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Important Safety Update for XELJANZ® (tofacitinib)

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On Friday, December 3, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the XELJANZ full prescribing information. Pfizer issued a media statement announcing that the U.S. full prescribing information for XELJANZ® (tofacitinib) has been updated based on the U.S. FDA’s completed review of the ORAL Surveillance trial, a post-marketing required safety study. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about this safety update. Your healthcare provider should consider the benefits and risks of XELJANZ.

The safety information below applies to all marketed formulations of XELJANZ. Specific risks associated with certain dosing are noted.

As a result of this review, an additional warning for Major Cardiovascular Events, and updated warnings for Mortality, Cancer, and Blood Clots were included in the Boxed Warning and related Warnings and Precautions section of the prescribing information and in the Most Important Information I Should Know section of the patient Medication Guide for XELJANZ.

The updated Boxed Warning information regarding Mortality discusses the increased risk of death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor taking recommended doses of XELJANZ.

The updated Boxed Warning regarding cancer discusses a higher risk of certain cancers, including lymphoma and lung cancer in patients taking XELJANZ, especially if you are a current or past smoker. Tell your healthcare provider if you are a current or past smoker or have had any type of cancer.

The new Boxed Warning includes information regarding increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking recommended doses of XELJANZ, especially if you are a current or past smoker.

Patients taking XELJANZ should seek medical attention right away or get emergency help if you have any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, including:

  • discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back
  • severe tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw
  • pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling lightheaded
  • weakness in one part or on one side of your body
  • slurred speech

The updated Boxed Warning regarding blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism, PE), veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT) and arteries (arterial thrombosis) discusses that blood clots have happened more often in patients who are 50 years of age and older and with at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor taking recommended doses of XELJANZ. Patients should tell their healthcare provider if they have had blood clots in the veins of their legs, arms, or lungs or clots in arteries in the past. 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.

The FDA approved use of XELJANZ for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, active psoriatic arthritis, and for children age 2 and over with polyarticular course juvenile idiopathic arthritis and now recommends use after one or more medicines called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers did not work well or cannot be tolerated.

If you have any questions about these updates talk to your healthcare provider.

The updated Important Safety Information and Indications for XELJANZ are included below for your review.

It is also important to read the patient Medication Guide you receive with your XELJANZ prescriptions, which explains the important things you need to know about the medicine. These include side effects, what the medicine is used for, how to take and store it properly, and other things to watch for when you’re taking the medicine.

Information about Post-Marketing Safety Study

When the FDA first approved XELJANZ for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in 2012, the agency required a clinical safety trial to examine the risk for heart-related problems, cancer, and serious infections in XELJANZ compared to another type of medicine called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. This trial, known as Oral Surveillance enrolled 4,369 participants who were required to be at least 50 years of age and have at least one cardiovascular risk factor.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

The safety information below applies to all marketed formulations of XELJANZ. Specific risks associated with certain dosing are noted.

Serious infections. XELJANZ can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Do not start taking XELJANZ if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare provider tells you it is okay. Serious infections have happened in people taking XELJANZ. These serious infections include 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 treatment with XELJANZ. You should not start taking XELJANZ if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare professional tells you it is okay.

Before and after starting XELJANZ, tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms of an infection, including:

  • fever, sweating, or chills
  • cough
  • blood in phlegm
  • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
  • burning when you urinate
  • urinating more often than normal
  • muscle aches
  • shortness of breath
  • weight loss
  • diarrhea or stomach pain
  • feeling very tired

Increased risk of death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily.

Cancer. 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. People taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily have a higher risk of certain cancers including lymphoma and lung cancer, especially if you are a current or past smoker. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any type of cancer.

Higher dose. People with ulcerative colitis taking the higher dose of XELJANZ (10 mg twice daily) or XELJANZ XR (22 mg one time each day) have a higher risk of serious infections, shingles, or skin cancers.

Immune system problem. 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).

Increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily, especially if you are a current or past smoker.

Get emergency help right away if you have any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke while taking XELJANZ, including:

  • discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back
  • severe tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw
  • pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling lightheaded
  • weakness in one part or on one side of your body
  • slurred speech

Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism, PE), veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT), and arteries (arterial thrombosis) have happened more often in patients who are 50 years of age and older and with at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily. Blood clots in the lungs have also happened in patients with ulcerative colitis. Some people have died from these blood clots.

  • Stop taking XELJANZ and tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs and symptoms of blood clots such as sudden shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, swelling of a leg or arm, leg pain or tenderness, or red or discolored skin in the leg or arm.

