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Updated June 2021
This information was written by the Australian Rheumatology Association to help you understand tofacitinib. It includes important information about:
• how you should take your medicine
• the possible side (harmful) effects
• what tests you will have to monitor your condition
• other precautions you should take while you are taking tofacitinib.
Please read it carefully and discuss it with your doctor.
Tofacitinib (brand name: Xeljanz®) is a tablet that belongs to a class of medicines called Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors. JAK inhibitors work by blocking signals involved in inflammation. Blocking these signals in rheumatoid arthritis reduces pain, stiffness, swelling and damage in the joints.
Tofacitinib is taken by mouth in tablet form. The tablet should be swallowed whole do not crush or break the tablet.
When should it be taken?
If you miss a dose
What is the dosage?
Can other medicines be taken with tofacitinib?
Tofacitinib may be used alone or with other arthritis medicines including:
Tofacitinib cannot be used with other biologic DMARDs or targeted synthetic DMARDs (such as baricitinib)
You might experience side effects with your treatment. Tell your doctor if you notice side effects that you think are caused by this medicine. Many side effects disappear when tofacitinib treatment is stopped.
Most common side effects
Less common or rare side effects
Precautions with other diseases
Use with other medicines
For more information on vaccination including the COVID-19 vaccination go to the Vaccinations page on the ARA website
Use in pregnancy and when breastfeeding