Generic Xeljanz To Treat Arthritis and Ulcerative Colitis Is Available Now
March 17, 2021
Xeljanz (tofacitinib) is an expensive medication that works on the immune system. This medication is more popular than comparable medications. There are currently no generic alternatives to Xeljanz in the United States.
What Is Xeljanz Used for And How It Works?
Xeljanz (tofacitinib) is used to treat certain types of arthritis (such as psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, polyarticular course juvenile idiopathic arthritis-pcJIA).
In Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function.
The active substance in Xeljanz, tofacitinib, is an immunosuppressant (a medication that reduces the activity of the immune system) that works by blocking the action of enzymes known as Janus kinases (JAK).
These enzymes play an important role in the process of inflammation and damage of the joints that occurs in RA. By blocking the enzymes, tofacitinib is expected to reduce the inflammation and other symptoms of the disease.
Tofacitinib is also used to treat a certain bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). It helps to reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis such as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and stomach pain.
Why Is Xeljanz Becoming More Popular?
Xeljanz (tofacitinib) was first approved in 2012 to treat adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who did not respond well to the medication methotrexate.
In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved tofacitinib to treat patients with a second condition that causes joint pain and swelling, psoriatic arthritis (PsA), who did not respond well to methotrexate or other similar medications.
This means that Xeljanz is often prescribed when patients aren’t responding to other medications that are normally given as a first line of defense against RA.
In 2018, FDA approved this medication to treat ulcerative colitis, which is a chronic, inflammatory disease affecting the colon.
Xeljanz is an anti-JAK, or Janus kinase inhibitor, which targets a specific cellular process that is involved in the immune response and resulting inflammation in RA. Xeljanz is the first medication of its kind.
How Much Does Brand Name or Generic Xeljanz Cost?
According to drugs.com, the cost for Xeljanz oral tablet 5 mg, is around $85.95 per tablet in the United States, depending on the pharmacy you visit.
However, the same medication manufactured by same company, Pfizer, is just $14.01 per tab from Turkey. It is $28.96 per tab from Australia and $37.09 per tab from Canada (as of Mar 11, 2021).
As for generic Xeljanz from India, it is only $1.66 per tab, containing the same active ingredient tofacitinib.
What Are Side Effects of Xeljanz?
Xeljanz may increase your risk of getting infections, which can become serious if not treated. You may be at higher risk for infections if you are 65 years of age or older, have diabetes, chronic lung disease, or are taking corticosteroids. Your Xeljanz treatment may be stopped by your doctor.
Common side effects of Xeljanz are:
- upper respiratory tract infections,
- cold symptoms such as sore throat, runny or stuffy nose.
Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Xeljanz including:
- feeling very tired,
- yellow skin or eyes (jaundice),
- loss of appetite,
- dark urine,
- clay-colored stool,
- skin rash,
- fever or chills,
- night sweats,
- weight loss,
- changes in bowel habits,
- pain or burning when you urinate,
- sores in your mouth or throat,
- stabbing chest pain,
- shortness of breath,
- cough with mucus or blood
- skin redness or swelling.
Dosage for Xeljanz
The recommended dose of Xeljanz is 5 mg twice daily.
What Medicaitons, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Xeljanz?
Xeljanz may interact with aprepitant, bosentan, conivaptan, haloperidol, imatinib, isoniazid, St. John’s wort, ticlopidine, antibiotics, antidepressants, antifungals, hepatitis C medications boceprevir or telaprevir, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV or AIDS medications, medications to treat excess stomach acid, medications to prevent organ transplant rejection, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), other arthritis medications, seizure medications, or steroids. Tell your doctor about all medications and supplements you use.
Is Xeljanz The Same as Humira?
Xeljanz (tofacitinib citrate) and Humira (adalimumab) are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Xeljanz is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in patients who have not responded well to methotrexate or cannot tolerate it.
Humira (adalimumab) is an injectable protein (antibody) used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and plaque psoriasis. Humira is also used to treat Crohn’s disease after other medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.
This article is sponsored by CheapoMeds. If you have questions about your prescription medications or any other medication, please contact our team at CheapoMeds by calling toll free 1-844-4CHEAPO (424-3276). One of our patient representatives will be happy to assist you or transfer you to a licensed Canadian pharmacist for a free consultation.
This article contains medical information provided to help you better understand this medical condition or process and may contain information about medication often used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor. It is not intended to be used as either a diagnosis or recommendation for treatment of your medical situation. If you are unwell, concerned about your physical or mental state, or are experiencing symptoms you should speak with your doctor or primary health care provider. If you are in medical distress, please contact emergency services (such as 911).