Olumiant is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved for:

Note: Olumiant is not recommended for use with certain other medications for RA. To learn more about how this medication is used, see the “Olumiant for rheumatoid arthritis” section below.

* RA is active when it causes symptoms.

Drug details

Olumiant contains the active drug ingredient baricitinib. It belongs to a class of drugs called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. These drugs help relieve inflammation by reducing the activity of your immune system.

Olumiant comes as a tablet that you take by mouth once every day. It’s available in three strengths: 1 milligram (mg), 2 mg, and 4 mg.

FDA approval

The FDA first approved Olumiant for RA treatment in 2018. It’s one of three JAK inhibitors currently approved for treating RA. The others are tofacitinib (Xeljanz) and upadacitinib (Rinvoq).

In 2020, Olumiant received an emergency use authorization (EUA) that allowed the drug’s in-hospital use for severe COVID-19 treatment. In 2022, the FDA fully approved Olumiant for in-hospital treatment of severe COVID-19.

Olumiant was also FDA-approved to treat severe alopecia areata in 2022.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Olumiant, see the “Olumiant for rheumatoid arthritis” section below.

As with all medications, the cost of Olumiant can vary. To find current prices for Olumiant in your area, check out WellRx.com.

The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the condition you’re taking the drug to treat. For COVID-19 treatment in the hospital, you can talk with your doctor or insurance provider about what costs to expect.

Keep in mind that for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or alopecia areata treatment, you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Olumiant. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, talk with your doctor or your insurance company.

Before approving coverage for Olumiant, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. Your doctor and insurance company will need to talk about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Olumiant, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Olumiant, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Olumiant Together program

A program called Olumiant Together is available, which may help reduce the cost of Olumiant.

For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 844-OLUMIANT (844-658-6426) or visit the program website.

Mail-order pharmacies

For RA or alopecia areata treatment, Olumiant may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor for RA or alopecia, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Olumiant, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic version

Olumiant is not available in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Olumiant can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Olumiant. These lists do not include all possible side effects. Also keep in mind that side effects of the drug can vary depending on the condition you’re taking it for.

For more information about the possible side effects of Olumiant, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Olumiant, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Olumiant can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Olumiant. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Olumiant’s medication guide.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Olumiant aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.
Olumiant has a boxed warning about the risk of this side effect. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Serious infections

Olumiant reduces your immune system activity and can increase your risk for infections, including serious or even life threatening infections. These include tuberculosis (TB) and fungal infections throughout your body.

In fact, Olumiant has a boxed warning for this risk. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Mild infections were commonly reported in people who took Olumiant in clinical trials, but serious infections occurred less often. The most common types of serious infection reported in the studies included shingles, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections. To find out how often infections occurred in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Before you start taking Olumiant, talk with your doctor about any infections you currently have or have had in the past. If you have a current infection, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to treat it before you start using Olumiant. If you have a history of infections that keep coming back, your doctor may recommend taking medication to prevent these infections while you take Olumiant.

Your doctor will also test you for TB before you start Olumiant for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or alopecia areata. If you have active or latent* TB, they’ll prescribe medication to treat it before you start your Olumiant treatment.

* TB is active if it’s causing symptoms. It’s latent if you have a small number of bacteria in your body, but it doesn’t make you sick.

What you can do

Doctors recommend that your immunizations are up to date before you start taking Olumiant. Talk with your doctor about any vaccines that you may need. To learn more, see the “Olumiant interactions” section below.

While taking Olumiant, you can help prevent infections by:

  • frequently washing your hands or using hand sanitizer, especially if you’ve been in a public place
  • avoiding crowds where possible
  • staying away from people who are sick
  • avoiding close contact with people who have a skin infection
  • not sharing towels or facecloths with others
  • eating a healthy diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables

Tell your doctor right away if you get any symptoms of an infection while taking Olumiant. These symptoms may include:

If you get an infection while taking Olumiant, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to treat it. If you develop a more serious infection, you may need treatment in the hospital or different medications to manage it. You’ll need to stop taking Olumiant until the infection has been managed.

Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned about your risk for infections with Olumiant.

