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Actemra

Actemra

Actemra Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Actemra (tocilizumab) is an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitor used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in children and adults. Common side effects include runny or stuffy nose, headache, itching, or mild stomach cramps.

Actemra is given once every four weeks by intravenous (IV) infusion by your doctor. Actemra can be taken with or without methotrexate (or other DMARDs). Actemra may interact with other drugs, including birth control pills, blood thinners, cyclosporine, digoxin, omeprozole, sirolimus, theophylline, abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab, cholesterol-lowering medications, seizure medications, heart rhythm medications, drugs that weaken your immune system, and pain or arthritis medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you take. If you are pregnant, only take Actemra if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. It is not known if Actemra passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Actemra (tocilizumab) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Actemra in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with tocilizumab. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • fever, flu symptoms, mouth and throat ulcers, weight loss, feeling very tired;
  • sores in your mouth and throat or on your skin;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum);
  • purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • cough with yellow or green mucus, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath;
  • pain or burning when you urinate.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:

  • severe stomach pain with constipation;
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • painful blistering skin rash with burning, itching, or tingly feeling; or
  • upper stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • runny or stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat;
  • headache, dizziness;
  • itching; or
  • mild stomach cramps.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Actemra (Tocilizumab Injection) »

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Actemra FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)

SIDE EFFECTS

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not predict the rates observed in a broader patient population in clinical practice.

Clinical Trials Experience in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Treated with Intravenous ACTEMRA (ACTEMRA-IV)

The ACTEMRA-IV data in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) includes 5 double-blind, controlled, multicenter studies. In these studies, patients received doses of ACTEMRA-IV 8 mg per kg monotherapy (288 patients), ACTEMRA-IV 8 mg per kg in combination with DMARDs (including methotrexate) (1582 patients), or ACTEMRA-IV 4 mg per kg in combination with methotrexate (774 patients).

The all exposure population includes all patients in registration studies who received at least one dose of ACTEMRA-IV. Of the 4009 patients in this population, 3577 received treatment for at least 6 months, 3309 for at least one year; 2954 received treatment for at least 2 years and 2189 for 3 years.

All patients in these studies had moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. The study population had a mean age of 52 years, 82% were female and 74% were Caucasian.

The most common serious adverse reactions were serious infections [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. The most commonly reported adverse reactions in controlled studies up to 24 weeks (occurring in at least 5% of patients treated with ACTEMRA-IV monotherapy or in combination with DMARDs) were upper respiratory tract infections, nasopharyngitis, headache, hypertension and increased ALT.

The proportion of patients who discontinued treatment due to any adverse reactions during the double-blind, placebo-controlled studies was 5% for patients taking ACTEMRA-IV and 3% for placebo-treated patients. The most common adverse reactions that required discontinuation of ACTEMRA-IV were increased hepatic transaminase values (per protocol requirement) and serious infections.

Overall Infections

In the 24 week, controlled clinical studies, the rate of infections in the ACTEMRA-IV monotherapy group was 119 events per 100 patient-years and was similar in the methotrexate monotherapy group. The rate of infections in the 4 mg per kg and 8 mg per kg ACTEMRA-IV plus DMARD group was 133 and 127 events per 100 patient-years, respectively, compared to 112 events per 100 patient-years in the placebo plus DMARD group. The most commonly reported infections (5% to 8% of patients) were upper respiratory tract infections and nasopharyngitis.

The overall rate of infections with ACTEMRA-IV in the all exposure population remained consistent with rates in the controlled periods of the studies.

Serious Infections

In the 24 week, controlled clinical studies, the rate of serious infections in the ACTEMRA-IV monotherapy group was 3.6 per 100 patient-years compared to 1.5 per 100 patient-years in the methotrexate group. The rate of serious infections in the 4 mg per kg and 8 mg per kg ACTEMRA-IV plus DMARD group was 4.4 and 5.3 events per 100 patient-years, respectively, compared to 3.9 events per 100 patient-years in the placebo plus DMARD group.

In the all-exposure population, the overall rate of serious infections remained consistent with rates in the controlled periods of the studies. The most common serious infections included pneumonia, urinary tract infection, cellulitis, herpes zoster, gastroenteritis, diverticulitis, sepsis and bacterial arthritis. Cases of opportunistic infections have been reported [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Gastrointestinal Perforations

During the 24 week, controlled clinical trials, the overall rate of gastrointestinal perforation was 0.26 events per 100 patient-years with ACTEMRA-IV therapy.

