Tocilizumab belongs to a new class of medicines called biological disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (biological DMARDs).
These medicines block natural substances called cytokines, which are found in excessive amounts in the blood and joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
The increased levels of cytokines cause inflammation, which results in symptoms of pain, joint swelling and stiffness, and can lead to joint damage.
By blocking the cytokine called interleukin-6 (IL-6), tocilizumab reduces inflammation, lessens the symptoms and helps stop further joint damage.
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