Tofacitinib: Uses & Side Effects

Tofacitinib is used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis or active psoriatic arthritis in adults who have tried methotrexate other medications without successful treatment of symptoms.

Tofacitinib is sometimes given in combination with methotrexate or other arthritis medicines. It is also used to treat adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.

Tofacitinib blocks the activity of certain enzymes in the body that affect immune system function.

What do you need to know before taking Tofacitinib?

You should not use tofacitinib if you have a serious infection. Before you start treatment, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have an infection.

Tofacitinib affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor if you have a fever, chills, aches, tiredness, cough, skin sores, diarrhea, weight loss, or burning when you urinate.

If you’ve ever had hepatitis B, using tofacitinib can cause this virus to become active or get worse. Tell your doctor if you don’t feel well and you have right-sided upper stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

Also, it is not known whether tofacitinib will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Tofacitinib may affect your ability to have children during treatment and in the future.

What are the side effects of Tofacitinib?

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

You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • Fever, chills, sweating
  • Skin sores
  • Tiredness, muscle pain
  • Increased urination, pain or burning when you urinate
  • Stomach pain, diarrhea, weight loss
  • Cough, shortness of breath, coughing up pink or red mucus

Common side effects may include:

  • Skin rash, shingles
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Abnormal blood tests
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat


Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect tofacitinib, especially:

  • Azathioprine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Tuberculosis medicine

Other drugs to arthritis or ulcerative colitis such as abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab, secukinumab, tocilizumab, ustekinumab, vedolizumab affect tofacitinib as well.

Keywords: tofacitinib

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.