Drugs A - Z
Tocilizumab Solution for injection
Tocilizumab is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Generic Name: Actemra
What is this medicine?Tocilizumab is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This medicine helps reduce joint pain and swelling. This medicine is often used with other medicines.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
-hepatitis B or history of hepatitis B infection
-high blood pressure
-history of pancreatitis
-immune system problems
-infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
-low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
-recently received or scheduled to receive a vaccine
-scheduled to have surgery
-tuberculosis, a positive skin test for tuberculosis or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tuberculosis
-an unusual or allergic reaction to tocilizumab, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
-pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you've taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
What if I miss a dose?Keep appointments for follow-up doses as directed. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
-live virus vaccines
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
-medicines that lower the immune system
-steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.
You will be tested for tuberculosis (TB) before you start this medicine. If your doctor prescribes any medicine for TB, you should start taking the TB medicine before starting this medicine. Make sure to finish the full course of TB medicine.
Talk to your doctor about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medicine.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
Your healthcare provider will do blood tests before you start this medicine and every 4 to 8 weeks while taking this medicine.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
-allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
-feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
-fever or chills, sore throat
-unusual bleeding or bruising
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (Report these to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome.):
Where should I keep my medicine?This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
The Healthline Site, its content, such as text, graphics, images, search results, HealthMaps, Trust Marks, and other material contained on the Healthline Site ("Content"), its services, and any information or material posted on the Healthline Site by third parties are provided for informational purposes only. None of the foregoing is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Healthline Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Please read the Terms of Service for more information regarding use of the Healthline Site.