a healthcare professional reduces an existing steroid dose over time. It’s important to keep in mind that ACTEMRA is not a steroid. It’s a biologic. A biologic is a type of medicine developed using processes that are similar to what happens in your body naturally. Biologics can be used to interact with certain parts of your body, like your immune system. They can also fight inflammation in certain diseases, like GCA.
Biologics may cause serious side effects. Please scroll down for Important Side Effect Information for ACTEMRA. For additional safety information, please see the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.
How is ACTEMRA different from steroids?
ACTEMRA is designed to work differently than steroids. Steroids play an important role at the beginning of GCA treatment. They work by quickly decreasing inflammation and slowing down the immune system.
Unlike steroids, ACTEMRA was designed to block a key source of inflammation within the immune system. That key source of inflammation is called interleukin-6 (IL-6).