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Tocilizumab is used in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis (silvery scaly skin rash), ulcerative colitis and crohn disease.

How it works

Tocilizumab belongs to class of medicines called monoclonal antibodies. It works by blocking the action of specific protein called interleukin-6, which is involved in inflammatory processes of the body.

Common side effects

Abnormal liver function tests, Application site redness of skin, Application site irritation, Headache, Increased cholesterol level in blood, Sneezing, Itching, Decreased white blood cell count, Skin rash, Skin redness, Weight gain, Running nose, Liver damage


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Expert advice

  • Seek immediate medical attention if you develop allergic reactions such as chest tightness, wheezing, severe dizziness or light-headedness, swelling of the lips, tongue, face or skin itching, hives or rash during or after the injection.
  • Take necessary precautions as tocilizumab can increase the chance of getting a new infection or reduce your body’s ability to respond to infections.
  • Inform your doctor if you have any kind of infection, tuberculosis, intestinal ulcers, liver or kidney disease, persistent headache.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as tocilizumab may cause dizziness.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q.Is tocilizumab a chemo drug/ cytotoxic?
No. Tocilizumab is not a chemo or cytotoxic drug

Q.Does tocilizumab cause hair loss/ weight gain?
Tocilizumab does not cause hair loss but it known to increase the weight.

Content on this page was last updated on 17 November, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)