Information about Tofacitinib

Tofacitinib Uses

Tofacitinib is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

How Tofacitinib works

Tofacitinib is an Janus kinase inhibitor. It works by blocking the action of the enzyme, Janus kinase. This decreases inflammation and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis.

Common side effects of Tofacitinib

Headache, Diarrhea, High blood pressure, Rash, Pneumonia, Bronchitis (inflammation of the airways), Tuberculosis, Nasopharyngitis (inflammation of the throat and nasal passages), Urinary tract infection, Cellulitis, Herpes zoster, Diverticulitis, Appendicitis, Anemia (low number of red blood cells), Cough, Abdominal pain, Vomiting, Nausea, Stomach inflammation, Dyspepsia, Joint pain, Fever, Peripheral edema, Fatigue
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Written By
MMST, MBBS
Reviewed By
MD Pharmacology, MBBS
Last updated
13 Jun 2023 | 11:25 AM (UTC)

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Available Medicine for Tofacitinib

CytonibAstonea Labs Private Limited
4011 variant(s)
T JakiRPG Life Sciences Ltd
5201 variant(s)
TofakinLupin Ltd
399 to ₹6042 variant(s)
XeljanzPfizer Ltd
663441 variant(s)
TofastarAlembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd
1901 variant(s)
TofarusCyrus Remedies
320 to ₹10992 variant(s)
TocibAnkaa Pharmaceutical
500 to ₹9402 variant(s)
TosanibEris Lifesciences Ltd
4001 variant(s)
TofanaseChemo Healthcare Pvt Ltd
3701 variant(s)
JaknatNatco Pharma Ltd
370 to ₹8503 variant(s)

Expert advice for Tofacitinib

  • Tofacitinib is used alone or in combination with other medicines for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, that did not improve with other anti-rheumatic drugs.
  • It may take take 3 to 6 months to feel the maximum effect of this medication. Keep taking it as prescribed.
  • Your doctor may get regular blood tests done to monitor your liver function, kidney function, blood counts, or cholesterol levels.
  • Tofacitinib can make it a bit harder for people to fight off infections. Inform your doctor if you have symptoms of an infection such as fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches.
  • Your doctor may get TB (tuberculosis) skin test and a chest X-ray before starting treatment with this medication.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to conceive, or breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions for Tofacitinib

Tofacitinib

Q. Can I take Tofacitinib if I have liver problems?

Inform your doctor if you have liver problems, before starting Tofacitinib. This is done because in some cases Tofacitinib may cause an increase in liver enzymes. Therefore, your liver function needs to be investigated before starting Tofacitinib. Although, Tofacitinib can be given to patients with mild to moderate liver function impairment, but should not be prescribed to patients with severe liver impairment.

Q. Can Tofacitinib cause cancer?

Tofacitinib may increase the chances of developing the risk of certain cancers (lymphoma and other cancers including skin cancers) by affecting the working of the immune system. Hence, inform your doctor if you ever had or have any type of cancer.

Q. What is Tofacitinib used for?

Tofacitinib is approved for use in people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. It is an inflammatory disease of the joints. It is used if previous therapy did not work well or did not suit the patient. However, it can also be used earlier in treatment if the person does not respond well to the prescribed drugs. It can be used alone or together with some other medicines, such as methotrexate.

Q. How long does it take for Tofacitinib to start working?

Tofacitinib usually takes about 2 to 8 weeks before you start feeling better, and it can take 3 to 6 months to feel the maximum effect of this medication.

Q. Do I need to get any investigations done before starting Tofacitinib?

You may need to get your blood tests done before you start Tofacitinib or while you are taking it. Blood tests are done in order to check if you have a low red blood cell count (anemia), low white blood cell count (neutropenia or lymphopenia), high blood fat (cholesterol) or high levels of liver enzymes. It also helps to ensure that treatment with Tofacitinib is not causing problems. In addition to this, your doctor may advise you to get tested for tuberculosis before starting Tofacitinib, as using Tofacitinib may make an existing infection worse.

Q. Can Tofacitinib cause infections?

Tofacitinib is a medicine that affects your immune system. This may reduce your ability to fight infection and may increase the risk of getting a serious infection including tuberculosis. It may also include infections caused by severe fungal, bacterial or viral infections that spread through the body. In some cases, these infections can be life-threatening and may even cause death. Hence, it is advised to treat these infections in a hospital.

Q. If I am already taking tocilizumab, can I take Tofacitinib?

No, you should not take tocilizumab along with Tofacitinib. Tofacitinib affects the immune system, so you should avoid taking it with any other immunity-affecting medicine. Taking both medicines together can further increase the risk of infection and may lead to further complications.

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