Taking abrocitinib may decrease your ability to fight infection and increase the risk that you will get a serious infection, including severe fungal, bacterial, or viral infections that spread through the body. These infections may need to be treated in a hospital and may cause death. Tell your doctor if you often get any type of infection or if you think you may have any type of infection now. This includes minor infections (such as open cuts or sores), infections that come and go (such as cold sores), and chronic infections that do not go away. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a lung disease, or any other condition that affects your immune system. You should also tell your doctor if you live or have ever lived in areas such as the Ohio or Mississippi river valleys where severe fungal infections are more common. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if these infections are common in your area. Tell your doctor if you are taking medications that decrease the activity of the immune system such as the following: abatacept (Orencia); adalimumab (Humira); anakinra (Kineret); azathioprine (Azasan); certolizumab (Cimzia); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); etanercept (Enbrel); golimumab (Simponi); infliximab (Remicade); methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall); steroids including dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Orapred ODT, Prelone), and prednisone (Rayos); and tocilizumab (Actemra).
Your doctor will monitor you for signs of infection during and after your treatment. If you have any of the following symptoms before you begin your treatment or if you experience any of the following symptoms during or shortly after your treatment, call your doctor immediately: fever; sweating; chills; muscle aches; cough; shortness of breath; weight loss; warm, red, or painful skin; sores on the skin; frequent, painful, or burning feeling during urination; diarrhea; or excessive tiredness.
You may already be infected with tuberculosis (TB; a serious lung infection) but not have any symptoms of the disease. In this case, taking abrocitinib may make your infection more serious and cause you to develop symptoms. Your doctor will perform a skin test to see if you have an inactive TB infection before you begin your treatment with abrocitinib. If necessary, your doctor will give you medication to treat this infection before you start using abrocitinib. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had TB, if you have lived in 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, coughing up bloody mucus, weight loss, loss of muscle tone, or fever.
Taking abrocitinib may increase the risk that you will develop a lymphoma (cancer that begins in the cells that fight infection) or other types of cancers such as skin cancer or lung cancer. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any type of cancer.
Taking abrocitinib may cause serious or life-threatening heart problems, such as a heart attack or stroke, or serious or life-threatening blood clots in the lungs or legs. Tell your doctor if you smoke or if you have ever smoked. Also tell your doctor if have or have ever had a heart attack or other heart problems; a stroke; a blood clot in your legs, arms, or lungs, or in the arteries; high cholesterol; high blood pressure; or diabetes. If you experience any of the following symptoms during your treatment, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment: pain in the chest, arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach; breaking out in cold sweat; feeling light-headed; dizziness; numbness or weakness in face, arm, or legs; slow or difficult speech; sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; swelling of a leg or arm; leg pain; redness, discoloration, or warmth in the legs or arms.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests before, during, and after your treatment to check your body's response to abrocitinib.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with abrocitinib and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Talk to your doctor about the risk(s) of taking abrocitinib.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Abrocitinib is used to treat moderate to severe eczema (atopic dermatitis; a skin disease that causes the skin to be dry and itchy and to sometimes develop red, scaly rashes) in adults who cannot use topical medications for their condition or whose eczema has not responded to topical medications. Abrocitinib is in a class of medications called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. It works by decreasing the activity of the immune system.
How should this medicine be used?
Abrocitinib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once a day. Take abrocitinib 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 abrocitinib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablets/capsules whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of abrocitinib and may increase your dose after 12 weeks if you haven't responded to the lower dose.
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 abrocitinib,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to abrocitinib, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in abrocitinib tablet. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin (doses greater than 81 mg), clopidogrel, prasugrel, or ticagrelor. Your doctor may/will probably tell you not to take abrocitinib if you are taking one or more of these medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription 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 and any of the following: dabigatran (Pradaxa), digoxin (Cardoxin, Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin), fluconazole (Diflucan), fluvoxamine (Luvox, Luvox CR), probenecid (Probalan, in Colbenemid, Proben-C), or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, Rifater). Many other medications may also interact with abrocitinib, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you are a current or past smoker, have herpes zoster (shingles; a rash that can occur in people who have had chickenpox in the past), anemia (a lower than normal number of red blood cells), kidney disease, cataracts, retinal detachment, or liver disease, including hepatitis B or C.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking abrocitinib, call your doctor. If you become pregnant while taking abrocitinib, you should report your pregnancy to 1-877-311-3770.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking abrocitinib.
- tell your doctor if you have recently received or are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. If you need any vaccinations, you may have to receive the vaccinations and then wait some time before beginning your treatment with abrocitinib. Do not have any vaccinations 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 it. However, if it is less than 12 hours until 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?
Abrocitinib may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- cold symptoms including stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, sore throat
- herpes simplex infection including cold sores
- pain or burning on urination or frequent urination
- mouth and throat pain
- stomach pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, stop taking abrocitinib and call your doctor immediately (or get emergency medical treatment):
- sudden changes in vision
Abrocitinib may cause infertility in females (inability to get pregnant). Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Abrocitinib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (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 medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of 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 medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines 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 has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor wmay order certain lab tests to check your body's response to abrocitinib.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring 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.