Side Effects of Olumiant

Introduction: Side Effects of Olumiant. Olumiant (baricitinib) tablets treat rheumatoid arthritis, severe alopecia areata, and COVID-19 in certain patients. These conditions can be caused by an overactive immune system that causes inflammation.

Olumiant works by blocking a specific protein (Janus kinase) that causes inflammation to relieve the symptoms of these conditions. Olumiant is categorized as a Janus kinase inhibitor (JAK inhibitor).

JAK inhibitors target the Janus kinase pathway, which is involved in the body’s immune response. By inhibiting this pathway, Olumiant helps to reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Side Effects of Olumiant
Side Effects of Olumiant 2

Common Side Effects of Olumiant

In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks healthy joint tissue, causing the joint to become inflamed. Olumiant reduces inflammation in RA to help relieve joint pain, swelling, and tenderness.

In alopecia areata (AA), hair loss is caused by the immune system attacking the hair follicles, causing inflammation that disrupts hair growth. Olumiant prevents inflammation, which allows hair to grow back. Olumiant treats the symptoms of alopecia areata, but it is not a cure, and if you stop taking the pills, your hair loss may return.

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections: Some of the most common side effects of Olumiant are upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold. These infections may include symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, or cough.

Headache: Headaches are a frequently reported side effect. These can vary in intensity and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as dizziness.

Increased Blood Pressure: Olumiant can sometimes lead to increased blood pressure. Regular monitoring of blood pressure is suggested while taking this medication.

Elevated Liver Enzymes: Some individuals may experience high levels of liver enzymes, which may indicate liver inflammation. Regular liver function tests are frequently recommended.

Nausea and Stomach Upset: Gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea, are reported by some users.

Increased Risk of Serious Infections: Olumiant may increase the risk of serious infections, including tuberculosis, bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. It’s crucial for individuals taking Olumiant to be vigilant about any signs of infection, such as fever, cough, or unusual fatigue.

Risk of Blood Clots: There is a potential risk of blood clots (thrombosis) associated with Olumiant. Blood clots can be life-threatening and cause chest pain, shortness of breath, or leg swelling.

Elevated Cholesterol Levels: Some individuals may experience elevated cholesterol levels while taking Olumiant, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

Hypersensitivity Reactions: Rarely, individuals may experience hypersensitivity reactions, including skin rashes, itching, and difficulty breathing. These can be signs of an allergic reaction.

Decreased Blood Cell Counts: Olumiant can reduce the number of red and white blood cells and platelets in the blood. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and an increased risk of infections.

Gastrointestinal Perforations: In rare cases, Olumiant may lead to gastrointestinal perforations, which can be a severe medical emergency.

Mild side effects of Olumiant

Mild side effects may occur with Olumiant treatment. This list does not include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Olumiant’s recommended information.

Mild side effects that have been reported with Olumiant have:

  • Nausea
  • Herpes infection, such as cold sores
  • Upper respiratory infection

These side effects can be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. Nevertheless, if side effects last longer than this, bother you, or become painful, be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects and Warnings

Olumiant can cause serious side effects. The following list may not have all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more details, you can refer to Olumiant’s recommended information.

Call your doctor immediately if you experience severe side effects while taking Olumiant. If the side effects seem life-threatening or you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

It’s essential to be aware of the more severe side effects and warnings associated with Olumiant:

Serious Infections: Olumiant may increase the risk of serious infections, including tuberculosis, and can reactivate latent infections. Individuals with a history of chronic or recurrent infections should be carefully monitored.

Blood Clots: There is a possible risk of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. These can be life-threatening and require quick medical attention.

Liver Function: Olumiant can affect liver function and lead to elevated liver enzymes. Regular liver function tests are recommended to monitor for any signs of liver problems.

Cancer Risk: There have been concerns about the potential increased risk of certain cancers, such as lymphoma, using JAK inhibitors like Olumiant. Regular monitoring is advised.

