Rinvoq is a medicine that treats several types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and axial spondyloarthritis. It’s often prescribed for patients who cannot tolerate or do not respond to tumor necrosing-factor (TNF) arthritis treatments. Rinvoq decreases swelling, pain, and joint tenderness. Because of these effects, it’s sometimes also used to treat atopic dermatitis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

Rinvoq contains the active ingredient upadacitanib, which is a Janus kinase inhibitor. This class of medication reduces a patient’s immune system responses, which can decrease inflammation and other unpleasant symptoms. However, people who take Rinvoq can also have weak responses to illness, injury, and disease—working with your doctor to manage your symptoms while on this medication is essential.

How Does Rinvoq Work?

Rinvoq is a Janus kinase inhibitor, which keeps Janus kinases from working in your body. Janus kinases describe a group of four proteins implicated in auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. These proteins are typically involved in building other proteins, making blood cells, and managing immune responses. However, overactive Janus kinases can cause excessive immune responses in people with auto-immune disorders.

Rinvoq prevents the Janus kinases from being activated in the first place. This reduces overactive immune responses and reduces symptoms like inflammation. Rinvoq has the most significant impact on one type of Janus protein but also targets and inhibits the other three.

Precautions and Warnings About Rinvoq

There are necessary precautions and warnings to keep in mind about Rinvoq. This medicine interferes with proteins that manage blood cells and immune responses, which are part of two vital body systems. While Rinvoq can deliver meaningful results to patients with auto-immune disorders, it also has serious risks.

Since Rinvoq suppresses your immune system, you should avoid infections and illnesses as much as possible. Avoid people with diseases like the flu or COVID-19. You should not receive live vaccines, which contain weakened versions of diseases. It would be best to avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines.

Rinvoq can be harmful to unborn babies. It would be best if you did not become pregnant or breastfeed while using Rinvoq. Tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant so your treatment plan can be adjusted.

Tell your doctor if you’re allergic to upadacitanib or other Rinvoq ingredients. You should discuss your complete medical history, including all previous arthritis treatments. Your doctor also needs to know about the following conditions:

  • Blood clots
  • Blood or bone marrow conditions
  • Cancer
  • Heart problems
  • Liver conditions
  • Major infections such as HIV, tuberculosis, or herpes zoster
  • Smoking (previous or current)
  • Digestive conditions
  • Stroke
  • Kidney problems

Side Effects of Rinvoq

Tell your doctor about any side effects. Even mild side effects can be a sign of a severe problem. It would be best to be alert for allergic reactions such as a rash, trouble breathing, dizziness, and itching or swelling of the face, throat, or tongue. Seek medical help immediately if you suspect an allergic reaction.

Rinvoq’s most common side effects are headache, nausea, and upper respiratory infections. More severe side effects include:

  • Tiredness
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Uncontrollable nausea or vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Sudden vision changes

Drug Interactions With Rinvoq

Rinvoq causes interactions with some drugs. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take to prevent dangerous interactions. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs, supplements, cannabis, alcohol, and more.

Rinvoq may interact with the following drugs:

Strengths and Dosages of Rinvoq

Rinvoq comes in 15mg tablets which are taken by mouth. Rinvoq should be swallowed whole, not split or crushed. Patients who can’t swallow pills should ask their doctor for other options.

Rinvoq’s standard dosage depends on the condition being treated.

Condition Being TreatedDosage
Rheumatoid arthritis15mg daily
Psoriatic arthritis15mg daily
Atopic dermatitis in patients ages 12-6415mg daily, up to 30mg daily if no response
Atopic dermatitis in patients ages 65+15mg daily

If desired results are not seen at these dosages, treatment should be discontinued.

Cost of Rinvoq in America

Rinvoq is a specialty drug that does not have a generic alternative. A 30-tablet supply of 15mg tablets costs around $12,000 without any discounts. Insurance coverage, coupons, and patient assistance programs can reduce this cost in many cases. The same prescription is around $6,500 with pharmacy coupons. A manufacturer’s discount program further reduces the price to $5 for eligible patients.

Alternatives to Rinvoq

There is not a generic version of Rinvoq. However, other Janus kinase inhibitors are available. These include:

  • Cibinqo
  • Inrebic
  • Jakafi
  • Litfulo
  • Ojjaara
  • Olumiant
  • Opzelura
  • Xeljanz

Rinvoq FAQs

Why was I prescribed Rinvoq?

Rinvoq reduces your immune response to manage conditions like arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and atopic dermatitis. This medicine is frequently prescribed for arthritis patients who haven’t responded to typical treatments. It’s also used to reduce inflammation in a variety of conditions. Your doctor prescribed Rinvoq to manage one of these conditions.

How can I avoid infections while taking Rinvoq?

You can reduce the risk of infections by wearing masks in public, washing your hands, avoiding people who are sick, treating wounds and injuries, and seeking treatment as soon as you start to feel back. Since Rinvoq suppresses your immune system, it’s important to avoid infections as much as possible.

Can I get vaccinated while I’m taking Rinvoq?

Rinvoq patients can safely get some vaccines. Inactive vaccines, which don’t contain live disease particles, should be safe for you to receive. However, you shouldn’t receive live vaccines because they contain active, living microorganisms. You should also avoid contact with people who recently received live vaccines.

What live vaccines should I avoid on Rinvoq?

Live vaccines include MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), smallpox, chickenpox, rotavirus, and yellow fever. The tablet form of the typhoid vaccine and the nose spray form of the flu vaccine are also live vaccines. You should not receive these vaccines while on Rinvoq.

Can I try to get pregnant while taking Rinvoq?

No, do not use Rinvoq if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Rinvoq has damaged unborn animals in lab tests, so it could also hurt a human fetus. Tell your doctor about your reproductive plans while on Rinvoq to make sure you and your baby are safe. Your doctor may require negative pregnancy tests before and during your Rinvoq treatment.

Is there a generic for Rinvoq?

No, Rinvoq is only available as a brand-name drug.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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