Xeljanz approved for rheumatoid arthritis

November 7, 2012

(HealthDay)—Xeljanz (tofacitinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) among people who can't tolerate, or haven't been helped by, the drug methotrexate.

RA is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body. In the case of RA, this leads to swelling of the joints and nearby tissues. About 1.5 million Americans have RA, the FDA said in a news release.

A twice-daily pill, Xeljanz is designed to block molecules involved in , the FDA said.

The drug was evaluated in seven clinical studies of adults with moderate-to-severe RA. The drug carries a "black box" label warning of an increased risk of infection triggered by a suppressed immune system, and tuberculosis and certain cancers.

Other serious side effects could include increased cholesterol levels and liver enzyme problems, the FDA said. More common adverse reactions were upper , headaches, diarrhea and nasal inflammation.

Xeljanz is marketed by New York-based .

Explore further: FDA panel urges approval for Pfizer arthritis drug

More information: The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about rheumatoid arthritis.

Related Stories

FDA panel urges approval for Pfizer arthritis drug

May 9, 2012

An advisory committee to the US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday urged US regulators to approve a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis made by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Study shows efficacy of new rheumatoid arthritis drug

August 9, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- A new study involving researchers from Karolinska Institutet demonstrates the efficacy of Tofacitinib, a new drug for rheumatoid arthritis. According to the study, which is published in The New England ...

Recommended for you

The promise of precision medicine for rheumatoid arthritis

November 21, 2016

In a new study, a Yale-led research team identified the mechanism of a gene that raises the risk of severe rheumatoid arthritis in susceptible individuals. The finding may lead to the development of treatment based on the ...

Back pain link to 24-hour body clock revealed

August 4, 2016

New research by University of Manchester scientists has for the first time shown that our spinal discs have 24-hour body clocks which when they malfunction, can contribute to lower back pain.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.