Senior Health Home > Tofacitinib
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication if you have:
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure, or if you are on dialysis
- An infection of any kind
- Ever had tuberculosis or hepatitis
- Low blood cell counts, including low platelets, white blood cells, or red blood cells (anemia)
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Xeljanz and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Xeljanz and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Tofacitinib to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Tofacitinib works by blocking enzymes in the body known as janus-associated kinases (JAKs). JAK enzymes help regulate immune cell function. Tofacitinib inhibits JAK enzymes; however, it is not entirely clear how this action helps to improve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with tofacitinib include the following:
- This medication comes in the form of a tablet. It is usually taken by mouth once or twice a day.
- You can take tofacitinib with or without food.
- Try to take your doses at the same times each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
- For tofacitinib to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Your symptoms will return if you stop taking this medication.