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Actemra (Tocilizumab) - Drug Interactions, Contraindications, Overdosage, etc



Other Drugs for Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Population pharmacokinetic analyses did not detect any effect of methotrexate, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids on tocilizumab clearance.

Concomitant administration of a single dose of 10 mg/kg ACTEMRA with 10-25 mg MTX once weekly had no clinically significant effect on MTX exposure.

ACTEMRA has not been studied in combination with biological DMARDs such as TNF antagonists [see Dosage and Administration].

Interactions with CYP450 Substrates

Cytochrome P450s in the liver are down-regulated by infection and inflammation stimuli including cytokines such as IL-6. Inhibition of IL-6 signaling in RA patients treated with tocilizumab may restore CYP450 activities to higher levels than those in the absence of tocilizumab leading to increased metabolism of drugs that are CYP450 substrates. In vitro studies showed that tocilizumab has the potential to affect expression of multiple CYP enzymes including CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4. Its effects on CYP2C8 or transporters is unknown. In vivo studies with omeprazole, metabolized by CYP2C19 and CYP3A4, and simvastatin, metabolized by CYP3A4, showed up to a 28% and 57% decrease in exposure one week following a single dose of ACTEMRA, respectively. The effect of tocilizumab on CYP enzymes may be clinically relevant for CYP450 substrates with narrow therapeutic index, where the dose is individually adjusted. Upon initiation or discontinuation of ACTEMRA, in patients being treated with these types of medicinal products, therapeutic monitoring of effect (e.g., warfarin) or drug concentration (e.g., cyclosporine or theophylline) should be performed and the individual dose of the medicinal product adjusted as needed. Prescribers should exercise caution when ACTEMRA is coadministered with CYP3A4 substrate drugs where decrease in effectiveness is undesirable, e.g., oral contraceptives, lovastatin, atorvastatin, etc. The effect of tocilizumab on CYP450 enzyme activity may persist for several weeks after stopping therapy [see Clinical Pharmacology].

Live Vaccines

Live vaccines should not be given concurrently with ACTEMRA [see Warnings and Precautions].


There are limited data available on overdoses with ACTEMRA. One case of accidental overdose was reported in which a patient with multiple myeloma received a dose of 40 mg/kg. No adverse drug reactions were observed. No serious adverse drug reactions were observed in healthy volunteers who received single doses of up to 28 mg/kg, although all 5 patients at the highest dose of 28 mg/kg developed dose-limiting neutropenia.

In case of an overdose, it is recommended that the patient be monitored for signs and symptoms of adverse reactions. Patients who develop adverse reactions should receive appropriate symptomatic treatment.




No studies on the potential for ACTEMRA to cause dependence have been performed. However, there is no evidence from the available data that ACTEMRA treatment results in dependence.

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