Actemra can be administered intravenously (through an IV) or by subcutaneous injection. Depending on how it is given, the reason you are using Actemra, and other factors, you will be given a dose every one to four weeks.
An Introduction to Actemra DosingThe dose of Actemra® (tocilizumab) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on how you respond to the medication (especially if you develop certain side effects) and on your weight. As is always the case, do not adjust your dosing schedule (by missing or canceling doses) unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
Recommended Dosage of Actemra for Rheumatoid Arthritis
When used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Actemra can be given by IV or as a subcutaneous injection.
For IV use, the recommended starting dose of Actemra for RA treatment is 4 mg per kg (about 1.8 mg per pound) once every four weeks. Your healthcare provider may increase the amount up to 8 mg per kg (about 3.6 mg per pound) once every four weeks. The medication is administered intravenously (via an IV infusion, also known as an IV drip) lasting one hour. The maximum dosage is 800 mg per IV infusion.
For subcutaneous injection, the standard dosage is 162 mg (one prefilled syringe) once a week for people weighing 220 pounds or more. For people who weigh less than 220 pounds, the drug is started at 162 mg once every other week, increasing to once a week if necessary and tolerated.
Your healthcare provider should check your liver function and blood cell counts (using standard blood tests) before you start Actemra and periodically thereafter. If your liver enzymes are too high or your blood cell counts are too low, your dosage may need to be reduced (in mild cases), or you may need to stop taking this medication altogether (for more severe cases).