Description Of Product
Description: Antirheumatic, Disease-Modifying; Interleukin-6 Receptor Antagonist
CSA NA – FDA Approved – REMS (N) – Can Ship
How Does It Work
Tocilizumab, Actemra acts as an antagonist of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor. Endogenous IL-6 is induced by inflammatory stimuli and mediates a variety of immunological responses. Inhibition of IL-6 receptors by tocilizumab will reduce cytokine and acute phase reactions leading to an overall decrease in inflammation.
Indications For Use
Cytokine release syndrome, giant cell arteritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Before starting make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, you can experience changes in hematological values (i.e. thrombocytopenia, neutropenia); hepatic impairment, hyperlipidemia and even perforation of the bowel has been reported.
Please refer to the official drug monograph.
Pharmacist Tips On Using
How to Take Intravenously: Allow diluted solution for infusion to reach room temperature prior to administration; infuse over 60 minutes using a dedicated IV line. Do not infuse other agents through a same IV line. Do not administer IV push or IV bolus. If additional doses are necessary for the management of cytokine release syndrome, the interval between doses should be at least 8 hours. Do not use if opaque particles or discolouration is visible.
Hyperlipidemia, elevated liver enzymes and local injection site irritation.
Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Tocilizumab, Actemra only common ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if side effects are intolerable?
If side effects are causing a lot of distress speak to your physician as soon as possible to discuss options.
Why would I be given a medication that increases my risk of infections?
This medication is used for autoimmune conditions which are essential when your immune system attacks your body inappropriately as if it were a foreign body like bacteria or viruses. In order to treat this, the immune function that is damaging your body must be subdued, however, this increases the risk of other infections occurring. While on immunosuppressant medications it is important to take all infections more seriously and get them checked out by your physician to ensure that your body is fighting them effectively.