Gastrointestinal Perforations: Although extremely rare, Olumiant has been associated with gastrointestinal perforations. This is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition.

Hypersensitivity Reactions: Allergic reactions to Olumiant are rare but can be severe. Symptoms may include skin rashes, itching, and problems breathing.

Lung Problems: Interstitial lung disease has been reported in some cases. This can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain.

Low Blood Cell Counts: Olumiant can reduce the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood, leading to anemia, an increased risk of infections, and bleeding issues.

Vaccination: The efficacy of vaccines may be reduced while taking Olumiant, and it’s crucial to discuss vaccination plans with your healthcare provider.

Does Olumiant cause hair loss?

No, Olumiant does not cause hair loss. Hair loss was not noted as a side effect in clinical trials. Olumiant can help reduce hair loss caused by certain conditions.

Olumiant is approved to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which can cause hair loss. It is also approved to treat severe alopecia areata, which causes unpredictable hair loss that can affect your scalp and the rest of your body.

Hair loss is a general side effect of other RA medications. For instance, methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall, Xatmep) is known to cause hair loss.

Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about hair loss with RA or Olumiant treatment. They can discuss the hazards of this side effect. And if it does, they can recommend ways to manage the hair loss.

Precautions and Monitoring

Be sure to discuss your medical history with your doctor before taking Olumiant. If you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health, this medicine may not be the proper treatment. Conditions and factors to consider include:

Current or past infection or increased risk of disease. Before taking Olumiant, tell your physician if you have an active infection. They will likely want to treat the condition before you start taking the medicine.

Also, tell your doctor if you have had certain infections, including tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Taking Olumiant can cause these infections to reactivate and cause symptoms. Your doctor will recommend whether Olumiant is safe for you.

Tell your doctor if you have conditions that increase your risk of infection. Examples include HIV, diabetes, and a weakened immune system. Your doctor can recommend if Olumiant is a safe treatment option for you.

Kidney problems. Before taking Olumiant, tell your doctor if you have kidney issues. For mild to moderate kidney problems, they may prescribe a lower dose of Olumiant. However, doctors will not usually prescribe Olumiant for people with severe kidney problems.

Ulcers or inflammation in your intestines or Stomach. Tell your doctor about any ulcers in your intestines or Stomach. Also, tell them if you have ever had diverticulitis (inflammation of your intestines). Olumiant can cause gastric perforation (a hole in the lining of the intestines or Stomach).* If you have these conditions, your doctor may prescribe a different medicine.

Liver problems. Olumiant treatment may increase the level of liver enzymes in your body. This may be a sign of liver problems. Olumiant may make your pre-existing liver problems worse. And if you already have liver problems, you may be at higher risk of these side effects. Your doctor can advise if it is safe for you to use Olumiant.

Allergic reaction. If you have had an allergic reaction to Olumiant or its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Olumiant. Ask your doctor what other medicines might be better for you.

Transformations in white blood cells, red blood cells, or cholesterol levels. Tell your doctor if you have high white blood cells, red blood cells, or cholesterol levels.* Olumiant may make these conditions worse. Your doctor may monitor these levels more closely during treatment with Olumiant.

Regular monitoring is often recommended to detect and manage side effects. This may include:

Blood Tests: Regular blood tests to monitor blood cell counts and liver function.

Infection Monitoring: Be vigilant for signs of infection and promptly report them to your healthcare provider.

Lung Function Testing: Monitoring lung function in individuals at risk of interstitial lung disease.

Cancer Screening: Cancer screening may be recommended depending on your risk factors.

Conclusion: Side Effects of Olumiant

Olumiant (baricitinib) is an effective medication for certain inflammatory conditions but has potential side effects and risks. Discussing the benefits and risks of this medication with your healthcare provider and closely following their recommendations for monitoring and managing side effects is crucial. Always consult a healthcare professional for the most current and personalized information regarding Olumiant and its side effects.

Also read: Side effect of octreotide; Side Effects of EpiPens; Gout predisposing factors

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