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Drug Info for actemra

Tocilizumab injection is used alone or in combination with other medications to relieve the symptoms of certain types of arthritis and other conditions including: rheumatoid arthritis (a condition in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) in adults who have not been helped by other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), giant cell arteritis (a condition that causes swelling of blood vessels, especially in the scalp and head) in adults, systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD; also known as scleroderma-associated ILD: a lung disease that involves scarring of the lungs) in adults, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA; a type of childhood arthritis that affects five or more joints during the first six months of the condition, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) in children 2 years of age or older. systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA; a condition in children that causes inflammation in different areas of the body, causing fever, joint pain and swelling, loss of function, and delays in growth and development) in children 2 years of age or older, cytokine release syndrome (a severe and possibly life-threatening reaction) in adults and children 2 years of age or older after receiving certain immunotherapy infusions. Tocilizumab injection is in a class of medications called interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitors. It works by blocking the activity of interleukin-6, a substance in the body that causes inflammation.

Actemra comes in the form of an injection and is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in adults. It is also used as a treatment against systemic idiopathic arthritis in children as young as 2 years old. You should not use Actemra if you are allergic to Tocilizumab.

  • Actemra ACTPen
  • Actemra
  • By injection

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

Injection routeYou may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.

Injection routeYou will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. Do not inject into moles or scars, or skin areas that are red, bruised, tender, hard, or not intact.

Allow the prefilled syringe to warm to room temperature for 30 minutes or the autoinjector for 45 minutes before using it. Do not warm the medicine in any other way.

Injection routeUse a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.

Check the liquid in the prefilled syringe or autoinjector. It should be clear and colorless or slightly yellow. Do not use this medicine if it is cloudy, discolored, or if you see particles in it.

Injection routeIf you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Protect the medicine from direct light. Keep it in its original package until you are ready to use it.

Injection routeThrow away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.

Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed into a vein or as a shot under your skin.

If tocilizumab is injected into a vein, it must be given slowly, so the needle will have to stay in place for at least 1 hour.

Injection routeA nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.

Use all of the medicine in each prefilled syringe or autoinjector. Use each prefilled syringe and autoinjector only one time. Do not save an open syringe or autoinjector.

Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to tocilizumab.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, multiple sclerosis, stomach or bowel disease (including diverticulitis, ulcers), or a weak immune system (including HIV, cancer). Tell your doctor if you have any type of infection (including hepatitis B or tuberculosis) or an infection that keeps coming back.

This medicine may cause the following problems:Increased risk for serious infectionsStomach or bowel problemsLiver problemsIncreased risk of cancerSerious skin reactionsHigh cholesterol in the blood

You will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis (TB) before you start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive TB skin test or has been exposed to TB.

This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.

Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Trouble breathing

Vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds

Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Some medicines can affect how tocilizumab works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:Abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, certolizumab, cyclosporine, dextromethorphan, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, methotrexate, omeprazole, rituximab, theophyllineBirth control pillsBlood thinner (including warfarin)Medicine that weakens the immune system (including a cancer or steroid medicine)Medicine to lower cholesterol (including atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin)NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (including aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)

This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines. Your child's vaccines need to be current before he or she begins using tocilizumab. Ask your child's doctor if you have questions about this.

This medicine may increase your risk of cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.

You may get infections more easily while you use this medicine. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, or a cough.

This medicine may cause serious stomach and bowel problems, especially if you have a history of ulcers or diverticulosis. Check with your doctor right away if you have severe stomach cramps or pain, black, tarry stools, diarrhea, fever, or vomiting while being treated with this medicine.

Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, weakness
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Fever, chills, cough, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, body aches
  • Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools, severe stomach pain, diarrhea
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, bleeding, or a lump under your skin where the needle was placed or the shot was given
  • Headache
Frequently Asked Questions

Actemra can cost around $444 for a 4 ml supply of 20 mg/mL injectable solution. Luckily, you can save up to 80% off the price of your prescription by using our free Actemra coupon card at participating pharmacies near you.

Use OptionRx's free Actemra coupon card as most major pharmacies, including Walgreens and Kroger, for a discount on your prescription. Enter your zip code on the Actemra page of our site to see which pharmacies near you accept the Actemra discount card.

Tocilizumab is the generic version of Actemra. You can also use our free coupon card for savings on the generic version.

Genentech Access to Care Foundation assists low income or uninsured patients with access to Actemra for free or at a discounted price. You can contact this program directly for more information and to determine eligibility. You can also use our coupon card. OptionRx’s coupon card is free and easy to use, and customers usually find the most savings on their medication using our coupon.