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, stomach-area pain that does not go away, and a change in your bowel habits.

Serious allergic reactions can occur. Stop using XELJANZ and call your healthcare provider right away if you have swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or get hives.

Changes in certain lab test results. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your white and red blood cells before and while you are taking XELJANZ. Your doctor should also 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 function test levels are too high. Changes in lab test results may cause your healthcare provider to stop your XELJANZ treatment for a time. Your cholesterol levels should be checked 4 to 8 weeks after you start receiving XELJANZ.

Before you use XELJANZ, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Are being treated for an infection, have an infection that won’t go away or keeps coming back, or think you have symptoms of an infection
  • Have TB, or have been in close contact with someone with TB, or were born in, lived in, or traveled where there is more risk for getting TB
  • Have diabetes, chronic lung disease, HIV, or a weak immune system. People with these conditions have a higher chance for infections
  • Live or have lived in certain areas (such as Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys and the Southwest) where there is an increased chance for getting certain kinds of fungal infections
  • Have or have had Hepatitis B or C
  • Are a current or past smoker
  • Have had any type of cancer
  • Have had a heart attack, other heart problems or stroke
  • Have had blood clots
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have any stomach area (abdominal) pain or been diagnosed with diverticulitis or ulcers in your stomach or intestines
  • Have recently received or plan to receive a vaccine. People taking XELJANZ should not receive live vaccines but can receive non-live vaccines
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed. You should not take XELJANZ and breastfeed
  • Have had a reaction to tofacitinib or any of the ingredients
  • Are taking other medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take any of the following medicines while taking XELJANZ since this may increase your risk of infection:
    • tocilizumab (Actemra®)
    • etanercept (Enbrel®)
    • adalimumab (Humira®)
    • infliximab (Remicade®)
    • rituximab (Rituxan®)
    • abatacept (Orencia®)
    • anakinra (Kineret®)
    • certolizumab (Cimzia®)
    • golimumab (Simponi®)
    • ustekinumab (Stelara®)
    • secukinumab (Cosentyx®)
    • vedolizumab (Entyvio®)
    • sarilumab (Kevzara®)
    • azathioprine, cyclosporine, or other immunosuppressive drugs
  • 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.

What are other possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?

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 starting and while using treatment with XELJANZ. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any signs of these symptoms: 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 in adults with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), headache, diarrhea, nasal congestion, sore throat, runny nose (nasopharyngitis), and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Common side effects in adults with ulcerative colitis include nasal congestion, sore throat, 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).

Common side effects in children (2 & older) with polyarticular course juvenile arthritis include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), nasal congestion, sore throat, and runny nose (nasopharyngitis), headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

XELJANZ & Pregnancy

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.

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 or 36 hours after your last dose of XELJANZ XR.

What is XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR/XELJANZ Oral Solution?

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib) is used to treat adults with:

  • Moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis when 1 or more medicines called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated
  • Active psoriatic arthritis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated
  • Moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated

XELJANZ/XELJANZ Oral Solution is used to treat patients 2 years of age and older with:

  • Active polyarticular course juvenile arthritis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated

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

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR/XELJANZ Oral Solution is not recommended for people with severe liver problems.

It is not known if XELJANZ/XELJANZ Oral Solution is safe and effective in children for treatment other than active polyarticular course juvenile arthritis.

It is not known if XELJANZ XR is safe and effective in children.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

Doctor Discussion Guide

It’s important to have open and honest conversations with your doctor about how well your current treatment plan is working. And whether you’re planning to have an in-person visit or virtual appointment, preparing ahead of time can help make the discussion more productive. Use our Doctor Discussion Guide to help track how you’re feeling, find helpful questions, and ensure you’re both speaking the same language.

  • Moderate to SevereRheumatoid Arthritis
  • ActivePsoriatic Arthritis
  • Moderate to SevereUlcerative Colitis

Is RA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your moderate to severe RA is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Iframe Step

Is RA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your moderate to severe RA is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey 30 seconds

Which of the activities below have been difficult to perform today due to your RA symptoms?

Select all that apply

  • Dressing
  • Rising
  • Grooming
  • Bathing
  • Walking
  • Eating
  • Reaching
  • Gripping

Second Step

Is RA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your moderate to severe RA is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey

Which of your joints have had pain and/or swelling because of your condition today?

Select all that apply

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Wrists
  • Hands
  • Knees
  • Feet
  • Other

Third Step

Is RA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your moderate to severe RA is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey

Because of your RA, are you feeling fatigued today?

