Safety of Tofacitinib in a Real-World Cohort of Patients With Ulcerative Colitis

Parakkal Deepak, Quazim A. Alayo, Aava Khatiwada, Bixuan Lin, Marc Fenster, Christina Dimopoulos, Geoffrey Bader, Roni Weisshof, Michael Jacobs, Alexandra Gutierrez, Matthew A. Ciorba, George P. Christophi, Anish Patel, Robert P. Hirten, Jean Frederic Colombel, David T. Rubin, Christina Ha, Poonam Beniwal-Patel, Ryan C. Ungaro, Gaurav SyalJoel Pekow, Benjamin L. Cohen, Andres Yarur

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67 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Adverse events (AEs) including reactivation of herpes zoster (HZ) and venous thromboembolism (VTE) have been reported from clinical trials of tofacitinib in ulcerative colitis (UC). We investigated the incidence rates of AEs in a real-world study of UC patients given tofacitinib. Methods: We collected data from 260 patients with UC in the Tofacitinib Real-world Outcomes in Patients with ulceratIve colitis and Crohn's disease consortium study, performed at 6 medical centers in the United States. Patients were followed up for a median of 6 months (interquartile range, 2.7–11.5 mo). AEs were captured using a standardized data collection instrument before study initiation and at weeks 8, 16, 26, 39, and 52. Serious AEs were defined as life-threatening or resulting in a hospitalization, disability, or discontinuation of therapy. Logistic regression was performed to examine risk factors for AEs. Results: AEs occurred in 41 patients (15.7%); most were infections (N = 13; 5.0%). The incidence rate of any AE was 27.2 (95% CI, 24.4–30.7 per 100 patient-years of follow-up evaluation). Fifteen were serious AEs (36.6% of AEs), and tofacitinib was discontinued for 12 patients (4.6% of cohort). The incidence rates of serious AEs was 10.0 (95% CI, 8.9–11.2 per 100 patient-years of follow-up evaluation). Five patients developed HZ infection and 2 developed VTE (all receiving 10 mg tofacitinib, twice per day). Conclusions: Real-world safety signals for tofacitinib are similar to those for clinical trials, with AEs reported from almost 16% of patients. HZ infection and VTE occurred in patients receiving 10 mg tofacitinib twice per day. These results support dose de-escalation after induction therapy, to reduce the risk of AEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1592-1601.e3
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • IBD
  • Janus Kinases/Antagonists and Inhibitors
  • Side Effect


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