Your healthcare provider might suggest that you take the drug Rinvoq (upadacitinib) if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There is no generic form of the drug. It comes as a tablet you take daily. It is frequently recommended to those who have not seen good results with methotrexate.

Rinvoq is a medication used to treat adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis that acts to inhibit Janus kinase (JAK). JAK inhibitors are a fairly new class of drugs.

They block the functioning of one or more enzymes in the JAK group, disrupting methods of communication between cells and procedures that lead to RA, inflammation, and multiple inflammatory issues.

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) backed Rinvoq, making it the third JAK inhibitor available to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), alongside Xeljanz (tofacitinib) and Olumiant (baricitinib).

The three medications are successful and sufficiently secure to use in the management of moderate to intense RA. The US Food and Drug Administration has also allowed the use of Xelijanz in treating psoriatic arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

Continue reading to find out information on using Rinvoq, what needs to be known prior to use, the proper dosage, potential adverse reactions, and safety measures.


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RINVOQ is a medication employed to manage adult sufferers with moderately to significantly energetic rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that was not effectively dealt with or was unable to be endured with methotrexate (MTX).

Medication is recommended to individuals suffering from RA with moderate to severe symptoms who have not benefited from methotrexate treatment or cannot take the medication. Rinvoq can be taken by itself, with methotrexate, or with non-biologic DMARDs, such as Plaquenil and Arava.

In April 2022, the Food and Drug Administration gave their endorsement to Rinvoq for adult patients with active ankylosing spondylitis who experienced insufficient results or were unable to tolerate TNF inhibitors, like Remicade (infliximab). It has been given permission to use in the treatment of other inflammatory conditions, including psoriatic arthritis, atopic eczema, and ulcerative colitis.

Studies examining the efficiency of Rinvoq have been numerous. The majority of people have assessed how effective Rinvoq is when compared to a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug. An inactive medicine that has similar characteristics to the actual medicine being studied is known as a placebo drug.

Research has revealed that those taking Rinvoq either on its own or in combination with methotrexate or a different disease-modifying antirheumatic drug for rheumatoid arthritis have shown better results than those only taking methotrexate.

Investigations into Rinvoq have been conducted to evaluate the extent that the medication provides relief for controlling indications, including pain, redness, and the number of enlarged joints. They have also looked at improvements in physical function.

According to studies included on the U.S. National Library of Medicine drug information page for Rinvoq, the use of Rinvoq for 12 to 14 weeks compared to methotrexate or a placebo showed:

For the people who took Rinvoq:

  • Up to a 76% improvement of symptoms and an up to 20% improvement in physical function
  • Up to a 52% improvement of symptoms and an up to 50% improvement in physical function
  • Up to a 32% improvement of symptoms and an up to 70% improvement in physical function

For methotrexate, the studies showed:

  • Up to a 54% improvement of symptoms and an up to 20% improvement in physical function
  • Up to a 28% improvement of symptoms and an up to 50% improvement in physical function
  • Up to a 14% improvement of symptoms and an up to 70% improvement in physical function

For participants taking the placebo, there was a significantly reduced rate of alleviation of symptoms and improvement in functioning.

Research shows Rinvoq can increase the probability of remission. Inflammatory diseases such as RA have seen a significant decrease in symptoms to the extent that they near or even reach total disappearance.

Results from one Phase 3 trial revealed that more than one-third of participants taking the given drug achieved remission in a span of 12 weeks, a rate that was significantly higher than those in the methotrexate group (14%).

It has been declared by the producer of Rinvoq that the medicine may be more efficacious than Humira (adalimumab) when it comes to managing rheumatoid arthritis and upping the likelihood of remission. AbbVie manufactures both drugs.



Other Inflammatory Conditions

Rinvoq has been given the green light for treating other inflammatory problems like psoriatic arthritis, AS, and ulcerative colitis.

A phase 2/3 study conducted in August 2020 provided evidence that individuals suffering from active Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) experienced substantial amelioration of symptoms after taking Rinvoq. Up to 52% of those who have taken the drug Rinvoq have achieved the primary assessments. The study showed that the drug is as safe as other studies on Rinvoq have indicated, and no unexpected safety issues were identified.

In phase 3 studies for psoriatic arthritis, those taking Rinvoq who hadn’t experienced an adequate reaction to non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs showed primary endpoint responses within the first three months of treatment.

By week 12, it became clear that Rinvoq had achieved much better results in treating PsA than Humira. Furthermore, those taking Rinvoq were seeing significant enhancements in their physical ability and skin afflictions. At the end of 24 weeks, they had achieved an almost negligible response to the disease.

Findings from Phase 3 clinical trials of Rinvoq showed that it can be successful in achieving remission from moderate to severe ulcerative colitis as quickly as eight weeks. 27% of people in the research obtained complete relief of symptoms while up to 73% saw a decrease in their ailments by week eight.



Off-Label Uses

Rinvoq can also be employed for other medical problems, even if this is not what it is approved to do. Using a medication for an application other than what it has been officially approved by the government for is referred to as “off-label use”.

A request for drug usage for any purpose other than that approved by the Food and Drug Administration must be sent for examination with evidence that demonstrates the drug is reliable and efficient for what it is intended for.

Rinvoq has not gained the US Food and Drug Administration’s authorization to be used in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, a persistent skin disorder described by redness and itching. However, Rinvoq has been used to treat atopic dermatitis.

An investigation published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2019 found that even a small amount of Rinvoq could help treat atopic dermatitis, with the most successful results coming from taking a 30-milligram dose.


Before Taking

It is important to inform your medical provider if you have any indications of an infection such as fever, shivering, muscle pains, exhaustion, and coughing before taking Rinvoq. People with active infections shouldn’t take Rinvoq.

