Actemra (tocilizumab) Uses, Side Effects, Dosage | Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD | RxEconsult

All Health Articles

Actemra (tocilizumab) Uses, Side Effects, Dosage Category: Rheumatoid Arthritis & Inflammatory Conditions by - October 16, 2011 | Views: 8637 | Likes: 0 | Comment: 0  

Actemra | tocilizumab

Drug Class: Immunosuppressive, interleukin-6 (IL-6) blocker
Manufacturer: Genentech
Approval date: January, 2010

What is Actemra and how does it work

Actemra is a man-made protein that blocks the effects of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is a biologic disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD).

What does Actemra treat

  • Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis after one or more TNFα blockers (e.g., Humira, Cimzia) have failed. Can be combined with methotrexate or non-biologic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs.
  • Treatment of Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA) in children 2 years of age or older.

How well does Actemra work for RA

  • 70% of Actemra (8 mg/kg) treated subjects compared to 53% of methotrexate treated subjects responded to treatment after 6 months.
  • 51% (4 mg/kg) and 56% (8 mg/kg) of Actemra + methotrexate treated subjects compared to 27% of methotrexate + placebo treated subjects responded after 6 months

What are interesting facts about Actemra

  • Inhibits interleukin-6
  • Admimistered every 4 weeks
  • First approved drug for SJIA

How is Actemra dosed (dosage) and administered

Adults: 4-8 mg/kg of Actemra is infused intravenously over 1 hour every 4 weeks
Children: 8-12 mg/kg every 2 weeks

What are the side effects of Actemra

Common: Respiratory tract infections, headaches, high blood pressure, redness, swelling, itching.

Serious: Nervous system disorders, cancer, tuberculosis, bacteria in the blood, fungal infections, reactivation of herpes zoster, decrease in white blood cells and platelets, and allergic reactions.

Actemra Drug interactions

  • Vaccines
  • Kineret (anakinra)
  • Rituxan (rituximab)
  • Orencia (abatacept)
  • Zocor (simvastatin)
  • Prilosec (omeprazole)

How to obtain prescription assistance for Actemra

For Actemra prescription assistance visit Actemra patient assistance program.

References: Actemra FDA Prescribing Information

The material on this site is for information only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.

Comment on this article or post an article by joining the RxEconsult community.

Please Share on Your Social Networks

For More Healthcare Insights Join Us On Twitter
and Facebook. Join The Community To Publish Articles.

Copyright 2016 RxEconsult. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Sitemap