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The Link Between Xeljanz and Cancer
What You Need to Know

Due to the fact that the rheumatoid arthritis medication Xeljanz (generic: tofacitinib) affects the body’s immune system, it may increase the risk for certain types of cancer, including lymphoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and other cancers.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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If you or a loved one developed a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, blood clot or other major side effects after using Xeljanz for rheumatoid arthritis, you should contact our personal injury attorneys immediately for a free case review. Our attorneys are actively investigating lawsuits in all 50 states.

Please click the button below for a Free Case Evaluation or contact our law firm toll-free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600 if you had serious heart-related problems after taking Xeljanz.

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One of the severe, potentially deadly side effects of Xeljanz is cancer, which has been confirmed through numerous medical studies and clinical trials. However, unlike other medicines, Xeljanz has been found to cause cells to become malignant. Therefore, rather than being associated with one specific form of cancer, Xeljanz has been linked to numerous types of the disease including:

  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Gastric cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Non-melanoma skin cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • And more

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Xeljanz Cancer Studies

Pfizer conducted Xeljanz clinical trials in 3 phases – there were 2 trials in Phase I, 9 in Phase II, and 6 in Phase III. There were also 2 long-term extension trials conducted on Xeljanz. Phases I-III included a cohort of 5,497 patients using the drug. The long-term extension trials looked at 2,794 participants from these phases.

Two medical studies subsequently analyzed the results of the Xeljanz clinical trials, with these findings:

Cohen et al., Curtis et al.,
Total Xeljanz Patients Covered 6,194 5,671
All Cancer (Not Including Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer) 173 107
Lung Cancer 24
Breast Cancer 19
Lymphoma 10
Gastric Cancer 6
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer 118 82

The results indicated that none of the patients in the placebo groups for these trials developed any malignancies.

Both studies concluded that the duration of time that a participant used Xeljanz did not influence how likely they were to get cancer – people who took Xeljanz for years were just as likely to develop cancer as those who had only just initiated treatment with the drug.

What is the Black Box Warning on Xeljanz?

In July 2019, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved new warnings about an increased risk of blood clots and death with the 10 mg twice daily dose of Xeljanz and Xeljanz XR, when used in patients with ulcerative colitis.

FDA limited approval of Xeljanz for ulcerative colitis for patients who are not treated effectively with other UC medications. The agency included the Boxed Warning after reviewing interim data from an ongoing safety clinical trial of tofacitinib in patients with rheumatoid arthritis that examined a lower and higher dose of the drug.

What Can I Take Instead of Xeljanz?

Some of the most common alternatives to Xeljanz include:

  • Olumiant (baricitinib)
  • Rinvoq (upadacitinib, extended-release)
  • Otrexup (methotrexate)
  • Humira (adalimumab)
  • Enbrel (etanercept)

Will Xeljanz Be Recalled?

To date, no recall has been issued for Xeljanz in the United States, despite the drug’s link to cancer and other serious side effects, as well as the growing number of lawsuits filed over the drug. However, the FDA has issued several warnings — in addition to the above black box warning — about the potential health risks associated with the drug over the years since its approval.

Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Attorneys

The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial attorneys that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new class action lawsuits against Xeljanz in all 50 states.

Free Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you were harmed after taking Xeljanz to treat rheumatoid arthritis, you should contact our attorneys immediately. Xeljanz patients may be entitled to a settlement for medical expenses by filing a class action lawsuit and our Attorneys can help.

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