Select one

Fourth Step

Is RA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your moderate to severe RA is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey

Given your answers so far, how does today compare with how you’ve felt over the last month?

Select one

Fifth Step

Is RA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your moderate to severe RA is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey Completed

Here’s your recap: Overall, the way you’re feeling today is for you.

Today you had difficulty with:

  • Dressing
  • Rising
  • Grooming

You felt symptoms in these joints today:

  • Shoulders
  • Knees
  • Feet

Because of your RA, this is how you’re feeling today:

This is how today compares with the last month:

Did you know?

In one study, 54% of people with RA wanted to discuss pain control with their doctor but never got around to it.

Save Your Recap To Share With Your Doctor

Now that you have your results, be sure to save them and discuss it all with your doctor. It can help give your doctor a better sense of how you’ve been feeling lately.
You're all set! Your recap should be in your inbox soon. For more tools, tips and support, sign up now.
Send it to yourself

This survey is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider. This is not intended to be used as a diagnostic tool. Decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.

Preparing For Your Appointment

Communicating openly with your doctor and collaborating on your care is important. Your appointment is an opportunity to share your symptoms, ask your questions, and discuss your treatment plan. Doctors are offering patients the option to schedule in-office or virtual visits. These tips may be helpful on your next appointment—whether you’ll be at the doctor’s office or on your device.

If you aren’t sure which telemedicine providers or services your insurance plan covers, call your insurance provider before scheduling your appointment.
2 icon
Plan
ahead
It’s important to be seen by your doctor regularly. Schedule in-office visits as far in advance as possible for the best choice of options that match your schedule.
2 icon
Practice your conversation
Go over the topics you want to discuss with your doctor in advance. Practicing with a family member or friend may help you build confidence.
2 icon
Bring
a notebook
In addition to bringing the questions you want to ask your doctor, you may consider taking notes during your visit to help you remember the conversation after you leave.
2 icon
Speak up
Don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself, especially if you're not feeling enough relief with your current treatment.

Talking To Your Doctor

To start a meaningful conversation with your doctor, it's helpful to come prepared with important questions about your treatment plan. Before your next appointment, consider the following questions and select ones to help you and your healthcare provider discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR for your moderate to severe RA.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Speaking The Same Language

No matter where you are with your treatment, being able to clearly communicate your treatment goals, expectations—and even frustrations—is crucial to having an honest conversation with your doctor. Before your next appointment, use this glossary as a handy reference to help you and your doctor align on a treatment plan you both believe in.

Articular Cartilage

Joint Damage

Bony Ankylosis

Joint Inflammation

Synovium

Fibrous Ankylosis

Pannus

View Glossary You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Hear From Real Patients

See how XELJANZ patients took a more active role in their treatment by starting an honest conversation with their doctor.

Watch Patient Stories
Family taking dog on a walk Family taking dog on a walk

Is PsA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your active psoriatic arthritis is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Iframe Step

Is PsA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your active psoriatic arthritis is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey 30 seconds

Which of the activities below have been difficult to perform today due to your PsA symptoms?

Select all that apply

  • Dressing
  • Rising
  • Grooming
  • Bathing
  • Walking
  • Eating
  • Reaching
  • Gripping

Second Step

Is PsA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your active psoriatic arthritis is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey

Which of your joints have had pain and/or swelling because of your condition today?

Select all that apply

  • Shoulders
  • Wrists
  • Hands
  • Lower back
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Other

Third Step

Is PsA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your active psoriatic arthritis is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey

Have you experienced any skin symptoms due to your condition lately? Skin symptoms can include thick, red skin with flaky white patches.

Select one

fourth Step

Is PsA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your active psoriatic arthritis is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey

Because of your PsA, are you feeling fatigued today?

Select one

fifth Step

Is PsA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your active psoriatic arthritis is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey

Given your answers so far, how does today compare with how you’ve felt over the last month?

Select one

sixth Step

Is PsA Impacting Your Daily Activities?

It can be helpful for your doctor to know how your active psoriatic arthritis is affecting you. Answer the questions below so you can get a sense of how you’re feeling today and share them with your doctor.

Symptom Survey Completed

Here’s your recap: Overall, the way you’re feeling today is for you.

Today you had difficulty with:

  • Dressing
  • Rising
  • Grooming

You felt symptoms in these joints today:

  • Shoulders
  • Knees
  • Feet

This is how you responded to having skin symptoms due to your condition:

Because of your PsA, this is how you’re feeling today:

This is how today compares with the last month:

Did you know?

In, one study, 41% of people with PsA have not met their therapy goals with their current treatment.

