It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while receiving this medicine, your doctor may want you to join a registry for pregnant patients.
You will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis before you or your child start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis skin test.
This medicine may increase your risk of developing infections. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections while you or your child are using this medicine. Wash your hands often. Tell your doctor if you have any kind of infection before you start using this medicine. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had an infection that would not go away or an infection that kept coming back.
Using this medicine may increase your risk of having certain cancers. Talk to your doctor if you or your child have concerns about this risk.
Call your doctor right away if you or your child start to have a cough that won't go away, weight loss, night sweats, fever, chills, or flu-like symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, headache, blurred vision, or feeling generally ill. These may be signs that you have an infection.
Tocilizumab may cause headaches and skin reactions, such as a rash or itching, while you are receiving the injection or within 24 hours after you receive it. Check with your doctor or nurse right away if you or your child have any of these symptoms.
This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash; hives; itching; swelling of the face, tongue, and throat; trouble breathing; or chest pain after you receive the medicine.
This medicine may cause serious stomach and bowel problems, especially if you have a history of ulcers or diverticulosis. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child start having severe stomach cramps or pain; black, tarry stools; diarrhea; fever; or vomiting that is severe and sometimes bloody while being treated with this medicine.
While you or your child are being treated with tocilizumab, and after you stop treatment, do not have any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Tocilizumab may lower your body's resistance, and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent. In addition, other persons living in your household should not get live vaccines (e.g., nasal flu virus vaccine). Try to avoid being around persons who have received live vaccines. Do not get close to them and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you or your child cannot take these precautions, you should wear a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about this.
Your child's vaccines need to be current before he or she begins using tocilizumab injection. Be sure to ask your child's doctor if you have any questions about this.
This medicine may increase the level of cholesterol and fats in your blood. If this condition occurs, your doctor may give you a medicine to lower the cholesterol and fats. Talk to your doctor if you or your child have concerns.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.