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What is ruxolitinib?

Ruxolitinib, also called Jakafi®, is an anti-cancer medicine. Ruxolitinib is taken by mouth. It is available as a 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, and 25mg tablet.

How to take ruxolitinib

  • Read the directions on the bottle carefully to make sure you take this medicine correctly.
  • You may need to delay taking ruxolitinib when certain other medicines are given. The doctor will tell you when you should delay taking ruxolitinib.
  • This medicine may be taken with or without food.
  • If a dose is missed, return to the usual dosing schedule and do not give another dose.

Possible side effects of ruxolitinib

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Swelling
  • Loose stools (diarrhea)
  • Hard stools (constipation)
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Headache
  • Muscle spasms
  • Belly pain
  • Weight gain
  • Gas
  • Nose and throat irritation
  • Joint pain
  • Painful skin rash with blisters
  • Insomnia
  • Bruising
  • Low blood counts
  • Increased liver enzymes

These are the most common side effects, but you might have others. Please tell your doctor or nurse about all side effects.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist at 901-595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for ruxolitinib

  • Because ruxolitinib may cause birth defects, do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. Both men and women who are taking ruxolitinib should use effective birth control methods.
  • It is not known whether ruxolitinib passes into breast milk. This medicine might cause serious harm to a nursing infant. Women who are taking ruxolitinib should not breastfeed a baby.
  • Ruxolitinib tablets should be stored at room temperature.
  • Keep this and all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Other medicine may affect the way ruxolitinib works. Always give a complete list of medicines you are taking to your doctor or pharmacist. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new vitamins, herbals, or other medicine.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking ruxolitinib.
  • If you miss a dose, follow these guidelines:
    • Return to the usual dosing schedule.
    • Do not give another dose.

Safe handling of ruxolitinib

All chemotherapy drugs taken by mouth can pose a health hazard to caregivers and patients. You should be careful when handling this medicine and try to keep the drug from touching the skin. Taking precautions will ensure that both the patient and the caregiver are protected as well as possible.

  • Prepare a clean area where the drug can be handled safely, away from areas where food is prepared, out of the reach of children, and out from under any air vents or fans.
  • We suggest you or the caregiver wear gloves while handling this medicine. Wash your hands right away if your skin comes in contact with the medicine.
  • Completely clean up any spills in the area where the medicine is prepared.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).