Clinical efficacy of tocilizumab in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis in real clinical practice

Rheumatol Int. 2010 Jun;30(8):1041-8. doi: 10.1007/s00296-009-1095-0. Epub 2009 Aug 22.


The previous clinical studies have demonstrated tocilizumab monotherapy to be highly effective in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The objectives of the present article are to report the efficacy and safety of tocilizumab in patients with active RA in real clinical practice. In total, 61 patients with RA were treated with tocilizumab. Any comorbidities they had, especially infections, were treated thoroughly before they were given the drug. We provided guidance on infection control and prevention. Mean age of the patients was 60.9 +/- 12.4 years, and their mean disease duration 10.9 +/- 9.2 years. The patients remained on steroids, methotrexate, and tacrolimus as before, but were taken off any other drugs they had been using prior to the treatment. Mean of the 28-joint disease activity score using erythrocyte sedimentation rate was 4.75 +/- 1.15 initially and fell to 2.21 +/- 0.97 after two doses (n = 50). After four doses, the remission rate was 83.8% (31/37). All patients responded well to the therapy and there was no decrease in the efficacy of tocilizumab during the treatment. Even in the real clinical setting, treatment with tocilizumab can rapidly induce remission in RA in a high proportion of patients and is generally safe and well tolerated. Tocilizumab would seem to be promising as a first-line choice for the treatment of RA.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • tocilizumab