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Tofacitinib - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Tofacitinib cause?

​Common side effects of Tofacitinib include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
    • Take the medication with or after food if you experience nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, severe sore throat

Inform your doctor if any side effect persists, if you are unable to tolerate them or the side effects become serious.

Tofacitinib may reduce your body’s ability to fight against infection. You should consult a doctor immediately if you develop a fever or feel unwell. Inform the doctor whom you consult that you are taking Tofacitinib as the medication may need to be stopped while you are having an infection.

You may need to have regular blood test to monitor your blood count and cholesterol levels when on Tofacitinib.

Rare but serious side effects include:

  • Signs of liver problems like dark or tea-coloured urine, yellowing of eye white or skin
  • Signs of stomach ulcer like black tarry stools, vomiting of coffee ground material, severe stomach pain.

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Tofacitinib , what precautions must I follow?

  • Avoid crowded places and direct contact with any sick person
  • Do not consume raw or undercooked food

Inform your healthcare professional if:

    • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
    • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. If you are a woman of child bearing age, you should use effective birth control during treatment with Tofacitinib and for at least 4 weeks after the last dose.
  • You have a history of
    • Kidney condition
    • Liver condition
    • Stomach condition
    • Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C
    • Cancer
  • You have infections or low blood count
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies

Immunisation status should be current before starting on Tofacitinib. Do not receive any live vaccine while you are on Tofacitinib.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Tofacitinib ?

Avoid taking grapefruit or grapefruit juice when you are taking this medication as grapefruit may interact with your medication and increase the risk of side effects.

Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications, before you start taking Tofacitinib:

  • Rifampicin, a tuberculosis medication
  • Anti-fungals such as Ketoconazole, Fluconazole
  • Immunosuppressants such as Azathioprine, Methotrexate, Cyclosporine, Tacrolimus

Tofacitinib - Additional Information

  • Updated on 9/30/2021 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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