Lymphoma and other cancers

Olumiant reduces the activity of your immune system and may increase your risk for developing certain cancers, such as lymphoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.

In fact, Olumiant has a boxed warning for this risk. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

In rare cases, cancer was reported in people who took Olumiant for RA in clinical studies. To find out how often cancer occurred in these studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

What you can do

Before starting treatment with Olumiant, talk with your doctor about your cancer risk, particularly if you’ve had cancer in the past. Your doctor will monitor you closely while you take Olumiant by doing blood tests and skin examinations. Also, let your doctor know if you smoke or have smoked in the past. This can also increase the risk of cancer with Olumiant.

While taking Olumiant, you can help reduce your risk for cancer by:

  • not smoking
  • reaching or maintaining a moderate weight
  • protecting your skin from the sun

See your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of cancer while taking Olumiant. Examples of these symptoms include:

  • changes in your skin, such as new or changing moles, patches, or growths
  • skin sores that don’t heal
  • unexplained weight loss
  • swollen lymph nodes, such as in your neck, armpits, or groin

If you’re concerned about your risk for cancer with Olumiant, talk with your doctor.

Blood clots

Olumiant can increase your risk for serious, even life threatening blood clots. These include deep vein thrombosis (typically a blood clot in your leg) and pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in your lungs). They also include arterial thrombosis (a blood clot in an artery).

In fact, Olumiant has a boxed warning for this risk. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

In rare cases, blood clots were reported in people who took Olumiant for RA in clinical trials. To find out how often blood clots occurred in these studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

It’s important to note that blood clots may be a symptom of COVID-19, and Olumiant is used to treat severe COVID-19 in the hospital.

What you can do

See your doctor right away if you have symptoms of a blood clot while taking Olumiant. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Symptoms of a blood clot may include:

If you have a blood clot while taking Olumiant, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to treat it. Depending on the condition you’re taking Olumiant for, your doctor may recommend stopping your Olumiant treatment and switching to a different drug.

If you’re concerned about your risk for blood clots with Olumiant, talk with your doctor.

Serious cardiovascular problems

It may be possible to have serious cardiovascular problems with Olumiant. These include:

In fact, Olumiant has a boxed warning for this risk. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

These conditions occurred in people taking another medication from the same drug class as Olumiant. (Olumiant belongs to a class of drugs called Janus kinase inhibitors.) Specifically, it was seen in people ages 50 years and older who had risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

These risk factors include:

  • family history of heart disease
  • smoking
  • lack of exercise
  • having overweight

It’s important to note that cardiovascular problems may be a side effect of COVID-19, and Olumiant is used to treat severe COVID-19 in the hospital.

What you can do

Make sure you let your doctor know if you’ve had a heart attack or stroke in the past. Also, let them know if someone in your family has had a heart attack, stroke, or heart or blood vessel problem that led to death.

If you currently smoke, try to stop smoking to help lower your risk of severe cardiovascular problems. In addition, try to maintain a body weight that’s healthy for you by exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet.

Your doctor will talk with you about your risk of cardiovascular problems with Olumiant. Let them know if you have any heart issues, or if you smoke or have in the past.

Increased risk of death

It may be possible to have an increased risk of death with Olumiant.

In fact, Olumiant has a boxed warning for this risk. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

This occurred in people taking another medication from the same drug class as Olumiant. Specifically, it was seen in people ages 50 years and older who had risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

These risk factors include:

  • family history of heart disease
  • smoking
  • lack of exercise
  • having conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and overweight

What you can do

Talk with your doctor about your risk of complications with Olumiant. They can discuss whether this drug is right for you.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Olumiant. Allergic reactions weren’t reported during clinical trials of Olumiant, but have been reported since the drug was approved.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Olumiant, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Olumiant is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

The Olumiant dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on:

  • your liver or kidney function
  • other conditions you may have
  • other medications you may take

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Olumiant comes as a tablet that you take by mouth. It’s available in three strengths: 1 milligram (mg), 2 mg, and 4 mg.

If you have trouble swallowing tablets, Olumiant can be given in other ways. This is most likely to be needed for severe COVID-19 treatment. See the “How to take Olumiant” section for details.

