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What is XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?

Explore Your Possibilities

Taken with a nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), XELJANZ XR is a once-daily pill that can reduce joint pain and swelling and significantly improve physical function. Ask your doctor if XELJANZ XR could be right for you.

  • How It Works

    XELJANZ XR is the first and only Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor approved for adults with active psoriatic arthritis. As a JAK inhibitor, XELJANZ XR works to disrupt cell activities believed to play a role in inflammation associated with psoriatic arthritis.

  • Works With Nonbiologic DMARDs

    If you’re not getting enough relief of joint pain and swelling with a nonbiologic DMARD like methotrexate, adding XELJANZ XR could help.

  • Works Without Injections Or Infusions

    XELJANZ XR is an —it is not an injection or an infusion. 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.

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR may also cause serious side effects. Learn more about the most important information you should know about XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.

Some examples of nonbiologic DMARDs that can be taken with XELJANZ XR for adults with active psoriatic arthritis include:

 
Methotrexate Sulfasalazine Leflunomide
 
Methotrexate Sulfasalazine Leflunomide

See the results of XELJANZ in Clinical Studies.

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.

Safety/Side Effects

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib) may cause serious side effects.

SERIOUS INFECTIONS

Serious infections

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.

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

These are not all of the possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

INCREASED RISK OF DEATH IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS PATIENTS TAKING A HIGHER THAN RECOMMENDED DOSE

INCREASED RISK OF DEATH IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS PATIENTS TAKING A HIGHER THAN RECOMMENDED DOSE

In people 50 years of age and older with rheumatoid arthritis who have at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor and who are taking a higher than recommended dose of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. The recommended dose in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis is XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ XR 11 mg one time each day.

These are not all of the possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

CANCER AND IMMUNE SYSTEM PROBLEMS

Cancer and immune system problems

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR 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/XELJANZ XR. 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).

These are not all of the possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

BLOOD CLOTS IN THE LUNGS, VEINS OF THE LEGS, AND ARTERIES

BLOOD CLOTS IN THE LUNGS, VEINS OF THE LEGS, AND ARTERIES

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 with rheumatoid arthritis who are 50 years of age and older and with at least 1 heart disease (cardiovascular) risk factor taking a higher than recommended dose of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. The recommended dose in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis is XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily or XELJANZ XR 11 mg one time each day. Blood clots in the lungs have also happened in patients with ulcerative colitis. Some people have died from these blood clots.

Stop taking XELJANZ/ XELJANZ XR and tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs and symptoms of blood clots, including sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain; swelling, pain or tenderness, or red discoloration in the leg or arm.

These are not all of the possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

TEARS (PERFORATION) IN THE STOMACH OR INTESTINES

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/XELJANZ XR 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.

These are not all of the possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

SERIOUS ALLERGIC REACTIONS

SERIOUS ALLERGIC REACTIONS

Symptoms such as swelling of your lips, tongue, or throat, or hives (raised, red patches of skin that are often very itchy) that may mean you are having an allergic reaction have been seen in patients taking XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Some of these reactions were serious. If any of these symptoms occur while you are taking XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, stop XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR and call your healthcare provider right away.

These are not all of the possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

CHANGES IN CERTAIN LAB TEST RESULTS

CHANGES IN CERTAIN LAB TEST RESULTS

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 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/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.

These are not all of the possible side effects of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

WHAT SHOULD I TELL MY HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE TAKING XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR?

WHAT SHOULD I TELL MY HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE TAKING XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR?

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

  • have an infection
  • have had blood clots in the veins of your legs, arms, or lungs, or clots in the arteries in the past
  • 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/​XELJANZ XR
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. People taking XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR should not receive live vaccines but can receive non-live vaccines
  • 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
  • plan to breastfeed or are breastfeeding. 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.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take any other medicines to treat your rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. 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 or XELJANZ XR. Taking XELJANZ or XELJANZ XR 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.

These are not all of the possible side effects of XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR. Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

WHAT ARE OTHER POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF XELJANZ XR?

WHAT ARE OTHER POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF XELJANZ XR?

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.

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 of the possible side effects of XELJANZ/​XELJANZ XR. Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.

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 www.fda.gov/MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

REQUEST MORE INFO ABOUT XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.