Save Your Recap To Share With Your Doctor

Now that you have your results, be sure to save them and discuss it all with your doctor. It can help give your doctor a better sense of how you’ve been feeling lately.
You're all set! Your recap should be in your inbox soon. For more tools, tips and support, sign up now.
Send it to yourself

This survey is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider. This is not intended to be used as a diagnostic tool. Decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.

Preparing For Your Appointment

Communicating openly with your doctor and collaborating on your care is important. Your appointment is an opportunity to share your symptoms, ask your questions, and discuss your treatment plan. Doctors are offering patients the option to schedule in-office or virtual visits. These tips may be helpful on your next appointment—whether you’ll be at the doctor’s office or on your device.

If you aren’t sure which telemedicine providers or services your insurance plan covers, call your insurance provider before scheduling your appointment.
2 icon
Plan
ahead
It’s important to be seen by your doctor regularly. Schedule in-office visits as far in advance as possible for the best choice of options that match your schedule.
2 icon
Practice your conversation
Go over the topics you want to discuss with your doctor in advance. Practicing with a family member or friend may help you build confidence.
2 icon
Bring
a notebook
In addition to bringing the questions you want to ask your doctor, you may consider taking notes during your visit to help you remember the conversation after you leave.
2 icon
Speak up
Don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself, especially if you're not feeling enough relief with your current treatment.

Talking To Your Doctor

To start a meaningful conversation with your doctor, it's helpful to come prepared with important questions about your treatment plan. Before your next appointment, consider the following questions. Then select ones to help you and your healthcare provider discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR for your active psoriatic arthritis.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Speaking The Same Language

No matter where you are with your treatment, being able to clearly communicate your treatment goals, expectations—and even frustrations—is crucial to having an honest conversation with your doctor. Before your next appointment, use this glossary as a handy reference to help you and your doctor align on a treatment plan you both believe in.

Articular Cartilage

Enthesitis

Joint Inflammation

Bony Ankylosis

Fibrous Ankylosis

Synovium

Dactylitis

Joint Damage

View Glossary You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Is Your Approach To Life With UC All That It Can Be?

Have you resigned yourself to the idea that life with UC may be as good as it’s going to get? We’ve created this quiz to help you take a fresh look at your approach and think about how you discuss your disease and treatment plan with your gastroenterologist (GI).

Take The Quiz

 

I feel confident planning and attending social commitments despite my ulcerative colitis.

 

I’m open and honest when I talk with my GI about my ulcerative colitis symptoms.

 

I regularly research information about ulcerative colitis.

 

I actively try to connect with other people living with ulcerative colitis.

 

I worry about the impact of ulcerative colitis on my life.

 

I look for different ways to increase my level of activity that may help relieve tension and reduce stress.

 

I’d consider working with a dietitian.

 

I’d be open to talking to a counselor about my emotional well-being.

 

Don’t Let Ulcerative Colitis Discourage You.

You answered “Me” to 0 questions.

Living with ulcerative colitis can be challenging. You might feel worn down, but don't give up. You have options to help manage the impact of your condition. Talk to your GI about your UC symptoms, your current treatment plan, and what options may be available for you.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Don’t Let Ulcerative Colitis Discourage You.

You answered “Me” to 1 question.

Living with ulcerative colitis can be challenging. You might feel worn down, but don't give up. You have options to help manage the impact of your condition. Talk to your GI about your UC symptoms, your current treatment plan, and what options may be available for you.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Don’t Let Ulcerative Colitis Discourage You.

You answered “Me” to 2 questions.

Living with ulcerative colitis can be challenging. You might feel worn down, but don't give up. You have options to help manage the impact of your condition. Talk to your GI about your UC symptoms, your current treatment plan, and what options may be available for you.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Gaining Knowledge Is Power.

You answered “Me” to 3 questions.

An open minded approach can sometimes help in making informed decisions. Talk to your GI about your UC symptoms, your current treatment plan, and what options may be available for you.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Gaining Knowledge Is Power.

You answered “Me” to 4 questions.

An open minded approach can sometimes help in making informed decisions. Talk to your GI about your UC symptoms, your current treatment plan, and what options may be available for you.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Gaining Knowledge Is Power.

You answered “Me” to 5 questions.

An open minded approach can sometimes help in making informed decisions. Talk to your GI about your UC symptoms, your current treatment plan, and what options may be available for you.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Stay Proactive & Engaged.

You answered “Me” to 6 questions.

It sounds like you try not to let ulcerative colitis stop you from imagining a positive future as you manage your condition with your healthcare team. Talk to your GI to see if there are options you haven’t considered to help you live a fuller life with UC.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Stay Proactive & Engaged.

