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Can tocilizumab affect other medicines and treatments?

Can I take other medicines along with tocilizumab?

You may be prescribed tocilizumab alongside other drugs, including methotrexate. However, some medicines may interact with tocilizumab. Check with your doctor before starting any new medications, and remember to mention you're on tocilizumab if you're treated by anyone other than your usual rheumatology team.

Can I have vaccinations while I'm on tocilizumab?

It's usually recommended that people on tocilizumab avoid live vaccines such as yellow fever. However, sometimes a live vaccine may be necessary (for example, rubella immunisation in women of childbearing age).

If you're offered shingles vaccination (Zostavax) it's best if you can have this before starting tocilizumab. Shingles vaccination isn't recommended for people who are already on tocilizumab.

Pneumococcal vaccine (which protects against the most common cause of pneumonia) and yearly flu vaccines are safe and recommended.

Can I continue with tocilizumab if I'm going to have an operation?

If you're going to have an operation you may be advised to stop the tocilizumab for a time before and after surgery – check with your healthcare team.

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