In the all-exposure population, the overall rate of gastrointestinal perforation remained consistent with rates in the controlled periods of the studies. Reports of gastrointestinal perforation were primarily reported as complications of diverticulitis including generalized purulent peritonitis, lower GI perforation, fistula and abscess. Most patients who developed gastrointestinal perforations were taking concomitant nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, or methotrexate [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. The relative contribution of these concomitant medications versus ACTEMRA-IV to the development of GI perforations is not known.

Infusion Reactions

In the 24 week, controlled clinical studies, adverse events associated with the infusion (occurring during or within 24 hours of the start of infusion) were reported in 8% and 7% of patients in the 4 mg per kg and 8 mg per kg ACTEMRA-IV plus DMARD group, respectively, compared to 5% of patients in the placebo plus DMARD group. The most frequently reported event on the 4 mg per kg and 8 mg per kg dose during the infusion was hypertension (1% for both doses), while the most frequently reported event occurring within 24 hours of finishing an infusion were headache (1% for both doses) and skin reactions (1% for both doses), including rash, pruritus and urticaria. These events were not treatment limiting.

Anaphylaxis

Hypersensitivity reactions requiring treatment discontinuation, including anaphylaxis, associated with ACTEMRA-IV were reported in 0.1% (3 out of 2644) in the 24 week, controlled trials and in 0.2% (8 out of 4009) in the all-exposure population. These reactions were generally observed during the second to fourth infusion of ACTEMRA-IV. Appropriate medical treatment should be available for immediate use in the event of a serious hypersensitivity reaction [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Laboratory Abnormalities

Neutropenia

In the 24 week, controlled clinical studies, decreases in neutrophil counts below 1000 per mm³occurred in 1.8% and 3.4% of patients in the 4 mg per kg and 8 mg per kg ACTEMRA-IV plus DMARD group, respectively, compared to 0.1% of patients in the placebo plus DMARD group. Approximately half of the instances of ANC below 1000 per mm³occurred within 8 weeks of starting therapy. Decreases in neutrophil counts below 500 per mm³occurred in 0.4% and 0.3% of patients in the 4 mg per kg and 8 mg per kg ACTEMRA-IV plus DMARD, respectively, compared to 0.1% of patients in the placebo plus DMARD group. There was no clear relationship between decreases in neutrophils below 1000 per mm³and the occurrence of serious infections.

In the all-exposure population, the pattern and incidence of decreases in neutrophil counts remained consistent with what was seen in the 24 week controlled clinical studies [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Thrombocytopenia

In the 24 week, controlled clinical studies, decreases in platelet counts below 100,000 per mm³occurred in 1.3% and 1.7% of patients on 4 mg per kg and 8 mg per kg ACTEMRA-IV plus DMARD, respectively, compared to 0.5% of patients on placebo plus DMARD, without associated bleeding events.

In the all-exposure population, the pattern and incidence of decreases in platelet counts remained consistent with what was seen in the 24 week controlled clinical studies [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Elevated Liver Enzymes

Liver enzyme abnormalities are summarized in Table 1. In patients experiencing liver enzyme elevation, modification of treatment regimen, such as reduction in the dose of concomitant DMARD, interruption of ACTEMRA-IV, or reduction in ACTEMRA-IV dose, resulted in decrease or normalization of liver enzymes [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. These elevations were not associated with clinically relevant increases in direct bilirubin, nor were they associated with clinical evidence of hepatitis or hepatic insufficiency [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Table 1 : Incidence of Liver Enzyme Abnormalities in the 24 Week Controlled Period of Studies I to V*

  ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg MONOTHERAPY
N = 288
(%)
Methotrexate
N = 284
(%)
ACTEMRA 4 mg per kg + DMARDs
N = 774
(%)
ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg + DMARDs
N = 1582
(%)
Placebo + DMARDs
N = 1170
(%)
AST (U/L)
> ULN to 3x ULN 22 26 34 41 17
> 3x ULN to 5x ULN 0.3 2 1 2 0.3
> 5x ULN 0.7 0.4 0.1 0.2 < 0.1
ALT (U/L)
> ULN to 3x ULN 36 33 45 48 23
> 3x ULN to 5x ULN 1 4 5 5 1
> 5x ULN 0.7 1 1.3 1.5 0.3
ULN = Upper Limit of Normal
*For a description of these studies, see Section Clinical Studies.

