Veteran's Health Library Menu

Health Encyclopedia

Upadacitinib extended-release tablets

What is this medicine?

UPADACITINIB (ue PAD a SYE ti nib) is a medicine that works on the immune system. This medicine is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush, or chew this medicine. Swallow the tablets whole. You can take it with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take more often then directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • breathing problems

  • signs and symptoms of a blood clot such as breathing problems; changes in vision; chest pain; severe, sudden headache; pain, swelling, warmth in the leg; trouble speaking; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg

  • sign and symptoms of infection like fever or chills; cough; sore throat; pain or trouble passing urine

  • signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin

  • stomach pain or a sudden change in bowel habits

  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report these to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • nausea

  • runny nose

  • sinus trouble

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • baricitinib

  • tofacitinib

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • azathioprine, cyclosporine, or other immunosuppressive drugs

  • biologic medicines such as abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab, secukinumab, tocilizumab, ustekinumab

  • certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, itraconazole, or posaconazole

  • certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin

  • clarithromycin

  • live vaccines

  • rifampin

  • supplements, such as St. John's wort

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store between 2 and 25 degrees C (36 and 77 degrees F). Keep this medicine in the original container. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • cancer

  • diabetes

  • high cholesterol

  • HIV or AIDs

  • immune system problems

  • infection (especially a virus infection such as hepatitis B, chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)

  • liver disease

  • low blood counts, like low white cell, platelets, or red cell counts

  • history of blood clots

  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma

  • organ transplant

  • stomach or intestine problems

  • tuberculosis, a positive skin test for tuberculosis, or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tuberculosis

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to upadacitinib, other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your healthcare professional for regular checks on your progress. Tell your healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.

Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.

Call your doctor or healthcare professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their healthcare professional if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is potential for serious side effects and harm to an unborn child. Talk to your healthcare professional for more information.

Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or for 6 days after stopping it.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Help improve the VHL. Share your opinions! Click here for brief survey

VHL Web Tour Video - Opens in a pop up window

Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
Disclaimer - Opens 'Disclaimer' in Dialog Window | Help | About Veterans Health Library