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Ruxolitinib is used to treat symptoms such as enlarged spleen, fever, bone pain, weight loss, excessive sweating at night and blood related complications associated with serious disorders (primary myelofibrosis, polycythaemia vera, thrombocythaemia myelofibrosis) of the bone marrow (interior of bones that produces blood cells).  It is also used to treat polycythemia in patients not responding adequately to or unable to tolerate hydroxyurea (medication for polycythaemia).

How it works

Ruxolitinib is a kinase inhibitor. It works by blocking certain substances (JAK1 and JAK2) that are involved in myelofibrosis.

Common side effects

Decreased white blood cell count (neutrophils), Liver enzyme increased, Allergic reaction, Shortness of breath, Bloody diarrhea, Bruise, Dizziness, Increased cholesterol level in blood, Swelling of abdomen


Expert advice

  • You will be recommended frequent blood tests (every 2 to 4 weeks) and your doctor can change the dosage based on your test reports.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had any infections such as tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis etc. or any disorders of the kidney, liver or any form of skin cancers.
  • Do not take ruxolitinib before a dialysis treatment.
  • Take necessary precautions as ruxolitinib may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood and the ability of your body to fight infection.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you experience unexplained bruising, sudden bleeding, unusual tiredness, difficulty in breathing, pale skin, frequent infections, fever, chills, prolonged coughing, increased sweating at night, sudden weight loss, loss of balance, difficulties in walking/coordination, speaking difficulties, clumsiness, difficulty in thinking, blurring of vision, weakness on one side of body, painful skin rashes with blisters or any unusual skin changes.
  • Do not give ruxolitinib to children aged below 18 years.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery after using ruxolitinib as it may cause dizziness.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not take if allergic to ruxolitinib or any of its ingredients.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is ruxolitinib available in India?
Yes, ruxolitinib is approved for marketing in India.

Content on this page was last updated on 03 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)