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Tocilizumab: a review of its safety and efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis


Jones, G and Ding, C, Tocilizumab: a review of its safety and efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis, Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2010, (3) pp. 81-89. ISSN 1179-5441 (2010) [Refereed Article]


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This article is available from Copyright © the author(s), publisher and licensee Libertas Academica Ltd. This is an open access article. Unrestricted non-commercial use is permitted provided the original work is properly cited.

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DOI: doi:10.4137/CMAMD.S4864


Recent years have seen many exciting developments in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Tocilizumab (TCZ) is a monoclonal antibody which inhibits the interleukin-6 receptor. After initial studies in Japan, it has been extensively studied in five multicentre clinical trials. This report summarises the key efficacy and toxicity findings from the major clinical trials. TCZ works quickly and effectively in rheumatoid arthritis either as monotherapy or in combination with other agents in early disease, DMARD inadequate responders, seronegative disease and after anti-TNF failure. The toxicity profile is manageable but includes infections (most notably skin and soft tissue), increases in serum cholesterol, transient decreases in neutrophil count and abnormal liver function tests (especially in combination with methotrexate). In summary, there is sufficient evidence to make TCZ a first line biologic therapy for rheumatoid arthritis especially for those who are unable to take methotrexate or who fail anti-TNF therapy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:clinical trials, rheumatoid, therapy, interleukin-6
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Rheumatology and arthritis
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
UTAS Author:Ding, C (Professor Chang-Hai Ding)
ID Code:66888
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2011-02-17
Last Modified:2011-06-10
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