You answered “Me” to 7 questions.

It sounds like you try not to let ulcerative colitis stop you from imagining a positive future as you manage your condition with your healthcare team. Talk to your GI to see if there are options you haven’t considered to help you live a fuller life with UC.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Stay Proactive & Engaged.

You answered “Me” to 8 questions.

It sounds like you try not to let ulcerative colitis stop you from imagining a positive future as you manage your condition with your healthcare team. Talk to your GI to see if there are options you haven’t considered to help you live a fuller life with UC.

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Preparing For Your Appointment

Communicating openly with your doctor and collaborating on your care is important. Your appointment is an opportunity to share your symptoms, ask your questions, and discuss your treatment plan. Doctors are offering patients the option to schedule in-office or virtual visits. These tips may be helpful on your next appointment—whether you’ll be at the doctor’s office or on your device.

If you aren’t sure which telemedicine providers or services your insurance plan covers, call your insurance provider before scheduling your appointment.
2 icon
Plan
ahead
It’s important to be seen by your doctor regularly. Schedule in-office visits as far in advance as possible for the best choice of options that match your schedule.
2 icon
Practice your conversation
Go over the topics you want to discuss with your doctor in advance. Practicing with a family member or friend may help you build confidence.
2 icon
Bring
a notebook
In addition to bringing the questions you want to ask your doctor, you may consider taking notes during your visit to help you remember the conversation after you leave.
2 icon
Speak up
Don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself, especially if you're not feeling enough relief with your current treatment.

Talking To Your Doctor

To start a meaningful conversation with your doctor, it's helpful to come prepared with important questions about your treatment plan. Before your next appointment, consider the following questions and select ones to help you and your healthcare provider discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR for your moderate to severe ulcerative colitis (UC).

You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.

Speaking The Same Language

Before you speak with your doctor, it can be helpful to review some medical terms and definitions you may need when discussing your ulcerative colitis. Use this glossary tool as a handy reference as you prepare for your next appointment.

Anemia

Colonoscopy

Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Mucosa

Remission

Bowel Urgency

Flare

Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract)

Rectal Bleeding

Stool Frequency

Colon

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Inflammation

Rectum

Tenesmus

Ulcer

View Glossary You’re all set. For more tools, tips, and support, sign up now.
Indications Indaication Modal

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib) is used to treat adults who have tried TNF blockers with:

  • Moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis when 1 or more medicines called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated
  • Active psoriatic arthritis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated
  • Moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated

XELJANZ/XELJANZ Oral Solution is used to treat patients 2 years of age and older with:

  • Active polyarticular course juvenile arthritis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated

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

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR/XELJANZ Oral Solution is not recommended for people with severe liver problems.

It is not known if XELJANZ/XELJANZ Oral Solution is safe and effective in children for treatment other than active polyarticular course juvenile arthritis.

It is not known if XELJANZ XR is safe and effective in children.

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib) is used to treat adults who have tried TNF blockers with:

  • Moderately to severely active rheumatoid » Read More
Important Safety Information ISI Modal

The safety information below applies to all marketed formulations of XELJANZ. Specific risks associated with certain dosing are noted.

Serious infections. XELJANZ can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Do not start taking XELJANZ if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare provider tells you it is okay. Serious infections have happened in people taking XELJANZ. These serious infections include 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 treatment with XELJANZ. You should not start taking XELJANZ if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare professional tells you it is okay.

Before and after starting XELJANZ, tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms of an infection, including:

  • fever, sweating, or chills
  • cough
  • blood in phlegm
  • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
  • burning when you urinate
  • urinating more often than normal
  • muscle aches
  • shortness of breath
  • weight loss
  • diarrhea or stomach pain
  • feeling very tired

Increased risk of death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily.

Cancer. 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. People taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily have a higher risk of certain cancers including lymphoma and lung cancer, especially if you are a current or past smoker. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any type of cancer.

Higher dose. People with ulcerative colitis taking the higher dose of XELJANZ (10 mg twice daily) or XELJANZ XR (22 mg one time each day) have a higher risk of serious infections, shingles, or skin cancers.

Immune system problem. 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).

Increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily, especially if you are a current or past smoker.

Get emergency help right away if you have any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke while taking XELJANZ, including:

  • discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back
  • severe tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw
  • pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling lightheaded
  • weakness in one part or on one side of your body
  • slurred speech

Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism, PE), veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT), and arteries (arterial thrombosis) have happened more often in patients who are 50 years of age and older and with at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily. Blood clots in the lungs have also happened in patients with ulcerative colitis. Some people have died from these blood clots.

