XELJANZ (Tofacitinib)
XELJANZ (Tofacitinib)
XELJANZ (Tofacitinib)
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XELJANZ (Tofacitinib)

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What is this medication?

Antirheumatic, Disease Modifying; Janus Associated Kinase Inhibitor

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (Tofacitinib) is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor that is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis that has failed to adequately respond to methotrexate.  Tafacitinib is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe active ulcerative colitis.

Tofacitinib has caused serious infections leading to hospitalization or death. If a serious infection develops, stop Tofacitinib until the infection is controlled. Prior to starting Tofacitinib, perform a test for latent tuberculosis; if it is positive, start treatment for tuberculosis prior to starting Tofacitinib. Monitor all patients for active tuberculosis during treatment, even if the initial latent tuberculosis test is negative. Lymphoma and other malignancies have been observed in patients treated with Tofacitinib. Thrombosis, including pulmonary embolism, deep venous thrombosis, and arterial thrombosis, has occurred in patients treated with tofacitinib and other Janus kinase inhibitors used to treat inflammatory conditions.

How does this medication work? 

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (Tofacitinib) inhibits Janus kinase (JAK) enzymes, which are intracellular enzymes which are involved in cytokine signaling as well phosphorylate signal transducers known as activators of transcription (STATs) which regulate gene expression and intracellular activity. 

How should I take this medication? 

Immediate Release:
Oral: Take 5mg twice daily.

Extended Release: 
Oral: Take 11mg once daily.

How to Take: The tablet can be taken with or without food. In the case of extended release tablets, swallow the tablet whole; do not crush, split, or chew.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Before starting make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take. XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (Tofacitinib) has been associated with serious infections, gastrointestinal perforations and hepatic impairment.  Avoid taking Tofacitinib during an active infection.  It is recommended to monitor changes in lymphocytes, neutrophils, liver enzymes, and lipids.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication? 

Infection, nasopharyngitis.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (Tofacitinib), only common ones.