Drug Class: DMARDs, Janus Kinase (JAK) Inhibitor
Brand Names: Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR
Xeljanz: 5 mg twice daily; 5 mg once daily for patients with reduced kidney or liver function.
Xeljanz XR: 11 mg once daily.
Potential Side Effects
The most common potential side effects are a decrease in blood counts; diarrhea; headache; hypertension; increased lipid levels; upper respiratory tract infection; skin rash.
The FDA has determined this and other JAK inhibitors have an increased risk of serious cardiovascular-related events, including heart attack and stroke; cancer, including lymphoma and lung cancer; thrombosis and death.
May be taken with or without food.
Do not chew tablets; do not crush enteric-coated or time-release pills or mix with water.
Your doctor should order periodic blood and urine tests to check for unwanted effects. Before taking any DMARD, tell your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant.
Tofacitinib suppresses the immune system and increases the risk of infections and certain cancers. Your doctor will test you for tuberculosis (TB) before starting this drug. Tell your doctor if you have a history of TB. Live vaccines should not be given with tofacitinib.
LAST UPDATED: 09/18/2021