Ruxolitinib is used to treat myelofibrosis, a serious bone marrow disorder.
This medicine is also used to treat polycythaemia vera, a rare blood disease in which the body makes too many red blood cells.
Take this medicine 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.
Inform your doctor if you have difficulty swallowing. Your doctor will decide if you can take Ruxolitinib through a nasogastric tube.
How to administer this medicine via a nasograstric tube:
- Disperse 1 tablet in approximately 40 mL of water and stir for 10 minutes.
- Within 6 hours after dispersion, administer Ruxolitinib with appropriate syringe.
- After administration, rinse the nasogastric tube with approximately 75 mL of water.
Ruxolitinib 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.
If you missed a 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.
Do not take Ruxolitinib 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. Ruxolitinib may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine and 2 weeks after your last dose.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- tuberculosis or history or risk of tuberculosis
- hepatitis B infection
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Your doctor may also need to do routine blood tests (e.g. complete blood count, blood cholesterol levels), liver and kidney function tests while you are being treated with this medicine.
Ruxolitinib may cause dizziness and weakness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, tiredness, difficulty sleeping, bruising, itching, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, weight gain, sore throat, cough, and bleeding from the nose.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- sore that doesn’t heal
- mental slowness, vision loss, speech disturbances, inability to control movements
- sudden severe headache, seizures
- pass out blood or black, tarry stools or vomit coffee-ground-like vomitus
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- signs of infection (e.g. fever, chills, burning or pain when urinating)
- painful rash or blisters
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. lopinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, amprenavir, atazanavir
- certain antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, telithromycin, erythromycin, ciprofloxacin
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital
- medicines for tuberculosis or TB e.g. rifampicin medicines for heart disease e.g. digoxin, diltiazem
- medicine for organ transplant and immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin
- blood thinning medicine e.g. dabigatran
- herbal medicines e.g. St. John’s wort
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.
Avoid alcohol and grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired tablets to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.