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Tofacitinib - Oral - Patient Medicine Information

> Why do I need this medicine?
> How do I take this medicine?
> What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
> When should I not use this medicine?
> What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
> What side effects could I experience?
> Can I take this with other medicines?
> What special dietary instructions should I follow?
> How should I store this medicine?

 
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Why do I need this medicine?

Tofacitinib is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation in joints of fingers, wrist, feet, ankles).

It can also be used together with other medicines to treat psoriatic arthritis (inflammation in joints that affects people with psoriasis, a type of skin disease that allows the skin cells to rapidly build up causing itchy patches of thick, red skin and silvery scales).

This medicine may also be used to treat ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestines).

How do I take this medicine?

Take Tofacitinib exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.

Tofacitinib is available as an immediate-release and extended-release tablets.

If you are taking the immediate-release type of tablet, swallow it whole with a glass of water. If you have difficulty swallowing tablet(s), you may crush the tablet(s) and mix it with half glass of water, stir and drink immediately.

If you are taking the extended-release type of tablet (usually labeled as “XR”), swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.

The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition and response to the medication.

Tofacitinib must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.

What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.

When should I not use this medicine?

Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • active serious infections e.g. blood infection, tuberculosis or TB
  • severe liver disease
as Tofacitinib may not be suitable for you.

Do not take higher doses of Tofacitinib if you have the following conditions:
  • heart failure (weakness and inability of the heart to pump blood)
  • history of blood clots e.g. deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in your leg veins), pulmonary embolism (blood clots in a lung artery)
  • family history of bleeding disorders
  • active cancer
  • recently had or will undergo a major surgery
  • are taking combined hormonal contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy
as higher doses of this medicine may not be suitable for you.

Do not take Tofacitinib if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Tofacitinib may cause harm to your unborn child.

It is important that you do not get pregnant while taking this medicine. You must use proven birth control methods during Tofacitinib therapy and for at least 4 weeks after stopping the treatment. Birth control medicines containing hormones may not be effective. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.

Do not take Tofacitinib with other medicines to treat rheumatoid arthritis that are produced from biological sources, and medicines for organ transplant rejection or certain immune disorders such as azathioprine, mercaptopurine, tacrolimus, and ciclosporin.

You must avoid any vaccinations without consulting with your doctor. Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated or if you are planning to get vaccinated.

What should I take note of while taking this medicine?

Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • long-term or recurring infections
  • history of TB
  • long-term lung disease
  • risks of having heart problems e.g. high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels
  • heart disease and heart rhythm problems
  • moderate liver disease
  • severe kidney disease
  • history of stomach or bowel ulcer, narrowing, perforation or inflammation
  • conditions which increase the risk of infections e.g. diabetes, weakened immune system
  • conditions which increase the risk of blood clots e.g. smoking, problems with mobility
If you are of Asian race such as a Japanese or Korean, you may experience enhanced side effects of this medicine. Inform your doctor if you experience painful blisters on your skin or breathing difficulties.

Inform your doctor if you have resided in or travelled to areas with endemic cases of TB or fungal infections.

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • You may need to have routine tests (e.g. blood test, liver and kidney function test) before and during your treatment with Tofacitinib. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
  • Regular monitoring of your blood pressure, heart rate and for signs of infection, stomach perforation and blood clots may be needed.
  • Your doctor may periodically conduct a test for TB and other viral infections while you are being treated with this medicine.

What side effects could I experience?

Tofacitinib may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, indigestion, stomach pain, cough, common cold, sore throat, muscle pain, joint pain, and difficulty sleeping.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • fever, chills, sweating, sore throat, mouth sore, persistent headache
  • sudden shortness of breath, chest pain that worsens with breathing, pain or swelling of the leg or arm with redness or discoloration of the skin
  • persistent stomach pain, unusual tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine
  • pass out bloody stools or black as tar and vomiting blood or ground coffee-like material
  • rashes, breathlessness, swollen face, eyes, tongue or throat
Tofacitinib will cause the level of your red blood cells and white blood cells to drop.

Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.

White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.

Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.

Can I take this with other medicines?

Do not take Tofacitinib with other medicines to treat rheumatoid arthritis that are produced from biological sources, and medicines for organ transplant rejection or certain immune disorders such as azathioprine, mercaptopurine, tacrolimus, and ciclosporin.

Avoid vaccinations during treatment with this medicine. Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated or if you are planning to get vaccinated.

Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, fluconazole
  • rifampicin (medicine used to treat tuberculosis or TB)
  • NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, piroxicam
  • corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory medicines) e.g. prednisone, dexamethasone
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Tofacitinib.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Avoid alcohol.

Avoid St. John’s wort.

How should I store this medicine?

Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.

This information is independently developed by MIMS based on Tofacitinib - Oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2019 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com

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