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Precautions and Warnings With Tocilizumab

Tocilizumab may increase the risk of serious infections. If you currently have an infection or are prone to recurrent infections, your healthcare provider may advise against taking tocilizumab. Precautions and warnings also extend to people with diverticulitis, multiple sclerosis, or high cholesterol. Also, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any other medications you are taking (this will help to avoid possible drug interactions).

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Tocilizumab?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking tocilizumab (Actemra®) if you have:
 
  • Diverticulitis
  • Stomach or intestinal ulcers
  • A history of tuberculosis or hepatitis B
  • Any current infection
  • Infections that come and go (such as cold sores)
  • Any disease that affects the immune system, such as diabetes, cancer, HIV, or AIDS
  • A history of any type of cancer
  • Plans to receive vaccinations
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, liver failure, or cirrhosis
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • High cholesterol
  • Lived or traveled in certain areas of the country (such as the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys or the Southwest) where there is a high risk for certain fungal infections
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medication you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
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