New Treatment on The Horizon For Ulcerative Colitis

Tofacitinib (Xeljanz) is a  medication which is approved by Health Canada for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.  It is taken as a tablet twice daily and has the same level of effectiveness as biologic therapies.  It works by entering cells that produce excess inflammatory chemicals and prevents signalling within these cells to reduce inflammation.   Tofacitinib has the same infection risk as biologic treatments and therefore updating adult vaccines before starting treatment is suggested.

Current research has shown Tofacitinib to be effective for treating ulcerative colitis.  Health Canada must evaluate this research in order to approve this medication for use in ulcerative colitis.  We are hopeful this  approval will happen by the  end of 2018.  It will wonderful to have another treatment option; stay tuned…


Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health.  Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.

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