In the all-exposure population, the elevations in ALT and AST remained consistent with what was seen in the 24 week, controlled clinical trials

Lipids

Elevations in lipid parameters (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides) were first assessed at 6 weeks following initiation of ACTEMRA-IV in the controlled 24 week clinical trials. Increases were observed at this time point and remained stable thereafter. Increases in triglycerides to levels above 500 mg per dL were rarely observed. Changes in other lipid parameters from baseline to week 24 were evaluated and are summarized below:

  • Mean LDL increased by 13 mg per dL in the ACTEMRA 4 mg per kg+DMARD arm, 20 mg per dL in the ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg+DMARD, and 25 mg per dL in ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg monotherapy.
  • Mean HDL increased by 3 mg per dL in the ACTEMRA 4 mg per kg+DMARD arm, 5 mg per dL in the ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg+DMARD, and 4 mg per dL in ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg monotherapy.
  • Mean LDL/HDL ratio increased by an average of 0.14 in the ACTEMRA 4 mg per kg+DMARD arm, 0.15 in the ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg+DMARD, and 0.26 in ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg monotherapy.
  • ApoB/ApoA1 ratios were essentially unchanged in ACTEMRA-treated patients.

Elevated lipids responded to lipid lowering agents.

In the all-exposure population, the elevations in lipid parameters remained consistent with what was seen in the 24 week, controlled clinical trials.

Immunogenicity

In the 24 week, controlled clinical studies, a total of 2876 patients have been tested for anti-tocilizumab antibodies. Forty-six patients (2%) developed positive anti-tocilizumab antibodies, of whom 5 had an associated, medically significant, hypersensitivity reaction leading to withdrawal. Thirty patients (1%) developed neutralizing antibodies.

The data reflect the percentage of patients whose test results were positive for antibodies to tocilizumab in specific assays. The observed incidence of antibody positivity in an assay is highly dependent on several factors, including assay sensitivity and specificity, assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medication, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to tocilizumab with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.

Malignancies

During the 24 week, controlled period of the studies, 15 malignancies were diagnosed in patients receiving ACTEMRA-IV, compared to 8 malignancies in patients in the control groups. Exposure-adjusted incidence was similar in the ACTEMRA-IV groups (1.32 events per 100 patient-years) and in the placebo plus DMARD group (1.37 events per 100 patient-years).

In the all-exposure population, the rate of malignancies remained consistent with the rate observed in the 24 week, controlled period [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Other Adverse Reactions

Adverse reactions occurring in 2% or more of patients on 4 or 8 mg per kg ACTEMRA-IV plus DMARD and at least 1% greater than that observed in patients on placebo plus DMARD are summarized in Table 2.

Table 2 : Adverse Reactions Occurring in at Least 2% or More of Patients on 4 or 8 mg per kg ACTEMRA plus DMARD and at Least 1% Greater Than That Observed in Patients on Placebo plus DMARD

Preferred Term 24 Week Phase 3 Controlled Study Population
ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg MONOTHERAPY
N = 288
(%)
Methotrexate
N = 284
(%)
ACTEMRA 4 mg per kg + DMARDs
N = 774
(%)
ACTEMRA 8 mg per kg + DMARDs
N = 1582
(%)
Placebo + DMARDs
N = 1170
(%)
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 7 5 6 8 6
Nasopharyngitis 7 6 4 6 4
Headache 7 2 6 5 3
Hypertension 6 2 4 4 3
ALT increased 6 4 3 3 1
Dizziness 3 1 2 3 2
Bronchitis 3 2 4 3 3
Rash 2 1 4 3 1
Mouth Ulceration 2 2 1 2 1
Abdominal Pain Upper 2 2 3 3 2
Gastritis 1 2 1 2 1
Transaminase increased 1 5 2 2 1

Other infrequent and medically relevant adverse reactions occurring at an incidence less than 2% in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with ACTEMRA-IV in controlled trials were:

