Jakavi: see the value, side effects and how to take

Advances in medicine are increasingly bringing quality of life and promoting more health for people. An example of this is the new drug called Jakavi.

It is already known that it is safe and can be used to treat a rare type of blood cancer . But other possibilities for its use are still being studied and what are the possible long-term side effects.


What is Jakavi?

Jakavi is a new drug, that is, it is not generic or similar. It is registered by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) and, therefore, it is already marketed in Brazil for a rare type of cancer in the blood that impairs the production of platelets and other blood cells.

Its active ingredient is Ruxolitinib, which is the active substance, and it is produced by the pharmaceutical laboratory Novartis. This medication is presented in 5mg, 15mg and 20mg tablets.

The starting dose usually varies between 15mg and 20mg, depending on the amount of blood platelets the patient has.

The maximum dose recommended by the package insert is 25mg, which should be distributed in two daily doses (one in the morning and one at night).

If possible, this medication should be taken at the same time, so that there is always a stable amount of it in the bloodstream.

Jakavi may cause drug interactions with other drugs, so any other substance in use should be notified to the medical team.

Its elimination by the body happens through urine (which eliminates 74% of the medication) and feces (eliminating 22%).

The dose of Jakavi should be reduced (as directed by a doctor) for people who have severe kidney problems or who are terminally ill. The same applies to patients with liver complications.

Jakavi: what is it for?

This drug is indicated for the treatment of adults who have moderate and advanced stages of a rare type of cancer that weakens the bone marrow and consequently decreases the production of platelets in the blood (myelofibrosis).

It can also be used to treat polycythemia vera, when the person is intolerant or has not responded to the use of hydroxyurea or first-line cytoreductive therapy.

Learn a little more about the disease that this remedy treats:


Myelofibrosis is a rare type of cancer that affects the bone marrow and decreases the production of platelets in the blood.

When this happens, the spleen is responsible for taking on the role of producing more blood cells. This causes an organ to grow, which is known as splenomegaly .

Myelofibrosis still causes symptoms such as loss of appetite, tiredness , bone pain, dizziness, poor blood circulation and bruises without an apparent cause.

As these symptoms are very common and tend to manifest themselves in crises (with phases of improvement and worsening), it may take some time before the patient realizes that it is something more serious. This leads to a delay in the diagnosis of many cases.

From the moment the disease is confirmed, treatment should begin immediately, mainly due to the severity and progression of the condition.

Policitemia vera

Like myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera is a type of cancer that occurs in the blood. The problem affects the production of red blood cells, leading to an increase in red blood cells or erythrocytes.

How does Ruxolitinib work?

Ruxolitinib is the active ingredient in Jakavi. This substance inhibits the action of a molecular enzyme known as JAK (associated janus kinase), a protein that is involved in the signaling of cytokines, hormones and growth factors.

The problem occurs when the protein has changes in its signaling, causing damage to the enzymes.

In myelofibrosis (MF) and polycythemia vera (PV), there is unregulated JAK signaling and, therefore, ruxolitinib selectively blocks these enzymes, relieving symptoms.

The use of this active ingredient was significant for the improvement of symptoms and the general condition, including the enlargement of the spleen. In addition, quality of life and survival have shown improvements as well.

How to take?

Jakavi tablets can be taken before or after eating. This detail should be at the patient’s discretion. It is worth saying that the Jakavi tablet should not be cut, broken or chewed, but should be swallowed with water.

Jakavi: what are the side effects?

Most of the side effects caused by Jakavi disappear after a few weeks from the date the treatment is stopped. The most common reactions involve headaches, dizziness and tiredness.

It is also common for people to have:

  • Increased body weight;
  • Bleeding (nasal and urine);
  • Hematomas;
  • Fever;
  • Paleness Chills;
  • Excessive gases;
  • Numbness or tingling in the limbs;
  • Stools and vomiting with abnormal colors (darker);
  • Infections (especially urinary and liver).

In rarer cases, the drug can still cause bloody cough , high fever , night sweats and weight loss, bone pain, itching and enlarged spleen (splenomegaly).

As it is a new medication, it is possible that there are other side effects that are not mentioned in the package insert. In such cases, talk to the doctor who accompanies the treatment and inform the pharmaceutical laboratory through the Customer Service Department (SAC) .

Does Jakavi have contraindications?

According to the package insert, people with allergies to ruxolitinib or other Jakavi compounds are contraindicated, and should always talk to professionals responsible for monitoring the disease.

Price: what is the value of Jakavi?

Jakavi prices vary depending on the amount of mg *:

  • Box with 60 pills of 5mg each costs from R $ 14,990;
  • Box of 60 coated 15mg pills is sold for R $ 27,437;
  • Box with 60 pills of 20mg each goes for R $ 27,437.

* Prices consulted in November 2019. Prices may change.

Is it possible to achieve it through justice or SUS?

Unfortunately, Jakavi is not part of the list of drugs provided by the Unified Health System (SUS).

But it is still possible to obtain the drug for justice. For this, it is necessary to open a judicial process, proving the need for the drug (with a medical report) and the impossibility of buying it (with budgets and presentation of payslips).

In addition to the list of documents, patients need to submit a budget for 3 different pharmacies. To assist in this process, the consultancy on high-cost medication quotation , at Consulta Remédios, offers a personalized service.

Jakavi is a drug that has shown good results in controlling a rare type of blood cancer that decreases the production of blood platelets in the bone marrow.

In case of doubt, seek medical advice from the professional who accompanies the case.

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