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What Ruxolitinib Is Used For:

For the treatment of intermediate and high risk myelofibrosis.

Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.

How ruxolitinib works

Ruxolitinib is a type of drug called a protein kinase inhibitor.

Genes called JAK1 and JAK2 help control the number of blood cells the body makes. If either of these genes become faulty, the body may make too many blood cells. Ruxolitinib blocks (inhibits) the signals that are sent by the faulty gene. This helps reduce the number of extra blood cells that are made.

Ruxolitinib can block other signals that cause too many blood cells to be made. So it can also work for people who do not have a faulty JAK gene.

When ruxolitinib is used

  • myelofibrosis
  • polycythaemia vera.
  • Myelofibrosis (MF) is a condition that affects the bone marrow (where blood cells are made). In MF, scar tissue builds up inside the bone marrow and blood cells are not made properly.
  • MF can cause symptoms such as a tiredness, high temperatures, night sweats, itching, weight loss and bone pain. It can also cause the spleen to get bigger. The spleen is on the left side of the tummy under the ribs. It helps break down blood cells. Symptoms of an enlarged spleen include discomfort on the left side of the tummy and quickly feeling full when eating.
  • If you have MF and your spleen is too big, or you have other symptoms, you may be given ruxolitinib. It can help reduce the size of the spleen and relieve symptoms.
  • Polycythaemia vera (PV) is a condition which causes the body to make too many red blood cells.
  • If you have you PV, and the drug hydroxycarbamide (or hydroxyurea) is not working or is causing side effects), you may be given ruxolitinib.
  • Ruxolitinib may only be available in certain situations. Your doctor can tell you if it is appropriate for you. Some people may be given it as part of a clinical trial. If a drug is not available on the NHS, there may be different ways you are still able to have it. Your doctor can give you advice. We have further information on what to do if your treatment is not available.

Side Effects:

  • Important things to remember about the side effects of ruxolitinib:
  • Most people do not experience all of the side effects listed.
  • Side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset and duration.
  • There are many options to help minimize or prevent side effects.
  • There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side effects and the effectiveness of the medication.:
  • Anemia
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Increased liver enzymes
  • Diarrhea
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Neutropenia
  • Dizziness
  • Increased cholesterol
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nasopharyngiti