Infections and Infestations: oral herpes simplex

Gastrointestinal disorders: stomatitis, gastric ulcer

Investigations: weight increased, total bilirubin increased

Blood and lymphatic system disorders: leukopenia

General disorders and administration site conditions: edema peripheral

Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders: dyspnea, cough

Eye disorders: conjunctivitis

Renal disorders: nephrolithiasis

Endocrine disorders: hypothyroidism

Clinical Trials Experience in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Treated with Subcutaneous ACTEMRA (ACTEMRA-SC)

The ACTEMRA-SC data in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) includes 2 double-blind, controlled, multicenter studies. Study SC-I was a non-inferiority study that compared the efficacy and safety of tocilizumab 162 mg administered every week subcutaneously (SC) and 8 mg/kg intravenously (IV) every four weeks in 1262 adult subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. Study SC-II was a placebo controlled superiority study that evaluated the safety and efficacy of tocilizumab 162 mg administered every other week SC or placebo in 656 patients. All patients in both studies received background non-biologic DMARDs.

The safety observed for ACTEMRA administered subcutaneously was consistent with the known safety profile of intravenous ACTEMRA, with the exception of injection site reactions, which were more common with ACTEMRA-SC compared with placebo SC injections (IV arm).

Injection Site Reactions

In the 6-month control period, in SC-I, the frequency of injection site reactions was 10.1% (64/631) and 2.4% (15/631) for the weekly ACTEMRA-SC and placebo SC (IV-arm) groups, respectively. In SC-II, the frequency of injection site reactions was 7.1% (31/437) and 4.1% (9/218) for the every other week SC ACTEMRA and placebo groups, respectively. These injection site reactions (including erythema, pruritus, pain and hematoma) were mild to moderate in severity. The majority resolved without any treatment and none necessitated drug discontinuation.

Immunogenicity

In the 6-month control period in SC-I, 0.8% (5/625) in the ACTEMRA-SC arm and 0.8% (5/627) in the IV arm developed anti-tocilizumab antibodies; of these, all developed neutralizing antibodies. In SC-II, 1.6% (7/434) in the ACTEMRA-SC arm compared with 1.4 % (3/217) in the placebo arm developed anti- tocilizumab antibodies; of these, 1.4% (6/434) in the ACTEMRA-SC arm and 0.5% (1/217) in the placebo arm also developed neutralizing antibodies.

A total of 1454 ( > 99%) patients who received ACTEMRA-SC in the all exposure group have been tested for anti-tocilizumab antibodies. Thirteen patients (0.9%) developed anti-tocilizumab antibodies, and, of these, 12 patients (0.8%) developed neutralizing antibodies.

The rate is consistent with previous intravenous experience. No correlation of antibody development to adverse events or loss of clinical response was observed.

Laboratory Abnormalities

Neutropenia

During routine laboratory monitoring in the 6-month controlled clinical trials, a decrease in neutrophil count below 1 109/L occurred in 2.9% and 3.7% of patients receiving ACTEMRA-SC weekly and every other week, respectively.

There was no clear relationship between decreases in neutrophils below 1 x 109/L and the occurrence of serious infections.

Thrombocytopenia

During routine laboratory monitoring in the ACTEMRA-SC 6-month controlled clinical trials, none of the patients had a decrease in platelet count to ≤ 50 103/mcL.

Elevated Liver Enzymes

During routine laboratory monitoring in the 6-month controlled clinical trials, elevation in ALT or AST ≥ 3 x ULN occurred in 6.5% and 1.4% of patients, respectively, receiving ACTEMRA-SC weekly and 3.4% and 0.7% receiving ACTEMRA SC every other week.

Lipids

During routine laboratory monitoring in the ACTEMRA-SC 6-month clinical trials, 19% of patients dosed weekly and 19.6% of patients dosed every other week and 10.2% of patients on placebo experienced sustained elevations in total cholesterol > 6.2 mmol/l (240 mg/dL), with 9%, 10.4% and 5.1% experiencing a sustained increase in LDL to 4.1 mmol/l (160 mg/dL) receiving ACTEMRA-SC weekly, every other week and placebo, respectively.

