Dr. Lavery will provide you with specific instructions on how you should take the drug, including how often you should take it and the particular dose you will be taking. The dose may differ from one person to another because of many different factors, including the results of laboratory tests, how you are responding to treatment, your overall medical condition and any other medications you are using, including prescription and nonprescription drugs. You should not take the medication at a higher dose or for a longer length of time than it is prescribed. It will not help your condition to improve faster but it will increase your risk of side effects.
As is the case with any drug, Xeljanz does carry the risk for side effects. Some of the more common problems that people experience when using this drug are diarrhea and headaches. These may go away on their own but if they are persistent or if they continue to get worse, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. Serious side effects may also occur as a result of this medication, including unusual tiredness, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, signs of liver disease, severe abdominal or stomach pain or persistent nausea and vomiting. In addition, if you are showing signs of infection, including trouble breathing or persistent coughing, your doctor should be notified immediately.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect your quality of life in many ways. By using Xeljanz or other medications that may be prescribed, it will not cure the arthritis but it will help you to be more comfortable.