Tocilizumab - Benefits, dosage and side effects

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Tocilizumab - Benefits, dosage and side effects
Tocilizumab - Benefits, dosage and side effects
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Tocilizumab is a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis in adults and children. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks he althy joint cells, causing inflammation in the joints

Tocilizumab works by inhibiting the production of a natural protein called interleukin 6 (IL-6) in the body. That way, the immune system response will decrease and the inflammation will subside.

Tocilizumab - Alodokter

In some COVID-19 sufferers with severe symptoms, the body releases cytokines, including IL-6 in excessive amounts (cytokine storm). The use of tocilizumab is expected to control the overproduction of cytokines, including IL-6.

Since July 2021, the World He alth Organization (WHO) has recommended this drug to treat cytokine storms in COVID-19 patients.

Tocilizumab trademark: Actemra

What is Tocilizumab

Class Prescription drugs
Categories Immunosuppressant type antiinterleukin 6 (IL-6)
Benefits Treating rheumatoid arthritis or dealing with cytokine storms in COVID-19 patients
Used by Adults and children aged 2 years
Tocilizumab for pregnant and lactating women Category C: Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

Tocilizumab is not known to be absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Medicine form Inject

Warning Before Using Tocilizumab

Tocilizumab injection will be given by a doctor or medical officer at a he alth facility. Note the following points before using tocilizumab:

  • Tell your doctor about any allergies you have. Tocilizumab should not be given to patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had liver disease, stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers, diverticulitis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis or hepatitis B.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS.
  • Tell your doctor if you plan to vaccinate with a live vaccine, while taking tocilizumab, as this medicine may decrease the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  • As much as possible, avoid close contact with people with infectious diseases that are easily transmitted, such as chickenpox or the flu, because these drugs can make it easier for you to get infected.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor that you are being treated with tocilizumab before undergoing certain medical procedures or surgery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • Report to your doctor if you have an allergic reaction to the drug, serious side effects, or an overdose after using tocilizumab.

Dosage and Instructions for Use of Tocilizumab

Tocilizumab will be injected through a vein (intravenous/IV) by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor.

The dose of tocilizumab given depends on the condition to be treated, the age and weight of the patient. Here is the explanation:

Goal: Treating rheumatoid arthritis

  • Adult: 4 mg/kgBW, for 60 minutes, once every 4 weeks. The dose can be increased up to 8 mg/kg BW.

Goal: Treating systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis

  • Children weighing <30 kg: 12 mg/kg BW, once every 2 weeks.
  • Children weighing 30 kg: 8 mg/kg BW, once every 2 weeks.

Purpose: Treating polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis

  • Children weighing <30 kg: 10 mg/kgBB, once every 4 weeks.
  • Children weighing 30 kg: 8 mg/kgBB, once every 4 weeks.

Goal: Dealing with a cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients

  • Patient with body weight <30 kg: 12 mg/kg body weight, for 60 minutes.
  • Patients with body weight 30 kg: 8 mg/kg body weight, for 60 minutes.

The maximum dose of tocilizumab to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cytotoxin storm in COVID-19 patients is 800 mg.

How to Use Tocilizumab Correctly

Tocilizumab will be injected directly by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor. Injection is done into a vein (intravenous/IV) through a slow infusion over 60 minutes.

Follow the advice and advice of the doctor while you are on treatment with tocilizumab. Do not stop taking medication without consulting your doctor first.

During your treatment with tocilizumab, you will undergo regular liver function tests to monitor your condition, response to therapy, and possible side effects.

Interaction of Tocilizumab with Other Drugs

Tocilizumab can cause drug interactions if used with other drugs. Some drug interactions that can occur are:

  • Increased risk of infection due to vaccination when used with live vaccines, such as BCG vaccine or influenza vaccine
  • Increased risk of developing dangerous and fatal infectious diseases when used with other immunosuppressant drugs, such as adalimumab, etanercept, baricitinib, anankira, or infliximab
  • Increased risk of bone marrow disorders when used with teriflunomide

Side Effects and Dangers of Tocilizumab

Tell your doctor or medical officer if the following side effects don't subside or get worse:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Feeling anxious
  • Nausea

In addition, report to your doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction to the drug or experience more serious side effects, such as:

  • Symptoms of infection, such as coughing, coughing up blood, sore throat, fever, or chills
  • Liver disease, which can be characterized by symptoms such as loss of appetite, jaundice, dark urine, or persistent vomiting
  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea or severe constipation
  • Easy to bruise

Although it is rare, the use of tocilizumab can increase the risk of perforation, which is the appearance of a hole or tear in the digestive tract.

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