What is this medication?
Tofacitinib, Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR
Antirheumatic, Disease Modifying; Janus Associated Kinase Inhibitor
Tofacitinib, Xeljanz is officially indicated for psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis.
“Alert: Black Box Warning
Patients treated with tofacitinib are at increased risk of developing serious infections such as tuberculosis, fungal infections (i.e. cryptococcosis, pneumocystosis), herpes zoster, that may lead to hospitalization or death. Most patients who developed these infections were taking concomitant immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate or corticosteroids.
If a serious infection develops, interrupt tofacitinib until the infection is controlled.
Lymphoma and other malignancies have been observed in patients treated with tofacitinib. Epstein-Barr virus-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder has been observed at an increased rate in renal transplant patients treated with tofacitinib and concomitant immunosuppressive medications.
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. Avoid tofacitinib in patients at risk. Discontinue tofacitinib and promptly evaluate patients with symptoms of thrombosis.”
How does this medication work?
Tofacitinib, Xeljanz 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: 5mg twice 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, there is a risk of bone marrow suppression, GI perforation, and hepatic impairment.
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?
Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Tofacitinib, Xeljanz only common ones.
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