Clinical Trials Experience in Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Patients Treated With Intravenous ACTEMRA (ACTEMRA-IV)

The safety of ACTEMRA-IV was studied in 188 pediatric patients 2 to 17 years of age with PJIA who had an inadequate clinical response or were intolerant to methotrexate. The total patient exposure in the ACTEMRAIV all exposure population (defined as patients who received at least one dose of ACTEMRA-IV) was 184.4 patient years. At baseline, approximately half of the patients were taking oral corticosteroids and almost 80% were taking methotrexate. In general, the types of adverse drug reactions in patients with PJIA were consistent with those seen in RA and SJIA patients [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Infections

The rate of infections in the ACTEMRA-IV all exposure population was 163.7 per 100 patient years. The most common events observed were nasopharyngitis and upper respiratory tract infections. The rate of serious infections was numerically higher in patients weighing less than 30 kg treated with 10 mg/kg tocilizumab (12.2 per 100 patient years) compared to patients weighing at or above 30 kg, treated with 8 mg/kg tocilizumab (4.0 per 100 patient years). The incidence of infections leading to dose interruptions was also numerically higher in patients weighing less than 30 kg treated with 10 mg/kg tocilizumab (21%) compared to patients weighing at or above 30 kg, treated with 8 mg/kg tocilizumab (8%).

Infusion Reactions

In PJIA patients, infusion-related reactions are defined as all events occurring during or within 24 hours of an infusion. In the ACTEMRA-IV all exposure population, 11 patients (6%) experienced an event during the infusion, and 38 patients (20.2%) experienced an event within 24 hours of an infusion. The most common events occurring during infusion were headache, nausea and hypotension, and occurring within 24 hours of infusion were dizziness and hypotension. In general, the adverse drug reactions observed during or within 24 hours of an infusion were similar in nature to those seen in RA and SJIA patients [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

No clinically significant hypersensitivity reactions associated with tocilizumab and requiring treatment discontinuation were reported.

Immunogenicity

One patient, in the 10 mg/kg less than 30 kg group, developed positive anti-tocilizumab antibodies without developing a hypersensitivity reaction and subsequently withdrew from the study.

Laboratory Abnormalities

Neutropenia

During routine laboratory monitoring in the ACTEMRA-IV all exposure population, a decrease in neutrophil counts below 1 109 per L occurred in 3.7% of patients.

There was no clear relationship between decreases in neutrophils below 1 x 109 per L and the occurrence of serious infections.

Thrombocytopenia

During routine laboratory monitoring in the ACTEMRA-IV all exposure population, 1% of patients had a decrease in platelet count at or less than 50 103 per mcL without associated bleeding events.

Elevated Liver Enzymes

During routine laboratory monitoring in the ACTEMRA-IV all exposure population, elevation in ALT or AST at or greater than 3 x ULN occurred in 4% and less than 1% of patients, respectively.

Lipids

During routine laboratory monitoring in the tocilizumab all exposure population, elevation in total cholesterol greater than 1.5-2 x ULN occurred in one patient (0.5%) and elevation in LDL greater than 1.5-2 x ULN occurred in one patient (0.5%).

Clinical Trials Experience in Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Patients Treated with Intravenous ACTEMRA (ACTEMRA-IV)

The data described below reflect exposure to ACTEMRA-IV in one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 112 pediatric patients with SJIA 2 to 17 years of age who had an inadequate clinical response to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids due to toxicity or lack of efficacy. At baseline, approximately half of the patients were taking 0.3 mg/kg/day corticosteroids or more, and almost 70% were taking methotrexate. The trial included a 12 week controlled phase followed by an open-label extension. In the 12 week double-blind, controlled portion of the clinical study 75 patients received treatment with ACTEMRA-IV (8 or 12 mg per kg based upon body weight). After 12 weeks or at the time of escape, due to disease worsening, patients were treated with ACTEMRA-IV in the open-label extension phase.

The most common adverse events (at least 5%) seen in ACTEMRA-IV treated patients in the 12 week controlled portion of the study were: upper respiratory tract infection, headache, nasopharyngitis and diarrhea.

Infections

In the 12 week controlled phase, the rate of all infections in the ACTEMRA-IV group was 345 per 100 patient-years and 287 per 100 patient-years in the placebo group. In the open label extension over an average duration of 73 weeks of treatment, the overall rate of infections was 304 per 100 patient-years.

