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What is XELJANZ?

XELJANZ (tofacitinib) is a prescription medicine called a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor used to treat:

  • Adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis

It is not known if XELJANZ is safe and effective in children or in people with Hepatitis B or C.

XELJANZ is not recommended for people with severe liver problems.

WHAT IS XELJANZ?

XELJANZ (tofacitinib) is a prescription medicine called a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor used to treat:

  • Adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis

It is not known if XELJANZ is safe and effective in children or in people with Hepatitis B or C.

XELJANZ is not recommended for people with severe liver problems.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

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XELJANZ may cause serious side effects, including:

Serious infections. XELJANZ can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Some people can have serious infections while taking XELJANZ, including tuberculosis (TB), and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that can spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections.

  • Your healthcare provider should test you for TB before starting and during XELJANZ treatment, and monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB infection during treatment.

You should not start taking XELJANZ if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare provider tells you it is okay. You may be at a higher risk of developing shingles (herpes zoster). People taking the higher dose (10 mg twice daily) of XELJANZ have a higher risk of serious infections and shingles.

Before starting XELJANZ, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • think you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, such as fever, sweating, or chills; cough; blood in phlegm; warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body; burning when you urinate or urinating more often than normal; muscle aches; shortness of breath; weight loss; diarrhea or stomach pain; or feeling very tired
  • are being treated for an infection
  • get a lot of infections or have infections that keep coming back
  • have diabetes, chronic lung disease, HIV, or a weak immune system. People with these conditions have a higher chance for infections
  • have TB, or have been in close contact with someone with TB
  • live or have lived in, or have traveled to certain parts of the country (such as the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the Southwest) where there is an increased chance for getting certain kinds of fungal infections (histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis). These infections may happen or become more severe if you use XELJANZ. Ask your healthcare provider if you do not know if you have lived in an area where these infections are common
  • have or have had Hepatitis B or C

After starting XELJANZ, call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of an infection. XELJANZ can make you more likely to get infections or make worse any infection that you have.

Cancer and immune system problems. XELJANZ may increase your risk of certain cancers by changing the way your immune system works. Lymphoma and other cancers, including skin cancers, can happen in patients taking XELJANZ. People taking the higher dose (10 mg twice daily) of XELJANZ have a higher risk of skin cancers. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any type of cancer.

Some people who have taken XELJANZ with certain other medicines to prevent kidney transplant rejection have had a problem with certain white blood cells growing out of control (Epstein Barr Virus–associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder).

Tears (perforation) in the stomach or intestines. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had diverticulitis (inflammation in parts of the large intestine) or ulcers in your stomach or intestines. Some people taking XELJANZ can get tears in their stomach or intestine. This happens most often in people who also take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, or methotrexate. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have fever and stomach-area pain that does not go away and a change in your bowel habits.

Serious allergic reactions have happened in patients taking XELJANZ. If you have swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or get hives, stop XELJANZ and call your healthcare provider right away.

Changes in certain lab test results. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests before you start receiving XELJANZ, and while you take XELJANZ, to check for the following side effects:

  • Changes in lymphocyte counts. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that help the body fight off infections.
  • Low neutrophil counts. Neutrophils are white blood cells that help the body fight off infections.
  • Low red blood cell count. This may mean that you have anemia, which may make you feel weak and tired.

Your healthcare provider should routinely check certain liver tests.

You should not receive XELJANZ if your lymphocyte count, neutrophil count, or red blood cell count is too low or your liver tests are too high. Your healthcare provider may stop your XELJANZ treatment for a period of time if needed because of changes in these blood test results.

You may also have changes in other laboratory tests, such as your blood cholesterol levels. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests to check your cholesterol levels 4 to 8 weeks after you start XELJANZ, and as needed after that.

Before taking XELJANZ, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have an infection
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • have any stomach area (abdominal) pain or been diagnosed with diverticulitis or ulcers in your stomach or intestines
  • have had a reaction to tofacitinib or any of the ingredients in XELJANZ
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. People taking XELJANZ should not receive live vaccines but can receive non-live vaccines
  • plan to become pregnant or are pregnant. XELJANZ may affect the ability of females to get pregnant. It is not known if this will change after stopping XELJANZ. It is not known if XELJANZ will harm an unborn baby.
    • Pregnancy Registry: Pfizer has a registry for pregnant women who take XELJANZ. The purpose of this registry is to check the health of the pregnant mother and her baby. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking XELJANZ, talk to your healthcare provider about how you can join this pregnancy registry or you may contact the registry at 1-877-311-8972 to enroll
  • plan to breastfeed or are breastfeeding. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take XELJANZ or breastfeed. You should not do both. After you stop your treatment with XELJANZ, do not start breastfeeding again until 18 hours after your last dose of XELJANZ.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you take to treat your ulcerative colitis. You should not take tocilizumab (Actemra®), etanercept (Enbrel®), adalimumab (Humira®), infliximab (Remicade®), rituximab (Rituxan®), abatacept (Orencia®), anakinra (Kineret®), certolizumab (Cimzia®), golimumab (Simponi®), ustekinumab (Stelara®), secukinumab (Cosentyx®), vedolizumab (Entyvio®), azathioprine, cyclosporine, or other immunosuppressive drugs while you are taking XELJANZ. Taking XELJANZ with these medicines may increase your risk of infection.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking medicines that affect the way certain liver enzymes work. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if your medicine is one of these.

Taking XELJANZ

  • Take XELJANZ 2 times a day with or without food.
  • Do not take XELJANZ XR for ulcerative colitis.

XELJANZ may cause serious side effects, including Hepatitis B or C activation infection in people who carry the virus in their blood. If you are a carrier of the Hepatitis B or C virus (viruses that affect the liver), the virus may become active while you use XELJANZ. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests before you start treatment with XELJANZ and while you are using XELJANZ. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms of a possible Hepatitis B or C infection: feel very tired, little or no appetite, clay-colored bowel movements, chills, muscle aches, skin rash, skin or eyes look yellow, vomiting, fevers, stomach discomfort, or dark urine.

Common side effects of XELJANZ in ulcerative colitis patients include nasal congestion, sore throat, and runny nose (nasopharyngitis), increased cholesterol levels, headache, upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), increased muscle enzyme levels, rash, diarrhea, and shingles (herpes zoster).

These are not all of the possible side effects of XELJANZ. Please see the Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide, for additional information and complete details about XELJANZ.

Patients should always ask their doctors for medical advice about adverse events. You are encouraged to report adverse events related to Pfizer products by calling 1-800-438-1985 (U.S. only). If you prefer, you may contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directly. Visit http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. By clicking on this link, you will be leaving UC.XELJANZ.com. This website is neither owned nor controlled by Pfizer. Pfizer does not endorse and is not responsible for the content and services of this site.