The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Tocilizumab (Actemra) for Rheumatoid Arthritis
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The FDA has approved tocilizumab (Actemra – Genentech; RoActemra in Europe) for intravenous (IV) treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors.1

MECHANISM OF ACTION — Tocilizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that competitively inhibits the binding of IL-6 to its receptors. IL-6 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is overproduced in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and contributes to joint destruction.

DRUG INTERACTIONSIn vitro data indicate that tocilizumab may reverse IL-6-mediated suppression of CYP1A2, 2B6, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6 and 3A4, potentially decreasing levels of other drugs taken concurrently, including oral contraceptives. In vitro studies have shown a decrease in serum levels of simvastatin (Zocor, and others) ... more      

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Title: Tocilizumab (Actemra) for Rheumatoid Arthritis
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