Your medical practitioner may conduct examinations to ensure that you do not possess tuberculosis or any other severe sickness. Advise your medical professional if you have been diagnosed with tuberculosis or have had close contact with someone who has this infection.

You should also let your healthcare provider know if you:

  • Are a current or former smoker or have had a heart attack, other heart problems, or a stroke
  • Have had any type of cancer, hepatitis B, shingles, a blood clot of the legs or lungs, diverticulitis (inflammation of the large intestine), or stomach ulcers or ulcers of the intestines
  • Have diabetes, a liver problem, or a weak immune system
  • Have lived or traveled to parts of the United States that increase your risk for certain fungal infections
  • Have recently received or are scheduled for a live vaccine: People who take Rinvoq shouldn’t receive live vaccines, such as the shingles vaccine or the nasal flu vaccine.
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding

Inform your healthcare provider of all medications you are taking, such as prescriptions, OTC drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

It is essential that your doctor knows if you are taking any drugs to address bacterial or fungal problems, immunosuppressants, rifampicin (commonly used to treat tuberculosis), or phenytoin (a seizure remedy).



Your doctor will provide you with instructions on how to administer Rinvoq. They will inform you of the dosage and how often it is recommended to take it. Ensure you are abiding by all of your doctor’s instructions.

It is likely that you will be utilizing Rinvoq over a substantial length of time. Your doctor can provide information regarding the best course of treatment for you and can answer any queries you may have. Rinvoq must be taken continuously for several weeks before any changes in symptoms will be observed.

Rinvoq comes as a 15-milligram oral tablet you swallow. The manufacturer recommends taking the drug once per day. Take each dose with a full glass of water. Do not break up the tablet, but swallow it as a whole without chewing or crushing it. If you find it difficult to get down capsules or tablets, inform your medical provider.

If you forget to take a dosage, try to remember to take it as soon as possible. Don’t take a double dose if the time for your next dose has arrived – just take the dose which is due. If you have any queries relating to a dose that you have missed, please contact your healthcare provider.

It is suggested that you keep Rinvoq in the packaging it came in, at a normal temperature and avoid any areas with heat or humidity.


What are the Possible side effects?

Rinvoq, similar to other drugs, can lead to both moderate and severe side effects. Your doctor or chemist can provide you with more details on potential side effects and how to lessen them.

Some mild side effects of Rinvoq include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Upper respiratory infections, including tonsilitis and the common cold

The majority of adverse reactions tend to pass in either a short couple of days or a few weeks once the therapy has been initiated. Consult with your medical professional if any adverse reactions become severe or irritating.

The negative reactions to taking Rinvoq are not common, but it is possible for them to manifest.

RINVOQ may cause serious side effects including;

  • life threatening infections that may lead to hospitalization or death,
  • increased risk of lymphoma (immune system cancer) and some other cancers and
  • blood clots in the veins and arteries.

Severe reactions to the medication may include tears in gastrointestinal tracts, decrease in blood cells, liver malfunction, potential danger to a baby in the womb, and higher cholesterol levels.

The most frequently seen reactions are ailments of the upper respiratory tract, such as vomiting, wheezing, and high temperatures.

Rinvoq carries an advisory of utmost caution regarding serious infections that could bring about hospitalization or even prove fatal. Rinvoq may potentially cause severe infections such as tuberculosis, as well as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Rinvoq should be discontinued if a person develops a severe infection, and it should not be resumed until the infection is gone. Rinvoq, along with other JAK inhibitors, has been linked to increased chances of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and passing away. If you have any queries regarding Rinvoq, discuss them with your physician, chemist, or any other healthcare professional.


Warnings and Interactions

Some people shouldn’t take Rinvoq. This refers to those who are using drugs which may interact negatively with Rinvoq. When two drugs are mixed together, it could influence how they are processed in the body.

Drugs that can interact with Rinvoq might include:

  • Antibiotics: Medicines that fight infections caused by bacteria
  • Anticonvulsants: Medications used to treat seizure disorders and some mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder
  • Antifungals: Drugs that treat fungal infections
  • Antivirals: Medicines that fight viruses
  • Calcium channel blockers: Medicines that lower blood pressure and other conditions that might cause an irregular heartbeat or heart problems. These drugs work by preventing calcium from entering the heart or arteries.
  • Corticosteroids: A class of drugs that lowers inflammation in the body

The effects of consuming alcohol while taking Rinvoq have not been determined.

Drinking alcohol may put you in danger of suffering negative consequences, including liver issues. Discuss with your medical specialist whether it is suitable for you to drink alcohol while taking Rinvoq.

Research done on animals has identified potential developmental damage to a baby still in the womb as a result of exposure to Rinvoq. It is not possible to predict exactly how the drug Rinvoq will affect humans based off of animal studies; thus, it is not advised to take this drug while pregnant.

Those seeking to conceive should not take Rinvoq, and those with the potential for pregnancy should use contraception when using the medication. Nursing mothers should steer clear of taking the medication.

It is advised that you stay away from vaccines that are given in person while taking Rinvoq. Live vaccines contain a small amount of the virus. In individuals who are in good health, the body’s defense system would combat the virus.

Rinvoq has the potential to reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, thus diminishing the odds that the immune system will effectively answer to the vaccine. This may lead to an increased chance of getting the virus instead of giving protection from it.

You should avoid grapefruit while taking Rinvoq. Both consuming grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice may have an impact on the efficacy of Rinvoq.

Do not exceed the dosage of Rinvoq prescribed by your doctor. Consuming an excessive amount can have severe repercussions, including an overdose.

Contact your medical care provider if you suspect you have taken an excessive amount of Rinvoq. You can also reach out to the U.S. Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If you have extreme symptoms, dial 911 or visit the nearest hospital emergency room.




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