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Ruxolitinib (Jakafi)

How does this medicine work?

Ruxolitinib (RUK-soh-LIH-tih-nib) is a cancer medicine known as a janus associated kinase inhibitor. It works by destroying or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How is the medicine given?

Ruxolitinib is given by mouth as a capsule. It should be taken at the same time each day. Ruxolitinib can be taken with or without food. Take the Ruxolitinib with about 8 ounces (240 mL) of water. You will take the tablets as instructed by your provider. You should swallow the tablets whole.

If you or your child are unable to swallow capsules, talk to your pharmacist who will help teach you the proper technique on how to administer this medication.

What are the side effects?


  • Low blood cell counts
  • Fatigue


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache


  • Liver function changes


When should I call the clinic?

Call the clinic if:

  • Fever, chills
  • Bleeding, unusual bruising
  • Cough, shortness of breath, sore throat
  • Signs of an allergic reaction:

            - rash or hives

            - wheezing

            - trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

Take Ruxolitinib tablets approximately 12 hours apart if possible, with no fewer than 8 hours between doses.

If a dose of Ruxolitinib is late by more than 4 hours, do not take the medication. Wait for the next scheduled dose.

If vomiting occurs after taking Ruxolitinib do not repeat the dose.

Certain medications can increase the side effects of Ruxolitinib. Please talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new prescription or non-prescription medications, herbal products, or supplements.

You or your child will have regular blood tests while receiving this medication. This is to make sure all of the body’s organs are working properly.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child’s care.

Always make sure you have enough medication on hand. Each time you refill your prescriptions, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left, the pharmacist will need 2 or 3 days to contact the provider to renew the prescription.

Store all medicines in their original container and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children’s reach, locked up if possible.

If too much OR the wrong chemotherapy medicine is taken, call the oncology clinic right away. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.


This is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the oncology clinic or pharmacy.

Reviewed by Hem/Onc 12/2016

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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