Dosage for rheumatoid arthritis

The typical recommended dosage of Olumiant for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is 2 mg taken once per day.

Dosage for alopecia areata

The typical recommended dosage of Olumiant for severe alopecia areata is 2 mg taken once per day.

If you have complete or nearly complete hair loss on your scalp, your doctor may instead prescribe a dosage of 4 mg taken once per day. If your hair regrows with treatment, your doctor may then lower your dose to 2 mg per day.

If you start with a 2-mg dose, your doctor may increase your dose to 4 mg once per day if the starting dosage isn’t working well enough.

Dosage for COVID-19

Olumiant’s typical recommended dosage for in-hospital treatment of severe COVID-19 is 4 mg once per day. This is taken for 14 days or until you’re discharged from the hospital, whichever comes first.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. But if it’s nearly time to take your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose as usual. Don’t take two doses together to make up for a missed dose. Doing so can raise your risk for side effects.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

For RA and alopecia areata, Olumiant is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Olumiant is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

For COVID-19 treatment, Olumiant is prescribed for 14 days or until you’re discharged from the hospital, whichever comes first. The drug isn’t used for long-term treatment of COVID-19.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Olumiant.

Is Olumiant used in doses of 4 mg?

Yes, in some cases. An Olumiant dosage of 4 milligrams (mg) once per day is typically prescribed for severe COVID-19 treatment. This dosage can be prescribed for severe alopecia areata as well. See the “Olumiant dosage” section above for details.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about the dosage that’s right for you.

Can Olumiant interact with remdesivir?

In clinical trials, Olumiant wasn’t reported to interact with remdesivir (Veklury). But that doesn’t mean that an interaction isn’t possible.

Remdesivir is used to treat COVID-19 in certain people. However, it hasn’t been tested in clinical trials for possible drug interactions in humans.

If you’d like to know more about using both of these drugs together, talk with your doctor. They can discuss whether this is a safe option for you.

Is Olumiant a biologic?

No, Olumiant isn’t a biologic. Biologics are drugs that are made using living cells. Olumiant is a drug that’s made from chemicals.

Several other drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are biologics, however. Examples of these drugs include certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), tocilizumab (Actemra), etanercept (Enbrel), and abatacept (Orencia).

Does Olumiant cause weight gain, depression, or tiredness?

No, Olumiant isn’t known to cause weight gain, depression, or tiredness. These symptoms weren’t reported in people who took Olumiant in clinical trials.

However, weight gain, depression, and tiredness are common symptoms in people with RA. Depression and tiredness can also be symptoms of COVID-19, and alopecia areata can lead to depression sometimes. If you have these symptoms, talk with your doctor about ways to help manage them.

Can Olumiant be used to treat atopic dermatitis?

Yes, in some cases, your doctor may prescribe Olumiant to treat atopic dermatitis (eczema). The drug isn’t FDA-approved for this use, but it may be prescribed off-label* for this purpose.

However, Olumiant is approved to treat atopic dermatitis in certain other countries. Studies have found Olumiant can reduce skin inflammation and itching, which are symptoms of this condition.

If you’re interested in taking Olumiant to treat atopic dermatitis, talk with your doctor.

* Off-label drug use means prescribing a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Does Olumiant treat psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis?

The FDA has not approved Olumiant for treating psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. However, it’s being researched as a possible psoriasis treatment. And the class of drugs that Olumiant belongs to (JAK inhibitors) is being researched for its use in treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. One of these drugs, called tofacitinib (Xeljanz), has been approved to treat psoriatic arthritis.

Further research is needed to find out if Olumiant might be effective for treating psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Talk with your doctor if you’re interested in possible treatment options for these conditions.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Olumiant to treat certain conditions. Olumiant may also be prescribed off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means prescribing a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Olumiant is FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults. (RA is described as active when it’s causing symptoms.)

Olumiant is not recommended for use with certain other RA treatments. To learn more, see the “Olumiant interactions” section below.

Note: Olumiant is also approved for treatment of COVID-19 and alopecia areata. See the “Olumiant for other uses” section below for details.

