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Precautions and Warnings With Ruxolitinib

To help ensure a safe treatment with ruxolitinib, let your healthcare provider know if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or any kind of infection. It is also important for your healthcare provider to know about any other medications, vitamins, or supplements you are taking to avoid potentially serious drug interactions with ruxolitinib. Other warnings and safety precautions apply to people with certain allergies.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Ruxolitinib?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking ruxolitinib (Jakafi™) if you have:
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure, or if you are on dialysis
  • An infection of any kind
  • Low blood cell counts, including low platelets, white blood cells, or red blood cells (anemia)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Ruxolitinib Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
  • Ruxolitinib can cause low red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelet counts. This can increase your risk for anemia, infections, and bleeding. Your healthcare provider will monitor your blood cell counts, using a simple blood test, before you start treatment and routinely during treatment. If your blood cell counts drop too low, you may need to temporarily stop taking ruxolitinib or take a lower dosage.

Tell your healthcare provider if you experience problems such as:

    • Unusual bleeding or bruising
    • Extreme tiredness or fatigue
    • Shortness of breath.
  • Ruxolitinib can make it harder for your body to fight an infection. As a result, you could develop potentially serious bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. You could also get a painful skin rash caused by the herpes zoster virus (shingles). Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any signs of an infection, such as:
    • Fever
    • Body aches and pains
    • Coughing
    • Chills
    • Painful skin blisters or rash.
  • Ruxolitinib is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Jakafi and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown whether ruxolitinib passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Jakafi and Breastfeeding).
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Ruxolitinib Drug Information

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