  • Stop taking XELJANZ and tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs and symptoms of blood clots such as sudden shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, swelling of a leg or arm, leg pain or tenderness, or red or discolored skin in the leg or arm.

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, stomach-area pain that does not go away, and a change in your bowel habits.

Serious allergic reactions can occur. Stop using XELJANZ and call your healthcare provider right away if you have swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or get hives.

Changes in certain lab test results. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your white and red blood cells before and while you are taking XELJANZ. Your doctor should also 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 function test levels are too high. Changes in lab test results may cause your healthcare provider to stop your XELJANZ treatment for a time. Your cholesterol levels should be checked 4 to 8 weeks after you start receiving XELJANZ.

Before you use XELJANZ, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Are being treated for an infection, have an infection that won’t go away or keeps coming back, or think you have symptoms of an infection
  • Have TB, or have been in close contact with someone with TB, or were born in, lived in, or traveled where there is more risk for getting TB
  • Have diabetes, chronic lung disease, HIV, or a weak immune system. People with these conditions have a higher chance for infections
  • Live or have lived in certain areas (such as Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys and the Southwest) where there is an increased chance for getting certain kinds of fungal infections
  • Have or have had Hepatitis B or C
  • Are a current or past smoker
  • Have had any type of cancer
  • Have had a heart attack, other heart problems or stroke
  • Have had blood clots
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have any stomach area (abdominal) pain or been diagnosed with diverticulitis or ulcers in your stomach or intestines
  • Have recently received or plan to receive a vaccine. People taking XELJANZ should not receive live vaccines but can receive non-live vaccines
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed. You should not take XELJANZ and breastfeed
  • Have had a reaction to tofacitinib or any of the ingredients
  • Are taking other medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take any of the following medicines while taking XELJANZ since this may increase your risk of infection:
    • tocilizumab (Actemra®)
    • etanercept (Enbrel®)
    • adalimumab (Humira®)
    • infliximab (Remicade®)
    • rituximab (Rituxan®)
    • abatacept (Orencia®)
    • anakinra (Kineret®)
    • certolizumab (Cimzia®)
    • golimumab (Simponi®)
    • ustekinumab (Stelara®)
    • secukinumab (Cosentyx®)
    • vedolizumab (Entyvio®)
    • sarilumab (Kevzara®)
    • azathioprine, cyclosporine, or other immunosuppressive drugs
  • 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.

What are other possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?

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 starting and while using treatment with XELJANZ. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any signs of these symptoms: 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 in adults with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), headache, diarrhea, nasal congestion, sore throat, runny nose (nasopharyngitis), and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Common side effects in adults with ulcerative colitis include nasal congestion, sore throat, 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).

Common side effects in children (2 & older) with polyarticular course juvenile arthritis include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), nasal congestion, sore throat, and runny nose (nasopharyngitis), headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

XELJANZ & Pregnancy

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.

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 or 36 hours after your last dose of XELJANZ XR.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

IndicationsIndaication Modal

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib) is used to treat adults who have tried TNF blockers with:

  • Moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis when 1 or more medicines called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated
  • Active psoriatic arthritis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated
  • Moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated

XELJANZ/XELJANZ Oral Solution is used to treat patients 2 years of age and older with:

  • Active polyarticular course juvenile arthritis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated

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

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR/XELJANZ Oral Solution is not recommended for people with severe liver problems.

It is not known if XELJANZ/XELJANZ Oral Solution is safe and effective in children for treatment other than active polyarticular course juvenile arthritis.

It is not known if XELJANZ XR is safe and effective in children.

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib) is used to treat adults who have tried TNF blockers with:

  • Moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis when 1 or more medicines called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers have...Read More

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib) is used to treat adults who have tried TNF blockers with:

  • Moderately to severely active rheumatoid » Read More
Important Safety InformationISI Modal

The safety information below applies to all marketed formulations of XELJANZ. Specific risks associated with certain dosing are noted.

Serious infections. XELJANZ can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Do not start taking XELJANZ if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare provider tells you it is okay. Serious infections have happened in people taking XELJANZ. These serious infections include 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 treatment with XELJANZ. You should not start taking XELJANZ if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare professional tells you it is okay.

Before and after starting XELJANZ, tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms of an infection, including:

  • fever, sweating, or chills
  • cough
  • blood in phlegm
  • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
  • burning when you urinate
  • urinating more often than normal
  • muscle aches
  • shortness of breath
  • weight loss
  • diarrhea or stomach pain
  • feeling very tired

Increased risk of death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily.

