Warnings:

This medication may lower your ability to fight an infection. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Your risk may be increased if you are also taking other drugs that can lower your ability to fight an infection (such as methotrexate or corticosteroids). Before using tocilizumab, tell your doctor your medical history, especially of any kind of infection. During treatment, tell your doctor right away if you develop any signs of infection (such as cough, sore throat, fever, chills, pain when urinating).

Before and during treatment with this medication, your doctor will test you for tuberculosis (TB). Your doctor should also monitor you for symptoms of TB during and after treatment with this drug. If needed, treatment for tuberculosis or other infections should be given before receiving this medication.

Uses

This medication is used alone or with other medications to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. It is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in children (such as polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis-PJIA, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis-SJIA). It helps to reduce pain and swelling due to rheumatoid arthritis. Tocilizumab is also used to treat giant cell arteritis. It helps to reduce swelling in your blood vessels so blood can flow more easily. Tocilizumab belongs to a class of drugs known as Interleukin-6 (IL-6) blockers. It works by blocking IL-6, a substance made by the body that causes swelling (inflammation).

How to use Actemra Syringe

Read the Medication Guide and Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist before you start using tocilizumab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional and the product package.

Before use, take this medication out of the refrigerator. If you are using the prefilled syringe, let it warm up to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. If you are using the autoinjector, let it warm up to room temperature for at least 45 minutes. Do not heat this medication any other way, such as by heating in the microwave or placing in hot water. Do not leave in direct sunlight. Check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.

If you are using this medication to treat rheumatoid arthritis in adults, inject this medication under the skin as directed by your doctor, usually starting with once every 2 weeks, then increasing to once a week.

If you are using this medication to treat PJIA in children, give this medication by injection under the skin as directed by the doctor, usually once every 2 or 3 weeks, based on your child's weight.

If you are using this medication to treat SJIA in children, give this medication by injection under the skin as directed by the doctor, usually once every 1 or 2 weeks, based on your child's weight.

If you are using this medication to treat giant cell arteritis, inject this medication under the skin as directed by your doctor, usually once a week.

Recommended injection sites include the abdomen or the front of your thigh. The outer area of the upper arms may also be used if another person is giving you the injection. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the injection site each time to lessen injury under the skin. Do not inject into moles, scars, bruises, or areas where the skin is tender, red, hard, or broken.

Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.

The dosage is based on your weight, laboratory tests, and response to treatment.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark the days you need to inject the medication on a calendar.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.