Ruxolitinib is used to treat myelofibrosis (a cancer of the bone marrow in which the bone marrow is replaced by scar tissue and causes decreased blood cell production). It is also used to treat polycythemia vera (PV; a slow growing cancer of the blood in which the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells) in people who were not able to be treated successfully with hydroxyurea. Ruxolitinib is also used to treat graft versus host disease (GVHD; a complication of hematopoietic stem-cell transplant [HSCT; a procedure that replaces diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow]) in adults and children 12 years of age and older who were treated unsuccessfully with steroid medications. Ruxolitinib is in a class of medications called kinase inhibitors. It works to treat myelofibrosis and PV by blocking the signals that cause cancer cells to multiply. This helps to stop the spread of cancer cells. It works to treat GVHD by blocking the signals of the cells that cause GVHD.
Ruxolitinib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food two times a day. Take ruxolitinib at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ruxolitinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are being treated for myelofibrosis or PV your doctor may start you on a low dose of ruxolitinib for the first four weeks of treatment, and gradually increase your dose after that time, not more than once every 2 weeks. If you are being treated for GVHD your doctor may start you on a low dose of ruxolitinib and may increase your dose after at least 3 days of therapy.
Swallow the tablets whole; do not chew or crush them.
If you can not have food by mouth and have a nasogastric (NG) tube, your doctor may tell you to take ruxolitinib through the nasogastric (NG) tube. Your doctor or pharmacist will explain how to prepare ruxolitinib to give through an NG tube.
Your doctor will order blood tests before and during your treatment to see how you are affected by this medication. Your doctor may increase or decrease your dose of ruxolitinib during your treatment, or may tell you to stop taking ruxolitinib for awhile. This depends on how well the medication works for you, your lab test results, and if you experience side effects. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Continue to take ruxolitinib even if you feel well. Do not stop taking ruxolitinib without talking to your doctor. If your doctor decides to stop your treatment with ruxolitinib, your doctor may decrease your dose gradually.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking ruxolitinib,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Ruxolitinib may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Ruxolitinib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.