The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Tocilizumab (Actemra) for Giant Cell Arteritis
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The FDA has approved the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist tocilizumab (Actemra – Genentech) for subcutaneous (SC) treatment of giant cell arteritis in adults. It is the first drug to be approved in the US for this indication. Tocilizumab is also approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, polyarticular or systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and cytokine release syndrome.1

THE DISEASE — Giant cell arteritis is a systemic large vessel vasculitis that usually occurs in adults >50 years old. It can cause blindness, stroke, and aortic aneurysm or dissection. High-dose corticosteroid therapy has been effective in inducing remission, but treatment must be continued for months or years, adverse effects can be severe, and relapses are common.2 Alternatives to glucocorticoid therapy have not been found to be effective ... more      

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Title: Tocilizumab (Actemra) for Giant Cell Arteritis
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