Cancer. 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. People taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily have a higher risk of certain cancers including lymphoma and lung cancer, especially if you are a current or past smoker. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any type of cancer.

Higher dose. People with ulcerative colitis taking the higher dose of XELJANZ (10 mg twice daily) or XELJANZ XR (22 mg one time each day) have a higher risk of serious infections, shingles, or skin cancers.

Immune system problem. 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).

Increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily, especially if you are a current or past smoker.

Get emergency help right away if you have any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke while taking XELJANZ, including:

  • discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back
  • severe tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw
  • pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling lightheaded
  • weakness in one part or on one side of your body
  • slurred speech

Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism, PE), veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT), and arteries (arterial thrombosis) have happened more often in patients who are 50 years of age and older and with at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily. Blood clots in the lungs have also happened in patients with ulcerative colitis. Some people have died from these blood clots.

  • Stop taking XELJANZ and tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs and symptoms of blood clots such as sudden shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, swelling of a leg or arm, leg pain or tenderness, or red or discolored skin in the leg or arm.

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, stomach-area pain that does not go away, and a change in your bowel habits.

Serious allergic reactions can occur. Stop using XELJANZ and call your healthcare provider right away if you have swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or get hives.

Changes in certain lab test results. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your white and red blood cells before and while you are taking XELJANZ. Your doctor should also 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 function test levels are too high. Changes in lab test results may cause your healthcare provider to stop your XELJANZ treatment for a time. Your cholesterol levels should be checked 4 to 8 weeks after you start receiving XELJANZ.

Before you use XELJANZ, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Are being treated for an infection, have an infection that won’t go away or keeps coming back, or think you have symptoms of an infection
  • Have TB, or have been in close contact with someone with TB, or were born in, lived in, or traveled where there is more risk for getting TB
  • Have diabetes, chronic lung disease, HIV, or a weak immune system. People with these conditions have a higher chance for infections
  • Live or have lived in certain areas (such as Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys and the Southwest) where there is an increased chance for getting certain kinds of fungal infections
  • Have or have had Hepatitis B or C
  • Are a current or past smoker
  • Have had any type of cancer
  • Have had a heart attack, other heart problems or stroke
  • Have had blood clots
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have any stomach area (abdominal) pain or been diagnosed with diverticulitis or ulcers in your stomach or intestines
  • Have recently received or plan to receive a vaccine. People taking XELJANZ should not receive live vaccines but can receive non-live vaccines
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed. You should not take XELJANZ and breastfeed
  • Have had a reaction to tofacitinib or any of the ingredients
  • Are taking other medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take any of the following medicines while taking XELJANZ since this may increase your risk of infection:
    • tocilizumab (Actemra®)
    • etanercept (Enbrel®)
    • adalimumab (Humira®)
    • infliximab (Remicade®)
    • rituximab (Rituxan®)
    • abatacept (Orencia®)
    • anakinra (Kineret®)
    • certolizumab (Cimzia®)
    • golimumab (Simponi®)
    • ustekinumab (Stelara®)
    • secukinumab (Cosentyx®)
    • vedolizumab (Entyvio®)
    • sarilumab (Kevzara®)
    • azathioprine, cyclosporine, or other immunosuppressive drugs
  • 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.

What are other possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?

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 starting and while using treatment with XELJANZ. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any signs of these symptoms: 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 in adults with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), headache, diarrhea, nasal congestion, sore throat, runny nose (nasopharyngitis), and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Common side effects in adults with ulcerative colitis include nasal congestion, sore throat, 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).

Common side effects in children (2 & older) with polyarticular course juvenile arthritis include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), nasal congestion, sore throat, and runny nose (nasopharyngitis), headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

XELJANZ & Pregnancy

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.

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 or 36 hours after your last dose of XELJANZ XR.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

Indications

Close

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib) is used to treat adults who have tried TNF blockers with:

  • Moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis when 1 or more medicines called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated
  • Active psoriatic arthritis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated
  • Moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated

XELJANZ/XELJANZ Oral Solution is used to treat patients 2 years of age and older with:

  • Active polyarticular course juvenile arthritis when 1 or more tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines have been used, and did not work well or cannot be tolerated

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

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR/XELJANZ Oral Solution is not recommended for people with severe liver problems.

It is not known if XELJANZ/XELJANZ Oral Solution is safe and effective in children for treatment other than active polyarticular course juvenile arthritis.

