Home A-E Actemra – Drug Uses, Side Effects and Precautions

Actemra – Drug Uses, Side Effects and Precautions


Actemra is a biological medication that serves as an anti-inflammatory agent. It contains the active drug tocilizumab.

Generic name: tocilizumab
Brand name: Actemra
Drug class: Interleukin inhibitors

Uses of Actemra

In adults, it is used to treat;

  • moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis
  • giant cell arteritis
  • scleroderma with interstitial lung disease.

In children aged 2 years and above, it is used to treat:

  • polyarticular or systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • severe cytokine release syndrome

How To Take Actemra

Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking Actemra. Read all drug guides or instruction sheets and follow all guidelines on your prescription label. Your doctor may test you for tuberculosis or other illnesses before you start taking Actemra.

Actemra is injected into a vein or under the skin. For most cases, this medication is administered every 1 to 4 weeks. Only one dose is normally provided for CRS. This medicine is delivered slowly for roughly an hour after being injected into a vein.

Read and follow all of the User Instructions. If you require assistance, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Only prepare an injection when you’re ready to administer it. If the drug is foggy, has changed colors, or has particles in it, contact your pharmacist. Your doctor or nurse will show you how to inject Actemra. Do not repeat injections in the same location.

Never use the same needle, syringe, or autoinjector twice. Put them in a puncture-resistant “sharps” container and dispose of it according to state or local regulations. Children and pets should be kept out of reach.

You may be more susceptible to infections, including serious or deadly diseases. Medical testing will be required on a regular basis.

If you’ve had hepatitis B before, it could resurface or worsen. You may need liver function tests while taking this medication and for a few months afterward. If you’re having surgery, let your doctor know.

Follow the directions on all of your medications. Before changing your prescription dose or schedule, consult your doctor.

Refrigerate Actemra injection in its original container. Moisture and light should be avoided. Do not allow yourself to become frozen. Throw away any prefilled syringes that haven’t been used by the medicine’s expiration date.

Even if there is still medicine within a prefilled syringe or autoinjector after one usage, throw it away.

Your body may be affected by Actemra for a long time. After you stop taking this medicine, you may need medical testing every 6 months.

Side Effects of Actemra

The following side effects can be associated with taking Actemra. They include mild and severe side effects.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information on Actemra’s potential adverse effects. They can provide you with advice on how to deal with any unpleasant side effects

Mild side effects include:

  • pain, redness, or swelling at injection sites
  • high blood pressure
  • nasopharyngitis (swelling of your nasal passages and back of your throat)
  • headache
  • upper respiratory infection

Severe side effects include:

  • High cholesterol level
  • Allergic reaction
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Worsening tuberculosis
  • Blood disorders
  • Liver failure
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Peptic and gastric ulcer


Your immune system is affected by Actemra. You may be more susceptible to infections, including serious diseases. If you experience a fever, chills, aches, fatigue, cough, skin sores, diarrhea, weight loss, or burning when you urinate, call your doctor.

It can potentially cause a perforation in your stomach or intestines (a hole or tear). If you develop a fever, stomach pain, or a change in your bowel habits, call your doctor.

Actemra might potentially harm your liver. If you suffer right-sided stomach pain, vomiting, lack of appetite, weariness, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or yellowing of your skin or eyes, call your doctor straight once.

Your doctor may run tests to make sure you don’t have tuberculosis or other illnesses before starting the medication. You may need frequent medical testing while taking Actemra.


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