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Actemra (generic: tocilizumab) is a prescription medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in children 2 years or older.
Actemra is referred to as an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitor. IL-6 is a molecule produced by the body that binds to the IL-6 receptor and causes inflammation. Patients with arthritis have increased levels of IL-6 in their body. By inhibiting the IL-6 receptor, Actemra can decrease the symptoms of arthritis.
Actemra comes in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare provider. It is usually given once a month for RA and twice a month for SJIA.
Common side effects of Actemra are cold-like symptoms, increased blood pressure, and headache.