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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:

-cancer
-diabetes
-diverticulitis
-heart disease
-hepatitis B or history of hepatitis B infection
-high blood pressure
-high cholesterol
-history of pancreatitis
-immune system problems
-infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
-liver disease
-low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
-multiple sclerosis
-recently received or scheduled to receive a vaccine
-scheduled to have surgery
-stomach ulcer
-stroke
-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
-breast-feeding

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:

-abatacept
-adalimumab
-anakinra
-atorvastatin
-certolizumab
-cyclosporine
-dextromethorphan
-etanercept
-golimumab
-infliximab
-lovastatin
-medicines that lower the immune system
-ofatumumab
-omeprazole
-oral contraceptives
-rituximab
-simvastatin
-steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
-theophylline
-tositumomab
-vaccines
-warfarin

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.


Last Updated: February 07, 2011
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