Baricitinib : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Taking baricitinib can decrease your ability to fight infection and increase the risk of getting a serious infection, including serious yeast, bacteria, or virus infections that spread throughout the body. These infections may need treatment in a hospital and can cause death. Tell your doctor if you often have any type of infection or if you think you may have some type of infection now. This includes minor infections (like open cuts or sores), infections that come and go (like cold sores), and chronic infections that don’t go away. Tell your doctor if you are taking medications that lower the activity of the immune system, such as the following: abatacept (Orencia); adalimumab (Humira); azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran); certolizumab pegol (Cimzia); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); etanercept (Enbrel); golimumab (Simponi); infliximab (Remicade); leflunomide (Arava); methotrexate (Otrexup; Rasuvo, Trexall); rituximab (rituxan); sarilumab (Kevzara); steroids including dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Prelone), and prednisone (Lightning); tocilizumab (Actemra); and tofacitinib (Xeljanz).
Your doctor will monitor you for signs of infection during and after your treatment. If you have any of the following symptoms before starting your treatment or if you experience any of the following symptoms during or shortly after your treatment, call your doctor immediately: fever; perspiration; cold; muscle pains; cough; difficulty breathing; weightloss; warm, red, or painful skin; sores on the skin; frequent, painful or burning sensation when urinating; diarrhea or excessive tiredness.
You may already be infected with tuberculosis (TB; a serious lung infection) but do not have any symptoms of the disease. In this case, taking baricitinib can aggravate your infection and cause symptoms. Your doctor will perform a skin test to see if you have an inactive TB infection before and during your baricitinib treatment. If necessary, your doctor will give you medicine to treat this infection before you start taking baricitinib. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had TB, if you have lived or visited a country where TB is common, or if you have been around someone who has TB. If you have any of the following symptoms of TB, or if you develop any of these symptoms during your treatment, call your doctor immediately: cough, cough with bloody mucus, weight loss, loss of muscle tone, or fever.
Taking baricitinib may increase the risk of developing lymphoma (cancer that begins in the cells that fight infection) or other types of cancer. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any type of cancer.
Baricitinib can increase the risk of serious and life-threatening blood clots in the lungs or legs. If you experience any of the following side effects, call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment right away: crushing chest pain or heaviness in the chest; difficulty breathing; cough; pain, warmth, redness, swelling, or tenderness in the legs; or cold feeling in the arms, hands or legs; or muscle pain
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain tests to check your body’s response to baricitinib.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking baricitinib.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Baricitinib is used alone or with other medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis (a condition in which the body attacks its own joints causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) in adults who have not responded well to one or more tumor necrosis factor inhibitors. (TNF) medication (s) Baricitinib belongs to a class of medications called Janus kinase inhibitors (JAK). It works by decreasing the activity of the immune system.
How should this medicine be used?
Baricitinib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once a day. Take baricitinib at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take baricitinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may need to stop treatment temporarily or permanently if you experience certain serious side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor how you feel during your treatment.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking baricitinib,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to baricitinib, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in baricitinib tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section or the following: probenecid (Probalan, in Col-Probenecid). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have undiagnosed stomach pain or if you have or have ever had diverticulitis (inflammation of the lining of the large intestine), anemia, herpes zoster (shingles; a rash that can occur in people who have had chickenpox in the past), or liver or kidney disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking baricitinib, call your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while taking baricitinib.
- Tell your doctor if you recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. Do not get vaccinated during your treatment without talking to your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Baricitinib may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
- abdominal pain
- bowel habit changes
Baricitinib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit an online report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in its container, tightly closed and out of the reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medications out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those for taking pills weekly and those used for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not resistant to children and children. young children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately put the medicine in a safe place, one that is up and away and out of your sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in a special way to ensure that pets, children and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to get rid of your medication is through a medication take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department for information on return programs in your community. Consult the FDA’s Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, call 911 immediately.
What other information should I know?
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Before having a laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking baricitinib.
It is important to keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should carry this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.