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What is XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?

Taking XELJANZ & XELJANZ XR

One of the differences is how many times a day you take it—XELJANZ XR is the once-daily formulation of XELJANZ. If you’re currently taking XELJANZ but are interested in a once-daily treatment, talk with your doctor about XELJANZ XR. In the meantime, learn more about the two with the chart below.

XELJANZ XELJANZ XR
HOW IT'S TAKEN
Twice a day with or without food Once a day with or without food*
DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS
5 mg tablet 11 mg extended-release tablet
HOW IT'S DELIVERED
Immediate release into the bloodstream over the course of several hours Extended release into the bloodstream over the course of a day
RHEUMATOLOGY INDICATIONS
  • Active psoriatic arthritis
  • Moderate to severe
    rheumatoid arthritis
  • Active psoriatic arthritis
  • Moderate to severe
    rheumatoid arthritis

*XELJANZ XR tablets should be swallowed whole and intact. Do not crush, split, or chew.

For active psoriatic arthritis (PsA), XELJANZ and XELJANZ XR should be taken with a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), such as methotrexate.

About XELJANZ & XELJANZ XR

At your next appointment, ask your doctor if XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR could be right for you. XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is taken in combination with methotrexate, sulfasalazine or leflunomide. To start the conversation, drag and drop these questions to rearrange them in order of importance to you. Then make sure to share the list with your doctor.
  • What is the most important risk information I need to know about XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?
  • I have heard that XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is an UNJECTIONTM, one of a number of oral treatment options that is not an injection or infusion. Could adding it to a nonbiologic DMARD like methotrexate be an option for me?
  • What side effects might I experience with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?
  • If some patients taking XELJANZ or XELJANZ XR with a nonbiologic DMARD felt an improvement in psoriatic arthritis symptoms and physical functioning at 3 months, do you think I could experience similar results?
  • XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR can help improve physical function. Why is this important?
  • What should I do if I forget to take any of my pills?

If you’re not getting enough relief of joint pain and swelling with a nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) like methotrexate, adding XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR could help. If you've tried a biologic DMARD and it didn't work well enough, starting on XELJANZ XR plus a nonbiologic DMARD may be an option.

Talk to your doctor to find out if XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR could be right for you.

As a JAK inhibitor, XELJANZ XR works to disrupt cell activities believed to play a role in inflammation associated with psoriatic arthritis.

In some patients in the clinical studies, XELJANZ began to work in as early as 2 weeks to help relieve joint pain and swelling. For others, it can take as long as 3 to 6 months. Results were seen for patients taking XELJANZ in combination with a nonbiologic DMARD. Everybody is different though, so your results may vary.

Learn more about how XELJANZ performed in Clinical Studies. XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR may also cause serious side effects. Learn more about the most important information you should know about XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR.

The active ingredient in XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is tofacitinib.

Your healthcare provider should do blood tests before you start receiving XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, and while you take XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, to check for the following:

  • 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 test you for TB before starting XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR and during treatment.

Your healthcare provider should routinely check certain liver tests.

You should not receive XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR 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/XELJANZ XR 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/XELJANZ XR, and as needed after that.

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is a pill taken by mouth. It is not an injection or infusion—it's an UNJECTIONTM. XELJANZ is taken twice daily while XELJANZ XR is taken once daily. XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR can be taken with or without food. For active psoriatic arthritis, XELJANZ and XELJANZ XR should be taken with a nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), such as methotrexate.

For more information, see What Is XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?

When you take XELJANZ XR, you may see something in your stool that looks like a tablet. This is the empty shell from the tablet after the medicine has been absorbed by your body.

Contact your healthcare provider if you miss a dose or forget to take XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR for an extended period of time.

Keep in mind that everybody is different. If you are not getting the results you expected, talk with your healthcare provider. Together, you can determine if changing your course of treatment might be an appropriate step.

  • Create daily reminders by using your mobile phone or sticky notes.
  • Set up alerts to remind you when it’s time to take XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.
  • Take XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR with your morning and evening meals or before or after you brush your teeth in the morning. Take once-daily XELJANZ XR only in the morning or only in the evening.

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Some people can have serious infections while taking XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, 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/XELJANZ XR treatment, and monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB infection during treatment.

You should not start taking XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR 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.

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR 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/XELJANZ XR. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests before you start treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR and while you are using XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. 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.

These are not all the serious side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.

To read more, see Important Safety Information. Patients should always ask their doctor for medical advice about adverse events.

Common side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR in rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis patients include upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), headache, diarrhea, nasal congestion, sore throat, and runny nose (nasopharyngitis), and high blood pressure (hypertension).

These are not all the possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.

To read more, see Important Safety Information.

Patients should always ask their doctors for medical advice about side effects or 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 www.fda.gov/MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Before starting XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider if you plan to become pregnant or are pregnant. XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR may affect the ability of females to get pregnant. It is not known if this will change after stopping XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. It is not known if XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR will harm an unborn baby.

  • Pregnancy Registry: Pfizer has a registry for pregnant women who take XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. 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/XELJANZ XR, 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

For more information, see Important Safety Information.

Before starting XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, you and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR or breastfeed. You should not do both. After you stop your treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR do not start breastfeeding again until 18 hours after your last dose of XELJANZ or 36 hours after your last dose of XELJANZ XR.

FIND ADDITIONAL SUPPORT WITH XELJANZ+YOU.