It is not known if XELJANZ XR is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

Close

The safety information below applies to all marketed formulations of XELJANZ. Specific risks associated with certain dosing are noted.

Serious infections. XELJANZ can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Do not start taking XELJANZ if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare provider tells you it is okay. Serious infections have happened in people taking XELJANZ. These serious infections include 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 treatment with XELJANZ. You should not start taking XELJANZ if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare professional tells you it is okay.

Before and after starting XELJANZ, tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms of an infection, including:

  • fever, sweating, or chills
  • cough
  • blood in phlegm
  • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
  • burning when you urinate
  • urinating more often than normal
  • muscle aches
  • shortness of breath
  • weight loss
  • diarrhea or stomach pain
  • feeling very tired

Increased risk of death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily.

Cancer. 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. People taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily have a higher risk of certain cancers including lymphoma and lung cancer, especially if you are a current or past smoker. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any type of cancer.

Higher dose. People with ulcerative colitis taking the higher dose of XELJANZ (10 mg twice daily) or XELJANZ XR (22 mg one time each day) have a higher risk of serious infections, shingles, or skin cancers.

Immune system problem. 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).

Increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or death in people 50 years of age and older who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and are taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily, especially if you are a current or past smoker.

Get emergency help right away if you have any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke while taking XELJANZ, including:

  • discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back
  • severe tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw
  • pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling lightheaded
  • weakness in one part or on one side of your body
  • slurred speech

Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism, PE), veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT), and arteries (arterial thrombosis) have happened more often in patients who are 50 years of age and older and with at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor taking XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily. Blood clots in the lungs have also happened in patients with ulcerative colitis. Some people have died from these blood clots.

  • Stop taking XELJANZ and tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs and symptoms of blood clots such as sudden shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, swelling of a leg or arm, leg pain or tenderness, or red or discolored skin in the leg or arm.

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, stomach-area pain that does not go away, and a change in your bowel habits.

Serious allergic reactions can occur. Stop using XELJANZ and call your healthcare provider right away if you have swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or get hives.

Changes in certain lab test results. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your white and red blood cells before and while you are taking XELJANZ. Your doctor should also 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 function test levels are too high. Changes in lab test results may cause your healthcare provider to stop your XELJANZ treatment for a time. Your cholesterol levels should be checked 4 to 8 weeks after you start receiving XELJANZ.

Before you use XELJANZ, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Are being treated for an infection, have an infection that won’t go away or keeps coming back, or think you have symptoms of an infection
  • Have TB, or have been in close contact with someone with TB, or were born in, lived in, or traveled where there is more risk for getting TB
  • Have diabetes, chronic lung disease, HIV, or a weak immune system. People with these conditions have a higher chance for infections
  • Live or have lived in certain areas (such as Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys and the Southwest) where there is an increased chance for getting certain kinds of fungal infections
  • Have or have had Hepatitis B or C
  • Are a current or past smoker
  • Have had any type of cancer
  • Have had a heart attack, other heart problems or stroke
  • Have had blood clots
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have any stomach area (abdominal) pain or been diagnosed with diverticulitis or ulcers in your stomach or intestines
  • Have recently received or plan to receive a vaccine. People taking XELJANZ should not receive live vaccines but can receive non-live vaccines
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed. You should not take XELJANZ and breastfeed
  • Have had a reaction to tofacitinib or any of the ingredients
  • Are taking other medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take any of the following medicines while taking XELJANZ since this may increase your risk of infection:
    • tocilizumab (Actemra®)
    • etanercept (Enbrel®)
    • adalimumab (Humira®)
    • infliximab (Remicade®)
    • rituximab (Rituxan®)
    • abatacept (Orencia®)
    • anakinra (Kineret®)
    • certolizumab (Cimzia®)
    • golimumab (Simponi®)
    • ustekinumab (Stelara®)
    • secukinumab (Cosentyx®)
    • vedolizumab (Entyvio®)
    • sarilumab (Kevzara®)
    • azathioprine, cyclosporine, or other immunosuppressive drugs
  • 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.

What are other possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?

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 starting and while using treatment with XELJANZ. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any signs of these symptoms: 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 in adults with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), headache, diarrhea, nasal congestion, sore throat, runny nose (nasopharyngitis), and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Common side effects in adults with ulcerative colitis include nasal congestion, sore throat, 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).

Common side effects in children (2 & older) with polyarticular course juvenile arthritis include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), nasal congestion, sore throat, and runny nose (nasopharyngitis), headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

XELJANZ & Pregnancy

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.

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 or 36 hours after your last dose of XELJANZ XR.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.