In the 12 week controlled phase, the rate of serious infections in the ACTEMRA-IV group was 11.5 per 100 patient years. In the open label extension over an average duration of 73 weeks of treatment, the overall rate of serious infections was 11.4 per 100 patient years. The most commonly reported serious infections included pneumonia, gastroenteritis, varicella, and otitis media.

Macrophage Activation Syndrome

In the 12 week controlled study, no patient in any treatment group experienced macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) while on assigned treatment; 3 per 112 (3%) developed MAS during open-label treatment with ACTEMRA-IV. One patient in the placebo group escaped to ACTEMRA-IV 12 mg per kg at Week 2 due to severe disease activity, and ultimately developed MAS at Day 70. Two additional patients developed MAS during the long-term extension. All 3 patients had ACTEMRA-IV dose interrupted (2 patients) or discontinued (1 patient) for the MAS event, received treatment, and the MAS resolved without sequelae. Based on a limited number of cases, the incidence of MAS does not appear to be elevated in the ACTEMRA-IV SJIA clinical development experience; however no definitive conclusions can be made.

Infusion Reactions

Patients were not premedicated, however most patients were on concomitant corticosteroids as part of their background treatment for SJIA. Infusion related reactions were defined as all events occurring during or within 24 hours after an infusion. In the 12 week controlled phase, 4% of ACTEMRA-IV and 0% of placebo treated patients experienced events occurring during infusion. One event (angioedema) was considered serious and life-threatening, and the patient was discontinued from study treatment.

Within 24 hours after infusion, 16% of patients in the ACTEMRA-IV treatment group and 5% of patients in the placebo group experienced an event. In the ACTEMRA-IV group the events included rash, urticaria, diarrhea, epigastric discomfort, arthralgia and headache. One of these events, urticaria, was considered serious.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis was reported in 1 out of 112 patients (less than 1%) treated with ACTEMRA-IV during the controlled and open label extension study [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Immunogenicity

All 112 patients were tested for anti-tocilizumab antibodies at baseline. Two patients developed positive antitocilizumab antibodies: one of these patients experienced serious adverse events of urticaria and angioedema consistent with an anaphylactic reaction which led to withdrawal; the other patient developed macrophage activation syndrome while on escape therapy and was discontinued from the study.

Laboratory Abnormalities

Neutropenia

During routine monitoring in the 12 week controlled phase, a decrease in neutrophil below 1 109 per L occurred in 7% of patients in the ACTEMRA-IV group, and in no patients in the placebo group. In the open label extension over an average duration of 73 weeks of treatment, a decreased neutrophil count occurred in 17% of the ACTEMRA-IV group. There was no clear relationship between decrease in neutrophils below 1 x 109 per L and the occurrence of serious infections.

Thrombocytopenia

During routine monitoring in the 12 week controlled phase, 1% of patients in the ACTEMRA-IV group and 3% in the placebo group had a decrease in platelet count to no more than 100 103 per mcL.

In the open label extension over an average duration of 73 weeks of treatment, decreased platelet count occurred in 4% of patients in the ACTEMRA-IV group, with no associated bleeding.

Elevated Liver Enzymes

During routine laboratory monitoring in the 12 week controlled phase, elevation in ALT or AST at or above 3x ULN occurred in 5% and 3% of patients, respectively in the ACTEMRA-IV group and in 0% of placebo patients.

In the open label extension over an average duration of 73 weeks of treatment, the elevation in ALT or AST at or above 3x ULN occurred in 13% and 5% of ACTEMRA-IV treated patients, respectively.

Lipids

During routine laboratory monitoring in the 12 week controlled phase, elevation in total cholesterol greater than 1.5x ULN - 2x ULN occurred in 1.5% of the ACTEMRA-IV group and in 0% of placebo patients. Elevation in LDL greater than 1.5x ULN - 2x ULN occurred in 1.9% of patients in the ACTEMRA-IV group and 0% of the placebo group.

In the open label extension study over an average duration of 73 weeks of treatment, the pattern and incidence of elevations in lipid parameters remained consistent with the 12 week controlled study data.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of intravenous ACTEMRA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Actemra (Tocilizumab Injection) »

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