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Doctors normally prescribe Xeljanz (tofacitinib) when other medications, such as methotrexate [Otrexup (PF), Xatmep, Trexall], are not enough to help people deal with the pain and inflammation caused by psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or ulcerative colitis. There may be times when patients cannot take tofacitinib, however. In such cases, patients will need to discuss Xeljanz alternatives with their doctors.

Xeljanz XR Alternatives

Potential alternatives for Xeljanz include the following.

For Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is a viable alternative for managing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. It is well tolerated by the body as it can address pain and joint damage.

For Ulcerative Colitis

Mesalamine (Canasa, Delzicol, Asacol HD, Apriso, Pentasa, sfRowasa, Lialda) is an aminosalicylate that can help reduce inflammation for ulcerative colitis.

For Psoriatic Arthritis

Enbrel (etanercept) can help manage psoriatic arthritis as it is a tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitor. This term means that the drug blocks TNF-alpha in the body, a protein that can cause inflammation.


Is there a generic form of Xeljanz?

No. There is no generic form of Xeljanz on the market at the time of writing.

Is Xeljanz better and Humira?

Both Xeljanz and Humira (adalimumab) can treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. Xeljanz is taken in pill form as Humira is taken as an injection. These medications work differently and some patient may get benefit from one versus another.

What is the difference between Xeljanz and Xeljanz XR?

Xeljanz is an immediate release drug and Xeljanz XR is an extended-release tablet.

Is tofacitinib an immunosuppressant?

Yes. It is a non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), a class of drugs that suppress the immune system.

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