About RA

RA is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes pain and swelling in your joints. It’s an autoimmune condition, which means it’s caused by your immune system mistakenly attacking cells in your body.

With RA, your immune system mistakenly attacks the linings of your joints. This causes inflammation (swelling) that makes your joints stiff and painful. Over time, the inflammation can lead to joint damage.

RA can also cause other symptoms, such as fatigue (lack of energy), loss of appetite, and feeling generally unwell. These, along with the problems in your joints, can affect your ability to do daily activities.

For details about RA, you can see our arthritis hub.

Effectiveness for rheumatoid arthritis

Olumiant is an effective treatment for RA. It helps reduce RA symptoms and improve physical function (ability to do daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, or walking).

The American College of Rheumatology also recommended Olumiant as a treatment for RA.

For information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Olumiant’s prescribing information.

Olumiant and children

Olumiant isn’t approved for use in children. It’s not known if it’s safe or effective in children.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Olumiant to treat certain conditions. Olumiant may also be prescribed off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means prescribing a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

In addition to treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (see the “Olumiant for rheumatoid arthritis” section above), Olumiant is approved to treat severe alopecia areata and for in-hospital treatment of COVID-19. See below for details.

About alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune condition. This means it’s caused by your immune system mistakenly attacking cells in your body.

This condition causes hair loss that can be unpredictable. Hair typically falls out in patches or clumps from the scalp or any place where hair grows on your body. It’s possible for the hair to grow back, but not everyone with alopecia areata experiences this. Some people may have cycles of hair loss and regrowth.

Olumiant is used to treat severe alopecia areata, meaning you’ve lost 50% of your hair or more.

For treating severe alopecia areata, Olumiant is not recommended for use with certain similar drugs. To learn more, see the “Olumiant interactions” section below.

Effectiveness for alopecia areata

Olumiant is considered an effective treatment for severe alopecia areata in adults. In clinical trials, the drug reduced scalp hair loss and improved eyebrow and eyelash hair coverage.

For more detailed information about how the drug performed in clinical trials, see Olumiant’s prescribing information.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is a condition caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The condition may have no noticeable symptoms, mild symptoms, or be severe and life threatening.

This condition often affects a person’s ability to breathe. In addition to trouble breathing, symptoms can include fever, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of taste and smell, and more. The full effects of the virus on the body aren’t yet known.

Olumiant is used for in-hospital treatment of severe COVID-19. It’s used with oxygen therapy, ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment. These are methods that help get oxygen into your body when you’re having trouble breathing.

Note: If you can’t swallow Olumiant tablets, the drug can be given by other methods when used for COVID-19 treatment. See “How to take Olumiant” below for details.

Effectiveness for COVID-19

Olumiant is an effective treatment for severe COVID-19 in adults. In clinical trials, Olumiant treatment resulted in fewer deaths and helped people recover more quickly from COVID-19. Treatment with Olumiant also helped people avoid needing more invasive methods of breathing assistance, such as intubation.

For more information on how the drug performed in clinical trials, see Olumiant’s prescribing information. You can also find information on COVID-19 prevention and possible treatments, as well as expert advice, at our COVID-19 hub.

Olumiant and children

Olumiant isn’t approved for use in children. It’s not known if it’s safe or effective in children.

Olumiant is a type of drug called a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor. Other drugs are available that can treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), alopecia areata, and severe COVID-19. Some of these drugs may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Olumiant, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are prescribed off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label drug use is when an FDA-approved drug is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Alternatives for rheumatoid arthritis

Examples of other drugs that may treat RA include:

Alternatives for alopecia areata

Examples of other drugs that may treat severe alopecia areata include:

Alternatives for COVID-19

Examples of other drugs that may treat severe COVID-19 include:

  • ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir (Paxlovid)
  • remdesivir (Veklury)
  • bebtelovimab
  • molnupiravir (Lagevrio)

Olumiant is approved to treat moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA), severe alopecia areata, and severe COVID-19 in adults.

RA and alopecia areata are autoimmune diseases caused by your immune system mistakenly attacking your body. COVID-19 is a condition caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which triggers your immune system to activate in order to fight the virus.

What Olumiant does

Olumiant reduces activity in your immune system. It belongs to a class of drugs called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors.

