Actemra Side Effects
Although most people tolerate Actemra well, side effects are possible. In clinical trials, the most common risks of this medication included headaches, dizziness, and upper respiratory infections. Serious reactions may also occur. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you have trouble breathing, fever, or any other potentially dangerous symptom.
An Introduction to Actemra Side Effects
As with any medicine, Actemra® (tocilizumab) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, many people tolerate it quite well.
If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious reactions are less common, but do sometimes occur.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Actemra. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Common Side Effects of ActemraActemra has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were documented and then compared to the side effects that occurred in a similar group of people who were taking a placebo (in this case, an injection with no active ingredient). As a result, it is possible to see what problems occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group using the placebo.
Some of the studies treated people with just Actemra, while other studies combined Actemra with other medications (such as methotrexate). To help distinguish between side effects caused by Actemra and side effects probably caused by the other medications, the following information was taken only from studies that used Actemra alone (without combining it with other rheumatoid arthritis medications).
The most common side effects of Actemra seen in clinical trials in adults included:
- Upper respiratory tract infections (such as the common cold) -- in up to 7 percent of people
- Common cold symptoms (such as a runny nose and a sore throat) -- up to 7 percent
- Headaches -- up to 7 percent
- High blood pressure (hypertension) -- up to 6 percent
- Dizziness -- up to 3 percent
- Bronchitis -- up to 3 percent.
In studies with children (age 2 through 17 years old), the most common Actemra side effects included upper respiratory tract infections (like the common cold), headache, and diarrhea (exact percentages not available).