Skip to Content

Ruxolitinib

Generic Name: ruxolitinib (RUX oh LI ti nib)
Brand Name: Jakafi

Medically reviewed on July 11, 2018

What is ruxolitinib?

Ruxolitinib works by blocking certain enzymes in the body that affect blood cell production.

Ruxolitinib is used to treat myelofibrosis or polycythemia vera, which are bone marrow disorders that that affect your body's ability to produce blood cells.

Ruxolitinib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use ruxolitinib if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had tuberculosis, if anyone in your household has tuberculosis, or if you have recently traveled to an area where tuberculosis is common (Ohio River Valley, Mississippi River Valley, and the Southwest).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Using ruxolitinib may increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Talk to your doctor about this risk and what skin symptoms to watch for.

It is not known whether ruxolitinib will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while you are using ruxolitinib, and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose.

Ruxolitinib is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take ruxolitinib?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. You will need frequent medical tests to help your doctor determine the best dose. When you first start taking ruxolitinib, your blood will need to be tested every 2 to 4 weeks.

You may take ruxolitinib with or without food. The ruxolitinib tablet can also be given through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

You should not stop using ruxolitinib suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking ruxolitinib?

Grapefruit may interact with ruxolitinib and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.

Ruxolitinib side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some side effects may be similar to the symptoms of myelofibrosis. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blisters or painful skin rash;

  • changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole or skin lesion;

  • problems with speech, thought, vision, or muscle movement (these symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly);

  • nausea, vomiting, weakness, general ill feeling;

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath; or

  • signs of tuberculosis: fever, cough, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, and feeling very tired.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Ruxolitinib dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Myeloproliferative Disorder:

Initial Dose:
-Platelets greater than 200 x 10(9)/L: 20 mg orally twice a day
-Platelets 100 to 200 x 10(9)/L: 15 mg orally twice a day
-Platelets 50 to less than 100 x 10(9)/L: 5 mg orally twice a day

Maximum dose:
-Starting platelets 100 x 10(9)/L or greater: 25 mg twice a day
-Starting platelets 50 to less than 100 x 10(9)/L: 10 mg twice a day

Duration of therapy: 6 months if no spleen reduction or symptom improvement

Comments:
-Doses may be titrated based on safety and efficacy.
-If efficacy is considered insufficient and platelet and neutrophil counts are adequate, doses may be increased by a maximum of 5 mg twice daily.
-The starting dose should not be increased within the first four weeks of treatment and thereafter no more frequently than at 2 week intervals.

Uses: Intermediate or high-risk myelofibrosis, including primary myelofibrosis, post-polycythemia vera myelofibrosis, and post-essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis

What other drugs will affect ruxolitinib?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect ruxolitinib. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Hide