Generic Name: tofacitinib
Drug Class: Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor
Xeljanz is an oral prescription drug used to treat people with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who did not respond adequately or had an intolerance to methotrexate. It also treats active psoriatic arthritis and severely active ulcerative colitis.
Xeljanz Dosage Forms
This medication is available as Xeljanz 5 mg tablets.
Xeljanz Mechanism of Action
It mainly works by preventing the body from responding to cytokine signals. This cytokine signaling is responsible for joint damage and tissue inflammation. It prompts the recruitment and activation of some immune cells on the Janus kinase signaling pathway.
How to Take Xeljanz
Before starting to take Xeljanz medication, it is necessary to read the information leaflet or medication guide given by a healthcare professional. Do not take this drug or any medication unless you understand the uses and directions. Talk to your doctor for further medical advice.
Xeljanz tablet is only meant to be taken by mouth and can be taken with or without a meal. This is usually prescribed once or twice a day. Chewing, splitting, or crushing this drug is not recommended.
Make a dosing schedule. Do not increase or decrease your Xeljanz dosage. You should not take this medication frequently than advised. Additionally, do not discontinue this drug abruptly. It is necessary to taper your doses.
Xeljanz Side Effects
Mild & Common Side Effects:
Severe Side Effects:
-Persistent nausea and vomiting
-Severe abdominal pain
-Loss of appetite
Note that this is not a full/complete list of the side effects of Xeljanz.
Discontinue use of this drug and call your doctor or healthcare professional if you experience severe or persistent adverse reactions.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take this prescription drug if you have a known allergy to tofacitinib or any inactive ingredients the tablet may contain. Symptoms of severe allergic reactions include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and neck, severe dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, and hives/itchiness. When any of these happen, stop using the medication as soon as possible and seek emergency medical help.
This medication may be contraindicated for people with a history of blood disorders, bone marrow disorders, blood clots, heart problems, cancer, lung disease, gastrointestinal disorder, stroke, smoking, and any recent infections. You should mention all prescription and non-prescription medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking to prevent possible drug interactions.
Inflammatory agents such as corticosteroids can weaken the body’s defense system. This drug can mask signs of infection or make you more likely to get an infection. Do not come in contact with people who have or have recently acquired infections, such as flu, chickenpox, or measles.
It is not recommended to administer this medication to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers unless all of the risks have been discussed with the physician. Take this drug only if extremely needed.
How much does Xeljanz cost in Canada?
Xeljanz price can be quite high. Ordering your prescription with PharmaPassport gives you the best deal on this medication. You will need to provide a valid prescription from your doctor to purchase this medication.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Xeljanz a biologic DMARD?
This product is a non-biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug. This type of drug can only be used together with other non-biologic DMARDs.
Is Xeljanz good for ulcerative colitis?
This prescription medication has been proven effective for ulcerative colitis. It can help manage and treat moderate and severe forms of the disease.
Does Xeljanz work for rheumatoid arthritis?
Yes, among the indications of this drug is rheumatoid arthritis. This medication can take as early as two weeks to improve RA symptoms.
Can I take Xeljanz for alopecia?
Technically, this medication is not indicated for alopecia. However, trials have proven that this drug can address alopecia areata.
Do you gain weight on Xeljanz?
Tofacitinib does not directly cause weight gain. You should notify your healthcare provider if you experience unexplained/sudden weight loss or weight gain while taking this drug.