What is XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Treatment Options

From pills like methotrexate, XELJANZ, and once-daily XELJANZ XR to infusions and needle-based injections, there are many different medications available for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). When talking with your healthcare provider about the right treatment option for you, it’s important to remember that RA affects everyone differently, including how fast it progresses, and you should work with your healthcare team to assess available treatment options. A healthcare provider will often prescribe different medications at different times, depending on a patient’s unique situation.

While treatment paths may vary, click below to learn more about potential treatment options.

NSAIDs

For example, ibuprofen

WHAT ARE NSAIDs?
About NSAIDs
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are often prescribed along with DMARDs to help reduce pain and swelling in the joints.
  • While DMARDs can help reduce the progression of joint damage, NSAIDs only treat pain and inflammation.
How do NSAIDs work?

NSAIDs block the production of prostaglandins, which are involved in triggering inflammation and increasing pain.

How to take it

Pill or patch

STEROIDS

For example, prednisone

WHAT ARE STEROIDS?
About steroids

Steroids (in this case, short for corticosteroids ) are naturally occurring hormones produced by the adrenal glands above the kidneys during exercise or as a reaction to stress.

How do steroids work?
  • Steroids normally help replace energy stores that are used up during exercise or stress, and promote efficient operation of the cardiovascular system.
  • Steroids also reduce the swelling and decrease inflammation associated with RA. Healthcare providers rarely use or prescribe corticosteroids by themselves, and will often use them only when you have acute RA symptoms, including inflammation in a single joint.
How to take it

Topical ointment, pill, or an injection into a muscle or directly into an affected joint.

While NSAIDs and steroids may be used along with other treatments to help manage pain and swelling, a healthcare provider may also recommend methotrexate, which unlike NSAIDs and steroids, can help slow the progression of RA joint damage.

DMARDs

For example, methotrexate

WHAT ARE DMARDs?
About methotrexate
  • Methotrexate is one of the most commonly prescribed DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs). Other common DMARDs include hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine.
  • Methotrexate is often prescribed at the time of diagnosis to help reduce pain and swelling in the joints, and the progression of joint damage.
How does methotrexate work?

Methotrexate interferes with the production and maintenance of DNA, the genetic material in the cells of your body. It is not fully known how methotrexate works to treat RA.

How to take it

Pill and, in some cases, an injection

If methotrexate isn't doing enough, other treatment options are available to help reduce your RA symptoms.

JAK INHIBITORS

For example, XELJANZ® (tofacitinib)

WHAT ARE JAK INHIBITORS?
About JAK inhibitors
  • Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, another type of DMARD, are the first in a class of treatments for moderate to severe RA.
  • XELJANZ, a JAK inhibitor, has been shown to help reduce pain and swelling in the joints, and to slow the progression of joint damage.
  • XELJANZ can work alone. It is proven to reduce RA pain, swelling, and joint damage without the need for methotrexate.
  • XELJANZ is also available as a once-daily pill called XELJANZ XR.
How do JAK inhibitors work?

JAK inhibitors work deep inside the cell to disrupt the signaling pathways between the cells of your immune system that are believed to play a role in the inflammation associated with RA.

How to take it

Pill

BIOLOGICS

For example, Humira® (adalimumab)

WHAT ARE BIOLOGICS?
About biologics
  • Biologics target the underlying disease process, including specific parts of the immune system, to help reduce moderate to severe RA symptoms.
  • Biologics, another type of DMARD, have been shown to help reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, and the progression of joint damage.
How do biologics work?

There are various types of biologics available, each working in different ways to reduce, target, or block proteins that, when your body produces too much of them, can play a role in the pain, symptoms, and joint damage of RA.

How to take it

Injection and/or infusion, depending on medication

List of RA Medications

With so many different treatment options, sometimes it can be hard to keep track of what’s what or how XELJANZ fits into the mix. That’s why we’ve put together a list of RA medications* and grouped them by the type of treatment and how each medication is given.

SORT BY:
DMARD
  • Arava® (leflunomide)
  • Methotrexate
  • Plaquenil® (hydroxychloroquine sulfate)
  • Sulfasalazine
JAK INHIBITOR
  • Xeljanz® (tofacitinib)
  • Xeljanz® XR (tofacitinib) extended release
BIOLOGIC
  • Actemra® (tocilizumab)
  • Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol)
  • Enbrel® (etanercept)
  • Humira® (adalimumab)
  • Orencia® (abatacept)
  • Remicade® (infliximab)
  • Rituxan® (rituximab)
  • Simponi® (golimumab)
PILL
  • Arava® (leflunomide)
  • Methotrexate
  • Plaquenil® (hydroxychloroquine sulfate)
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Xeljanz® (tofacitinib)
  • Xeljanz® XR (tofacitinib) extended release
INJECTION
  • Actemra® (tocilizumab)
  • Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol)
  • Enbrel® (etanercept)
  • Humira® (adalimumab)
  • Methotrexate
  • Orencia® (abatacept)
  • Simponi® (golimumab)
INFUSION
  • Actemra® (tocilizumab)
  • Orencia® (abatacept)
  • Remicade® (infliximab)
  • Rituxan® (rituximab)
  • Simponi® ARIA® (golimumab)

*As of April 2017

The brand names included throughout are the properties of their respective owners. Table is not meant to imply a comparison of product effectiveness.

WHAT IS XELJANZ?