About Xeljanz (tofacitinib)

Xeljanz is an orally dosed medication which inhibits the Janus Kinase (JAK) enzyme.

Xeljanz was approved in 2012 by the FDA for use in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Xeljanz is approved for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients who are not responding to Methotrexate treatment or who are unable to take Methotrexate for other reasons. It is thought that Xeljanz will be a major competitor for Biologics if approval is also received for Crohn's Disease, Psoriasis and Ulcerative Colitis.

Treatment with Xeljanz results in reduction of

C Reactive Protein (CRP) - results are seen relatively quickly
Natural Killer Cells (NK Cells) - maximum results at 8 - 10 weeks

Processing and excretion of Xeljanz occurs via the Liver and Kidneys.

Drug Interactions with Xeljanz

Cyclosporin Immune Suppression may be Increased
Rifampin Effectiveness may be Reduced

Risk of Infection and certain Cancers

Treatment with Xeljanz can increase the likelihood of Infection, including severe Infection due to its Immune Suppressing activity.

Persons taking Xeljanz should not receive Vaccines with Live Virus.

Xeljanz treatment may cause dormant Infections you already have to become active. These infections include: Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Herpesvirus, etc.

Xeljanz can increase the likelihood of obtaining an Opportunistic Infection. For this reason during Xeljanz treatment you should not enter caves (possibility of Histoplasmosis Infection) or knowingly expose yourself to infected persons. There is an increased risk of (but not limited to) the following: Candidiasis, Cryptococcus, Herpes Zoster, Mycobacterial Infections, Tuberculosis, etc.

This risk is increased if other Immunosuppressive agents (such as Prednisone) are taken with Xeljanz.

Xeljanz treatment can increase the possibility of getting certain types of Cancers.

Risk of Gastrointestinal Perforation

There is a risk of Gastrointestinal (GI) Perforation with Xeljanz treatment. GI perforation has been seen during clinical trials.


Xeljanz. Pfizer. Updated November 2012; Accessed November 2012. http://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=959

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