Polycythemia Vera

What Can I Expect When Taking Jakafi®?


In clinical trials, how did Jakafi help people with polycythemia vera who had already taken a medicine called hydroxyurea and it did not work well enough or they could not tolerate it?

Remember, Jakafi may not work the same way in every person. Patients with polycythemia vera (PV) who did not benefit from or could not tolerate the chemotherapy drug hydroxyurea respond differently to treatment, and their disease progresses differently as well. While Jakafi may not work the same way in every person, you may experience an improvement in hematocrit control—reducing the need for phlebotomy—and reduced spleen size.

For more information about the possible benefits of Jakafi, click here to learn how patients in a clinical trial responded to Jakafi.

Explore the possible benefits of Jakafi

Learn how patients in a clinical trial responded to Jakafi.


What should I watch for when taking Jakafi?

Jakafi can cause serious side effects, including low blood counts. Jakafi may cause your platelet, red blood cell, or white blood cell counts to be lowered. If you develop bleeding, stop taking Jakafi and call your Healthcare Professional. Your Healthcare Professional will perform blood tests to check your blood counts before you start Jakafi and regularly during your treatment. Your Healthcare Professional may change your dose of Jakafi or stop your treatment based on the results of your blood tests. Tell your Healthcare Professional right away if you develop or have worsening symptoms such as unusual bleeding, bruising, tiredness, shortness of breath, or a fever.

In addition to low blood counts, Jakafi can also cause other serious side effects, such as infection. You may be at risk for developing a serious infection during treatment with Jakafi. Tell your Healthcare Professional if you develop any of the following symptoms of infection: chills, nausea, vomiting, aches, weakness, fever, painful skin rash or blisters.

Some people who take Jakafi have developed certain types of non-melanoma skin cancers. Tell your Healthcare Professional if you develop any new or changing skin lesions. You may have changes in your blood cholesterol levels. Your Healthcare Professional will do blood tests to check your cholesterol levels during your treatment with Jakafi.

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Before taking Jakafi, tell your Healthcare Professional about all the medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking and all your medical conditions, including if you have an infection, have or had tuberculosis (TB) or have been in close contact with someone who has TB, have or had hepatitis B, have or had liver or kidney problems, are on dialysis, had skin cancer, or have any other medical condition.


How does Jakafi affect blood counts?

Jakafi may cause your platelet, red blood cell, or white blood cell counts to be lowered. Your Healthcare Professional will monitor your blood counts regularly once you start taking Jakafi. Your Healthcare Professional may lower your dose of Jakafi, temporarily stop Jakafi, or give blood transfusions if needed.


How long will I need to take Jakafi?

If your Healthcare Professional decides that Jakafi is right for you, it is important that you continue to take it as prescribed. Jakafi is a long-term treatment.

Your Healthcare Professional may allow up to 6 months to see if Jakafi is working for you. If you do not see an improvement after 6 months of treatment, your Healthcare Professional may have you stop taking Jakafi.

It is important to take Jakafi exactly as directed by your Healthcare Professional. Do not stop taking Jakafi without speaking with your Healthcare Professional. The only exception is that if you start bleeding, stop taking Jakafi and call your Healthcare Professional.


How will my Healthcare Professional monitor me while I’m
taking Jakafi?

Before you start treatment and periodically during treatment, your Healthcare Professional may perform a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC). The results of this test can help your Healthcare Professional:

  • Monitor your blood counts during treatment to monitor the progression of your condition
  • Adjust your dose of Jakafi, if necessary

Your Healthcare Professional may also perform regular physical examinations, update your medical history, or ask if you are taking any new medicines. In some cases, your Healthcare Professional may perform a bone marrow biopsy. This test involves taking a sample of your bone marrow with a needle. The results of this biopsy can tell your Healthcare Professional if you have any scar-like, or fibrous, tissue in your bone marrow, which may be a sign of progression to myelofibrosis.

It is important to talk to your Healthcare Professional about how you are feeling and how your condition is affecting you, even if you’re not sure that how you are feeling is caused by your condition.

Talking to your Healthcare Professional helps you both:

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  • Understand how your condition is affecting you
  • Follow how your condition is changing over time
  • Discuss options for managing your condition
Image of man – Jack – sitting with his dog in the desert. Click on the button and watch the video of how Jack explored his treatment options for polycythemia vera after being unable to tolerate hydroxyurea.

Taking Jakafi was right for Jack, who was unable to tolerate hydroxyurea

Learn how Jack’s PV diagnosis and intolerance of hydroxyurea prompted him to talk to his Healthcare Professional about treatment possibilities with Jakafi.

Watch Jack’s Story
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Register for the Incyte Mentor Program and connect with another patient taking Jakafi.

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Important Safety Information

Indications and Usage

Jakafi is a prescription medicine used to treat people with polycythemia vera who have already taken a medicine called hydroxyurea and it did not work well enough or they could not tolerate it.

Jakafi is also used to treat certain types of myelofibrosis.

Important Safety Information

Jakafi can cause serious side effects, including:

Low blood counts: Jakafi® (ruxolitinib) may cause your platelet, red blood cell, or white blood cell counts to be lowered. If you develop bleeding, stop taking Jakafi and call your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will perform blood tests to check your blood counts before you start Jakafi and regularly during your treatment. Your healthcare provider may change your dose of Jakafi or stop your treatment based on the results of your blood tests. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you develop or have worsening symptoms such as unusual bleeding, bruising, tiredness, shortness of breath, or a fever.

Infection: You may be at risk for developing a serious infection during treatment with Jakafi. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any of the following symptoms of infection: chills, nausea, vomiting, aches, weakness, fever, painful skin rash or blisters.

Skin cancers: Some people who take Jakafi have developed certain types of non-melanoma skin cancers. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any new or changing skin lesions.

Increases in cholesterol: You may have changes in your blood cholesterol levels. Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check your cholesterol levels during your treatment with Jakafi.

The most common side effects of Jakafi include: low platelet count, low red blood cell counts, bruising, dizziness, headache.

These are not all the possible side effects of Jakafi. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for more information. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Before taking Jakafi, tell your healthcare provider about: all the medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking and all your medical conditions, including if you have an infection, have or had tuberculosis (TB) or have been in close contact with someone who has TB, have or had hepatitis B, have or had liver or kidney problems, are on dialysis, had skin cancer, or have any other medical condition. Take Jakafi exactly as your healthcare provider tells you. Do not change your dose or stop taking Jakafi without first talking to your healthcare provider. Do not drink grapefruit juice while on Jakafi.

Women should not take Jakafi while pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if breast-feeding.

Please see the Full Prescribing Information, which includes a more complete discussion of the risks associated with Jakafi.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

You may also report side effects to Incyte Medical Information at 1-855-463-3463.