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Taking upadacitinib may decrease your ability to fight infection and increase the risk that you will get a serious infection, including severe fungal, bacterial, or viral infections that spread through the body. These infections may need to be treated in a hospital and may cause death. Tell your doctor if you often get any type of infection or if you think you may have any type of infection now. This includes minor infections (such as open cuts or sores), infections that come and go (such as cold sores), and chronic infections that do not go away. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a lung disease, or any other condition that affects your immune system. You should also tell your doctor if you live or have ever lived in areas such as the Ohio or Mississippi river valleys where severe fungal infections are more common. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if these infections are common in your area. Tell your doctor if you are taking medications that decrease the activity of the immune system such as the following: azathioprine (Imuran), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), leflunomide (Arava), methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall); steroids including dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Prelone), and prednisone (Rayos); sulfasalazine; or tacrolimus (Astagraf, Envarsus XR, Prograf).
Your doctor will monitor you for signs of infection during and after your treatment. If you have any of the following symptoms before you begin your treatment or if you experience any of the following symptoms during or shortly after your treatment, call your doctor immediately: fever; sweating; chills; muscle aches; cough; shortness of breath; weight loss; warm, red, or painful skin; sores on the skin; frequent, painful, or burning feeling during urination; diarrhea, or excessive tiredness.
You may already be infected with tuberculosis (TB; a serious lung infection) but not have any symptoms of the disease. In this case, taking upadacitinib may make your infection more serious and cause you to develop symptoms. Your doctor will perform a skin test to see if you have an inactive TB infection before you begin your treatment with upadacitinib. If necessary, your doctor will give you medication to treat this infection before you start using upadacitinib. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had TB, if you have lived in or visited a country where TB is common, or if you have been around someone who has TB. If you have any of the following symptoms of TB, or if you develop any of these symptoms during your treatment, call your doctor immediately: cough, coughing up bloody mucus, weight loss, loss of muscle tone, or fever.
Taking upadacitinib may increase the risk that you will develop a lymphoma (cancer that begins in the cells that fight infection) or other types of cancers such as skin cancer. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any type of cancer.
Upadacitinib may increase the risk of serious and possibly life-threatening blood clot in the lungs or legs. If you experience any of the following side effects, call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment immediately: crushing chest pain or chest heaviness; shortness of breath; cough; pain, warmth, redness, swelling, or leg tenderness; or cold sensation in the arms, hands, or legs; or muscle pain.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests before, during, and after your treatment to check your body's response to upadacitinib.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with upadacitinib and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website Web Siteor the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Talk to your doctor about the risk(s) of taking upadacitinib.
WHY is this medicine prescribed?
Upadacitinib is used alone or with other medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis (condition in which the body attacks its own joints causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) in people who have not responded well to methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall). Upadacitinib is in a class of medications called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. It works by decreasing the activity of the immune system.
HOW should this medicine be used?
Upadacitinib comes as an extended-release (long-acting) tablet. It is usually taken with or without food once daily. Take upadacitinib at around the same time 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 upadacitinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Your doctor may need to temporarily or permanently stop treatment if you experience certain severe side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment.
Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?
Before taking upadacitinib,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to upadacitinib, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in upadacitinib extended-release tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: certain antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox) and ketoconazole; aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve); barbiturates such as phenobarbital or phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol, Equetro, others); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); enzalutamide (Xtandi); certain medications for HIV including efavirenz (Sustiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Invirase); nefazodone; rifabutin (Mycobutin); or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with upadacitinib, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's Wort.
- tell your doctor if you have ulcers (sores in the lining of your stomach or intestine), diverticulitis (swelling of the lining of the large intestine), herpes zoster (shingles; a rash that can occur in people who have had chickenpox in the past), or anemia (a lower than normal number of red blood cells), or liver disease, including hepatitis B or C.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You will need to have a pregnancy test before you start treatment with upadacitinib. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment and for at least 4 weeks after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use. If you become pregnant, call your doctor immediately. Upadacitinib may harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with upadacitinib and for 6 days after your final dose.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking upadacitinib.
- tell your doctor if you have recently received or are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. If you need any vaccinations, you may have to receive the vaccinations and then wait some time before beginning your treatment with upadacitinib. Do not have any vaccinations during your treatment without talking to your doctor.
What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?
Upadacitinib may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stuffy or runny nose
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, loss of appetite, dark urine, or clay-colored bowel movements
- shortness of breath, tiredness, or pale skin
Upadacitinib may cause an increase in your blood cholesterol levels. Your doctor will order tests to monitor your cholesterol levels during your treatment with upadacitinib. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Upadacitinib 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).
What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it either in the refrigerator or at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
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
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.
What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?
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.
What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?
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.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: October 15, 2019.