Actemra (tocilizumab) Uses, Side Effects, Dosage | | RxEconsult

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Actemra (tocilizumab) Uses, Side Effects, Dosage Category: Rheumatoid Arthritis & Inflammatory Conditions by - October 16, 2011 | Views: 25258 | 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.

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