Tocilizumab

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Information about Tocilizumab

Tocilizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody to the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor which is used in the therapy of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoinflammatory conditions.

Mechanism of action of Tocilizumab

Tocilizumab (toe” si liz’ ue mab) is humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody to the IL-6 receptor that is used largely as therapy of refractory rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthridites.

Tocilizumab blocks the action of IL-6, which is a key proinflammatory cytokine that mediates a wide spectrum of biologic activities including activation of T cells, differentiation of B cells, induction of acute phase reactants, proliferation of fibroblasts, and damage to cartilage and joints. IL-6 levels are elevated in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. In controlled trials and open label studies, tocilizumab therapy led to improvements in symptoms and laboratory abnormalities associated with several forms of inflammatory arthritis.

FDA approval information for Tocilizumab

Tocilizumab was approved for use in the United States in 2010 and current indications include rheumatoid arthritis and both the polyarticular and systemic forms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (formerly juvenile rheumatoid arthritis). Tocilizumab is considered a disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) and improves signs and symptoms of disease and decreases cartilage and tissue destruction.

Liver safety of Tocilizumab

Tocilizumab commonly causes mild serum aminotransferase elevations which are usually short lived and asymptomatic and has also been linked to rare instances of clinically apparent liver injury with jaundice.


Dosage and administration for Tocilizumab

Tocilizumab is given by intravenous infusion every 4 weeks, in doses of 4-12 mg/kg depending upon indication and body weight. Tocilizumab is available in vials of 20 mg/mL under the brand name Actemra.

Side effects of Tocilizumab

The most frequent side effects are upper respiratory symptoms, headache, infusion reactions and hypertension.

antirheumatic agents


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