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New 'flexible' treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis

A subcutaneous formulation of tocilizumab (RoActemra) has been launched, giving rheumatoid arthritis patients the option to be treated at home as well as hospital.

It is the first anti IL-6 receptor inhibitor available in a subcutaneous and intravenous version, for use with or without methotrexate.

Tocilizumab is licenced for intravenous use every four weeks and the subcutaneous formulation is administered once a week via a pre-filled syringe.

The most common adverse reactions reported in clinical studies were upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, headache, elevated blood pressure, and increased liver enzymes.

Ailsa Bosworth, chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: “We welcome this new option which provides greater flexibility and choice for people with rheumatoid arthritis giving them the freedom to carry on with their day-to-day lives.”

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