Tocilizumab

This form:

Pronounced

"TOE-si-LIZ-ue-mab"

Common brand names:

Actemra

Uses

This medication is used alone or with other medications to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. It helps to reduce pain and swelling due to rheumatoid arthritis. 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 This Medication

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.

Remove one syringe from the refrigerator 30 minutes before using it to allow it to reach room temperature. Do not speed up the warming process in any way; for example, do not use the microwave or place the syringe in warm water. Check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.

Inject this medication under the skin as directed by your doctor, usually starting with once every 2 weeks, then increasing to 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 improve or if it worsens.

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