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Giant Cell Arteritis News

Tocilizumab Beats Steroids for Controlling Blood Vessel Inflammation in Study

Posted 26 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 26, 2017 – The drug tocilizumab performs better than steroids in treating the most common form of blood vessel inflammation known as giant cell arteritis, a new study has shown. The phase 3 clinical trial of 251 patients confirmed that tocilizumab (Actemra) reduced symptoms and also the need for high-dose steroid treatment for the condition. Phase 3 clinical trials represent the last phase before approval for general use. They compare the safety and effectiveness of the new treatment against the current standard treatment. The trial results led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent approval of tocilizumab to treat giant cell arteritis. It's the first new treatment for arterial inflammation in more than 50 years. "Giant cell arteritis affects around 250,000 individuals in the U.S. alone, targeting people over the age of 50, and is three times more likely in ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Actemra, Giant Cell Arteritis, Tocilizumab

FDA Approves Actemra (tocilizumab) Subcutaneous Injection for Giant Cell Arteritis

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

May 22, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of subcutaneous Actemra (tocilizumab) to treat adults with giant cell arteritis. This new indication provides the first FDA-approved therapy, specific to this type of vasculitis. “We expedited the development and review of this application because this drug fulfills a critical need for patients with this serious disease who had limited treatment options,” said Badrul Chowdhury, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Giant cell arteritis is a form of vasculitis, a group of disorders that results in inflammation of blood vessels. This inflammation causes the arteries to narrow or become irregular, impeding adequate blood flow. In giant cell arteritis, the vessels most involved are those of the head, espe ... Read more

Related support groups: Actemra, Giant Cell Arteritis, Tocilizumab

Actemra Approved for Certain Blood Vessel Inflammation

Posted 22 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 22, 2017 – The injected drug Actemra (tocilizumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with giant cell arteritis, an inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis). In a media release Monday, the FDA said this form of vasculitis mostly involves blood vessels of the head. Traditional therapy includes large doses of anti-inflammatory drugs called corticosteroids. "We expedited the development and review of this application because [Actemra] fulfills a critical need for patients with this serious disease who had limited treatment options," said Dr. Badrul Chowdhury, director of the agency's Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products. Actemra was evaluated in clinical studies involving 251 people with giant cell arteritis. The drug will carry a boxed label warning of the possibility of serious infections. For that reason, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Actemra, Giant Cell Arteritis, Tocilizumab

Study Ties Shingles Virus to Dangerous Blood Vessel Disease in Elderly

Posted 18 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – New research links the virus behind chickenpox and shingles to a blood vessel condition that afflicts the elderly and can sometimes be deadly. The study doesn't prove that the so-called varicella zoster virus causes the condition, known as giant cell arteritis. But study author Dr. Don Gilden, a professor of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, said the findings suggest that the standard treatment of steroids, which reduce inflammation, aren't enough on their own. "You need to treat the virus and the inflammation that goes along with it," he said. "This is totally new." That means patients with the condition should take antiviral medications to fight off the chickenpox virus, he added. About 30 cases of giant cell arteritis appear in every 100,000 people each year, Gilden said, or about 300 cases in a city of one million. By ... Read more

Related support groups: Giant Cell Arteritis, Varicella-Zoster

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Collagen Vascular Disease

Related Drug Support Groups

Actemra, infliximab, tocilizumab