Roche | Actemra (Medication)
Actemra/tocilizumab is used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Actemra reduces the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation. It is sometimes given together with other arthritis medications. Actemra is also used to treat systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (or Still’s disease) in children who are at least 2 years old. It is sometimes given together with methotrexate.
Tocilizumab is an injectable synthetic (man-made) protein that binds to interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the body and blocks the effects of IL-6 in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation is the body’s reaction to injury and is a necessary process for the repair of injury. IL-6 is a protein that the body produces when there is inflammation. IL-6 promotes inflammation and the signs of inflammation, which, in the case of arthritis, includes fever as well as pain, tenderness, and swelling of the joints. The unchecked inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis eventually leads to destruction of the joints….
Actemra: Side Effects
Some of the most common adverse effects are respiratory tract infections, headaches, hypertension, and elevations in liver tests suggesting liver injury.
There were also registered injection site reactions (rash, redness, swelling, itching) may also occur. Use of Actemra/tocilizumab has been associated with serious infections such as tuberculosis, sepsis (bacteria in the blood) and fungal infections. Individuals with active infections should not be treated with Actemra/tocilizumab. Tocilizumab may worsen or cause new diseases of the nervous system. In studies, some patients who used tocilizumab developed cancer.
Other side effects include reduced levels of white blood cells or platelets, reactivation of herpes zoster infection (shingles), and hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions. In studies, gastrointestinal perforation was observed in patients with diverticulitis….
Before treatment with Actemra tell your doctor if you have ever had tuberculosis, if anyone in your household has tuberculosis, or if you have recently traveled to an area where tuberculosis is common. Test for and treat latent TB prior to starting therapy. Monitor closely if new infection develops; discontinue if serious or opportunistic infection or sepsis develop.
To make sure you can safely use Actemra, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions: an active or recent infection (such as herpes, pneumonia, or yeast infection); signs of infection such as fever, chills, cough, body aches, diarrhea, weight loss, painful urination, or coughing up blood; open sores or skin wounds; liver disease; diverticulitis, stomach ulcer, or a history of stomach or intestinal bleeding; diabetes; a weak immune system; high cholesterol; hepatitis B (or if you are a carrier of the virus); a nerve-muscle disease such as multiple sclerosis; HIV or AIDS; a history of cancer; or if you are scheduled to receive any vaccines.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended to use this medicine without your doctor’s advice….