Upadacitinib is used alone or with other medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis (condition in which the body attacks its own joints causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) in people who have not responded well to methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall).
Upadacitinib is in a class of medications called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. It works by decreasing the activity of the immune system.
Side Effects Of Upadacitinib
Upadacitinib may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stuffy or runny nose
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, loss of appetite, dark urine, or clay-colored bowel movements
- shortness of breath, tiredness, or pale skin
- Upadacitinib may cause an increase in your blood cholesterol levels. Your doctor will order tests to monitor your cholesterol levels during your treatment with upadacitinib. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Upadacitinib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking upadacitinib:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to upadacitinib, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in upadacitinib extended-release tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: certain antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox) and ketoconazole; aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve); barbiturates such as phenobarbital or phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol, Equetro, others); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); enzalutamide (Xtandi); certain medications for HIV including efavirenz (Sustiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Invirase); nefazodone; rifabutin (Mycobutin); or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with upadacitinib, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John’s Wort.
- tell your doctor if you have ulcers (sores in the lining of your stomach or intestine), diverticulitis (swelling of the lining of the large intestine), herpes zoster (shingles; a rash that can occur in people who have had chickenpox in the past), or anemia (a lower than a normal number of red blood cells), or liver disease, including hepatitis B or C.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You will need to have a pregnancy test before you start treatment with upadacitinib. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment and for at least 4 weeks after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use. If you become pregnant, call your doctor immediately. Upadacitinib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with upadacitinib and for 6 days after your final dose.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking upadacitinib.
- tell your doctor if you have recently received or are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. If you need any vaccinations, you may have to receive the vaccinations and then wait some time before beginning your treatment with upadacitinib. Do not have any vaccinations during your treatment without talking to your doctor.
Dosage Of Upadacitinib
Upadacitinib comes as an extended-release (long-acting) tablet. It is usually taken with or without food once daily. Take upadacitinib at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take upadacitinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Your doctor may need to temporarily or permanently stop treatment if you experience certain severe side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.