Proper Use

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a medical facility. It is given through a needle placed into one of your veins to treat rheumatoid arthritis, PJIA, SJIA, or CRS. It must be given slowly, so the needle will have to remain in place for at least 1 hour.

Tocilizumab injection may also be given as a shot under your skin to treat rheumatoid arthritis, PJIA, SJIA, or giant cell arteritis. It may sometimes be given at home to patients who do not need to be in the hospital or clinic. If you are using this medicine at home, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to inject the medicine. Be sure that you understand exactly how to use this.

This medicine comes with a Medication Guide and patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

This medicine is available in 2 forms. You may use a prefilled syringe or an autoinjector.

If you use this medicine at home, you 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. This will help prevent skin problems. Do not inject into scars, moles, or skin areas that are red, bruised, tender, hard, or not intact.

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

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

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.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form (prefilled syringe):
    • For giant cell arteritis:
      • Adults—162 milligrams (mg) injected under the skin once a week or once every other week.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis:
      • Adults weighing 100 kilograms (kg) or more—162 milligrams (mg) injected under the skin once a week.
      • Adults weighing less than 100 kg—At first, 162 mg injected under the skin once every other week. Your doctor may increase the dose to 162 mg once a week as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis:
      • Adults and children 2 years of age and older weighing 30 kilograms (kg) or more—162 milligrams (mg) injected under the skin once every 2 weeks.
      • Children 2 years of age and older weighing less than 30 kg—162 milligrams (mg) injected under the skin once every 3 weeks.
      • Children younger than 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis:
      • Adults and children 2 years of age and older weighing 30 kilograms (kg) or more—162 milligrams (mg) injected under the skin once a week.
      • Children 2 years of age and older weighing less than 30 kg—162 milligrams (mg) injected under the skin once every 2 weeks.
      • Children younger than 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Protect this medicine from direct light. Keep it in its original package until you are ready to use it.

Throw away used syringes in a hard, closed container where the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.