Jakafi (Ruxolitinib phosphate) is a prescription medication used to treat bone marrow disorders like myelofibrosis caused by genetics and environmental factors. This drug is used to treat polycythemia vera in adults that are not responding to or cannot tolerate a medicine called hydroxyurea. Jakafi is also used to treat acute graft versus host diseases (aGVHD) in adults and children 12 years or older who are not responding to corticosteroids. This drug also treats chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD) in adults and children older than 12 years who have taken one or two treatments that did not work well enough. You can use Jakafi alone or with other medications. The active ingredient in Jakafi is Ruxolitinib phosphate. Ruxolitinib phosphate belongs to a class of drugs called kinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the body from producing substances called growth factors. Growth factors cause cell growth and division, causing blood cell and spleen problems found in these disorders.
We currently offer the brand Jakafi from Canada manufactured by Novartis in the strength of 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, and 20 mg tablets. The generic Ruxolitinib phosphate is not available.
Get medical help immediately if you have any of these signs or an allergic reaction while taking Jakafi. The most common side effects of Jakafi may include the following:
• Fluid retention;
• Low blood cell counts;
• Weight gain
Contact your doctor right away if you have any of the serious side effects, including:
• Changes in a skin lesion’s size, shape, or color;
• Feeling very tired;
• Nausea or vomiting;
• Painful or burning sensation when urinating;
• Signs of tuberculosis like fever, cough, appetite loss, and weight loss;
• Speech, thought, or vision problems
These are not all of the side effects of Ruxolitinib phosphate. Always contact your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms.
You should not take Jakafi if you are allergic to Ruxolitinib phosphate or any ingredient in Jakafi. Before you start taking this medication, tell your doctor about your medical history, especially if you:
• Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed;
• Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant;
• Have come in contact with people with contagious infections like chicken pox and measles;
• Have had a blood clot;
• Have had any chronic infections;
• Have had recent immunizations or vaccinations;
• Have had shingles (herpes zoster);
• Have had skin cancer;
• Have high cholesterol;
• Have kidney disease or if you are on dialysis;
• Have liver disease, especially hepatitis B;
• Have or have had tuberculosis;
Tell your doctor about all your medications, including prescription, OTC, herbal supplements, and vitamins. There may be drug interactions between Jakafi and other medicines, including fluconazole, natalizumab, and rituximab. Do not take alcohol when using Jakafi to prevent getting or worsening infections. Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice when using this medication. Jakafi can be used in children and adolescents aged 12 and above. Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using Ruxolitinib phosphate. It is unknown if Ruxolitinib phosphate will harm the unborn baby. It is unknown if Jakafi passes into breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment. Do not drive or use machinery when using Jakafi. Use Jakafi and all medicines exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not suddenly stop taking ruxolitinib phosphate without consulting your doctor. Do not take a double dose if you forget a dose. In case of an overdose, contact your doctor immediately. Keep Ruxolitinib phosphate out of reach and sight of children. Store this drug at room temperature, away from moisture and light.