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If you have rheumatoid arthritis, your healthcare provider may recommend a medication called tofacitinib. This prescription medicine works by blocking the actions of certain enzymes that regulate immune cell function. It comes as a tablet that is taken once or twice a day. Most people taking this drug will develop some type of side effect, such as infections, headaches, or diarrhea.


What Is Tofacitinib?

Tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) is a prescription medication approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is a "biologic" RA treatment. Unlike many other newer RA medications, tofacitinib is taken by mouth rather than injected. It belongs to a class of medicines known as kinase inhibitors.
(Click What Is Tofacitinib Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, tofacitinib can cause side effects. Although not everyone who takes this medication will have problems, most people will experience some type of side effect during treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this drug.
Common side effects of tofacitinib include but are not limited to:
(Click Tofacitinib Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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