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Updated June 2021
Upadacitinib (brand name: Rinvoq®) is a tablet that belongs to a class of medicines called Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitor. JAK inhibitors work by blocking signals involved in inflammation. Blocking these signals in Rheumatoid Arthritis reduces pain, stiffness, swelling and damage in the joints.
You may notice some relief of joint swelling, pain and stiffness within the first 2 to 4 weeks of treatment, though it can take up to 3 months to improve.
If you stop or delay your upadacitinib treatment, your disease may get worse. Keep taking your treatment, unless advised by your rheumatologist to stop or unless serious side effects occur (see Side effects).
If you stop upadacitinib for any reason, you must contact your rheumatologist. Failure to do so may mean that your treatment may no longer be funded.
Medicines like upadacitinib are very expensive and are highly funded by Medicare. Certain conditions must be met to receive it.
Upadacitinib is taken by mouth in tablet form. It is a modified release tablet and must be swallowed whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water at the same time each day. It can be taken with or without food.
If you miss a dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
The usual dose for adults with rheumatoid arthritis is one 15 mg tablet taken orally once a day.
This medicine may be used alone or with other arthritis medicines including:
Upadacitinib cannot be used with other biologic DMARDs or targeted synthetic DMARDs (such as baricitinib and tofacitinib).
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 upadacitinib treatment is stopped.
Headaches, cough and stomach/ bowel. The most common side effects reported are mild upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), nausea, cough, and fever. Infections may need treatment and upadacitinib may need to be stopped for a while if you develop infection, so it is important to contact your doctor for advice.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately of any of side effects you experience.