New rheumatoid arthritis drug… the inside scoop!

The first oral biologic drug has finally hit the runway.

Here’s the “skinny” on it from the American College of Rheumatology…

Xeljanz (tofacitinib) is a first-in-class oral JAK inhibitor which has shown clinical effectoveness in patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. xeljanz

Tofacitinib is approved for patients with an inadequate response to both biologic and non-biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) .

It should not be used in combination with other biologic agents. Current labeling for tofacitinib does not include an indication for inhibition of structural damage.

Data on safety suggests that infections, including severe “traditional” infections, as well as opportunistic infections and Herpes zoster, have occurred. Long-term safety studies and post-marketing safety data is being collected. Monitoring for blood abnormalities, liver enzyme abnormalities, lipid abnormalities and kidney damage is appropriate prior to initiation of therapy and throughout treatment.

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