Olumiant’s mechanism of action (the way it works) involves blocking the action of proteins called Janus kinases. These proteins help send messages between cytokines and other proteins and cells in your immune system. By blocking Janus kinases, Olumiant stops cytokines from sending messages that cause inflammation. This can reduce symptoms of RA, alopecia areata, and COVID-19.

JAK inhibitors such as Olumiant are a type of disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). These drugs are used to help slow the progression of certain diseases such as RA and alopecia areata.

How long does it take to work?

Olumiant starts working soon after you take your first dose. How long the drug takes to work depends on the condition you’re taking it for:

  • For RA, some people notice an improvement in their symptoms within 1 week of starting Olumiant treatment. But for others, it may take up to 12 weeks.
  • For alopecia, it may take up to 36 weeks to see the full effects of Olumiant treatment.
  • For COVID-19, Olumiant works within 14 days to help prevent death and more severe symptoms.

There aren’t any known interactions between Olumiant and alcohol. If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much is safe for you to drink while taking Olumiant.

Olumiant can interact with several other medications.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Olumiant and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Olumiant. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Olumiant.

Before taking Olumiant, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Drugs you should not take with Olumiant include:

Other drugs that can interact with Olumiant include:

  • Probenecid (Probalan). Taking Olumiant with probenecid can raise your risk for side effects from Olumiant. If you take probenecid, your doctor will prescribe a lower dosage of Olumiant for you.

Olumiant and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Olumiant. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Olumiant.

Olumiant and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Olumiant. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Olumiant, talk with your doctor.

Olumiant and vaccines

Olumiant can reduce the activity of your immune system and increase your risk for infections. It’s recommended that your vaccines are up to date before you start taking Olumiant. Talk with your doctor about any vaccines that you may need before you start your Olumiant treatment.

While you’re taking Olumiant, you should not get live vaccines. Live vaccines contain weakened forms of live bacteria or viruses. These vaccines don’t usually cause infection in people with a healthy immune system. However, because Olumiant can reduce your immune system activity, live vaccines could cause a serious infection if you have them while taking Olumiant.

Examples of live vaccines include:

Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines while you’re taking Olumiant.

You should take Olumiant according to the instructions your doctor or another healthcare professional gives you. You’ll take the drug by swallowing the tablet whole.

When to take

You should take Olumiant once per day. You can take your dose at any time of day but try to stick to the same time each day.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Taking Olumiant with food

You can take Olumiant either with or without food.

Can Olumiant be crushed, split, or chewed?

Olumiant tablets should be swallowed whole. The drug’s manufacturer does not recommend splitting or chewing the tablets. And you should not crush Olumiant tablets unless recommended by your doctor.

If you have trouble swallowing tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Olumiant can be taken in other ways:

  • If your doctor approves, you can dissolve Olumiant tablets in water and then drink the solution. After drinking the solution, swish a small amount of water around in the cup, and drink that water as well. This helps ensure that you swallow your entire dose. Be sure to follow the exact instructions from your doctor or another healthcare professional about how to do this. And do not crush Olumiant tablets unless recommended by your doctor.
  • Healthcare professionals can give Olumiant through a tube that’s placed in your stomach, mouth, or nose. This is most likely to be done for COVID-19 treatment.

It’s not known if Olumiant is safe to take during pregnancy. In animal trials, Olumiant caused fetal harm when given to pregnant females. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking Olumiant.

It’s not known if Olumiant is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Olumiant.

For more information about taking Olumiant during pregnancy, see the “Olumiant and pregnancy” section above.

You should not breastfeed while you’re taking Olumiant.

It’s not known if Olumiant gets into breast milk or if it can affect a child that’s breastfed. However, if this medication does pass into breast milk, it can potentially cause serious effects in a breastfed child.

If you’re breastfeeding and considering taking Olumiant, talk with your doctor about your options.

