Tocilizumab (Actemra)

Actemra (Tocilizumab) is a biologic medicine that suppresses an overactive immune system in order to treat rheumatoid arthritis, giant-cell arteritis and some types of juvenile arthritis.

Actemra works by blocking a receptor on the surface of cells that’s related to the body’s immune response: the interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R).

This medication is often given in combination with methotrexate.

It can take 6-12 weeks to feel the effects of Actemra.

Taking Actemra

Actemra is available as an injection (Actemra SC) and as an intravenous infusion (Actemra IV). The injection can be done quickly at home. The infusion is done every 4 weeks at a specialized infusion clinic.

The manufacturer of Actemra offers a support program to Canadian patients that are prescribed the medication:

Patient support program enrolment forms

Important Tests and Risks



Actemra Video

Watch rheumatologist Dr. Andy Thompson introduce Actemra in a short 3-minute video:


Actemra IV Quick Reference Guide
Actemra SC Quick Reference Guide
Pregnancy & Medications Quick Reference Guide

Drug Identification Number (DIN)

  • 02350092 (IV)
  • 02350106 (IV)
  • 02350114 (IV)
  • 02424770 (SC)