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Targeted Therapy

Brand names:


Other names:

Ruxolitinib phosphate

Often used for:

Myelofibrosis, Certain relapsed cancers

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About Ruxolitinib

Ruxolitinib is a type of medicine called a targeted therapy. This medicine is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It acts to block certain cell signals to help keep cells from growing.

Ruxolitinib may be used in combination with other medicines. This medicine is usually taken twice a day.

Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts and monitor liver and kidney function. The dose of ruxolitinib may change based on results of lab tests.

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May be taken as a tablet by mouth

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Possible Side Effects

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Elevated triglyceride
  • Bruising
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Painful skin rash with blisters
  • Nose and throat irritation
  • Weight gain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Liver problems
  • Low blood counts (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia and/or fatigue)

Not all patients who take ruxolitinib will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • While taking this medicine, do not eat grapefruit or Seville (bitter) oranges or drink juice or beverages containing grapefruit or Seville orange.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 6 months after completion of therapy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Caregivers should follow instructions for safe handling and disposal of the medicine and avoid contact with patient body fluids. Patient body fluids can contain the drug for 48 hours after it is given.

Ruxolitinib at home:

  • Store medicine at room temperature.
  • Take medicine at the same time each day, with or without food.
  • Ruxolitinib can be given by feeding tube. Follow the instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you miss a dose, skip the dose and go back to the usual schedule. Do not give 2 doses at the same time. 
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling and disposal.