Information about Tocilizumab

Tocilizumab Uses

How Tocilizumab works

Tocilizumab blocks the action of certain chemical messengers that are responsible for inflammation, swelling and redness associated with certain joint diseases.

Common side effects of Tocilizumab

Headache, High blood pressure, Upper respiratory tract infection, Injection site reactions (pain, swelling, redness)
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
01 Jun 2022 | 12:21 PM (UTC)

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Available Medicine for Tocilizumab

ActemraRoche Products India Pvt Ltd
8112 to ₹882605 variant(s)
TociraHetero Healthcare Limited
8112 to ₹404253 variant(s)

Expert advice for Tocilizumab

  • Tocilizumab is given as a drip (intravenous infusion) or as an injection directly into a vein.
  • You may be asked for regular blood tests to check blood counts, cholesterol level and liver functioning during the treatment.
  • It might make you feel dizzy. If this happens, avoid driving or operating on machinery.
  • It makes it hard to fight with an infection. Inform your doctor if you notice fever, cough or stomach pain.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not stop taking medicine without talking to your doctor first.

Frequently asked questions for Tocilizumab


Q. Who should be treated with Tocilizumab?

Tocilizumab should be given for treating patients suffering from moderate to severe Covid-19 infection who have persistent reduction in their oxygen levels (a condition called hypoxia) that continues to get worse. The hypoxia may continue to get worsened even after 24 to 48 hours of treatment with corticosteroids and supportive care.

Q. Is Tocilizumab recommended for all Covid-19 patients? If not, why?

No, Tocilizumab is not recommended for all Covid-19 patients. This is because Tocilizumab has its own potential health hazards. Tocilizumab can lead to persistent serious infection and prolonged multiplication and shedding of the virus causing infection, so, it must be given only if the benefits outweigh the risks involved.

Q. What are the side effects of Tocilizumab?

The potential side effects of Tocilizumab include anaphylaxis (serious allergic reaction) with infusion, transaminitis (very high levels of liver enzymes due to which they start moving into the bloodstream), leukopenia (a condition where a person has reduced white blood cells and hence increased risk for infections) and neutropenia (a condition where a person has abnormally low number of cells called neutrophils, that fight infections in our body). Some other side effects are risk of serious bacterial infections, viral infections and reactivation of tuberculosis (TB) virus.

Q. Who should not be given Tocilizumab?

Tocilizumab should not be given to patients who have or ever had abnormal levels of liver enzymes (transaminitis), platelet counts (<50000), or if they have TB, or any active bacterial or viral infection. The use of Tocilizumab is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers too, owing to its risk of developing serious complications.

Q. What to do if there is no improvement seen after giving Tocilizumab too?

Your doctor will decide the next course of action if there is no improvement seen even after giving Tocilizumab. Tocilizumab will prevent inflammation of the lungs but will not cure the damage already done due to the existing disease. Recovery of the lungs takes time to improve. Persistent breathlessness after Tocilizumab administration requires further evaluation of patients for other lung-related issues (pulmonary intravascular coagulopathy) or heart-related problems (cardiac dysfunctions). Any other bacterial infections that might have occurred should also be treated separately.


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