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warnings

This drug has boxed warnings about the following risks. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

  • Serious infections. Olumiant can reduce the activity of your immune system and increase your risk for serious or even life threatening infections. These include tuberculosis (TB), pneumonia, shingles, and fungal infections. Before starting Olumiant, talk with your doctor about any current or past infections you may have. Active infections should be treated before starting Olumiant. Your doctor will also test you for TB before you start Olumiant treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or alopecia areata. If you do have TB, they’ll prescribe medication to treat it before you start treatment with Olumiant.
  • Cancer. Olumiant may increase your risk for developing certain cancers, such as lymphoma or non-melanoma skin cancer. Before starting Olumiant, talk with your doctor about your cancer risk, particularly if you’ve had cancer in the past. Also, let your doctor know if you smoke or have smoked in the past. This can also increase the risk of cancer with Olumiant.
  • Blood clots. Olumiant can raise your risk for serious or even life threatening blood clots. These include deep vein thrombosis (typically a blood clot in your leg) and pulmonary embolism (blood clot in your lungs). They also include arterial thrombosis (a blood clot in an artery).
  • Serious cardiovascular problems. It may be possible to have serious cardiovascular problems with Olumiant. These include heart attack, stroke, or heart or blood vessel problem that leads to death. These conditions more commonly occurred in people ages 50 years and older with risk factors for heart disease who took another medication from the same drug class as Olumiant. Your doctor will talk with you about your risk for cardiovascular problems. Let them know if you have any heart issues, or if you smoke or have in the past.
  • Increased risk of death. It may be possible to have an increased risk of death with Olumiant. This occurred in people taking another medication from the same drug class. Talk with your doctor about your risks with Olumiant treatment.

For more information on these warnings, see “Side effect details” in the “Olumiant side effects” section above.

Other precautions

Before taking Olumiant, talk with your doctor about your health history. Olumiant may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Increased risk for infection. Certain factors can raise your risk for infection with Olumiant. These factors include conditions such as diabetes, long-term lung disease, HIV, or a weak immune system. They also include living or traveling to areas where certain infections are more common. Talk with your doctor about factors that may increase your risk for infection with Olumiant and ways to reduce this risk.
  • History of hepatitis B or C. Tell your doctor if you’ve had hepatitis B or hepatitis C in the past. It’s not known if Olumiant could make these viruses flare up in your body again. Your doctor may want to monitor you more closely during your Olumiant treatment.
  • Low white blood cell count. Olumiant can lower the number of white blood cells in your blood. If you already have a low white blood cell count, you shouldn’t start Olumiant until your white blood cell count increases. You’ll have blood tests to monitor your white blood cells while you take Olumiant. If your white blood cell count falls too low, you may need to stop treatment temporarily until your blood cells increase.
  • Anemia. Olumiant can lower the number of red blood cells in your blood and worsen anemia. If you already have anemia, you shouldn’t start taking Olumiant until your red blood cells increase. You’ll have blood tests to monitor your red blood cells while you take Olumiant. If your red blood cell count falls too low, you may need to stop treatment temporarily until your blood cells increase.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Olumiant or any of its ingredients, you should not take Olumiant. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Kidney problems. Olumiant is mainly removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys don’t work well, Olumiant could build up in your body. This could raise your risk for side effects. If you have kidney problems, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of Olumiant for you. Olumiant isn’t recommended for people with severe kidney problems.
  • Liver problems. Olumiant may cause raised liver enzymes, which can be a sign of liver damage. If you already have a liver problem, Olumiant could make this worse. Talk with your doctor about whether Olumiant is right for you. Your doctor will monitor your liver function during your treatment. Olumiant isn’t recommended for people with severe liver problems.
  • Diverticulitis. Olumiant can sometimes cause gastrointestinal perforation. If you have diverticulitis, you may have a higher risk for this side effect. Talk with your doctor about whether Olumiant is right for you.
  • High cholesterol. Olumiant can increase cholesterol levels and worsen high cholesterol. Your doctor will monitor your cholesterol levels while you take Olumiant. If your cholesterol level gets too high, you may need to take another medication to lower it.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if Olumiant is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Olumiant and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed while taking Olumiant. For more information, see the “Olumiant and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Olumiant, see the “Olumiant side effects” section above.

Do not use more Olumiant than your doctor recommends. For some drugs, doing so may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.

What to do in case you take too much Olumiant

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Olumiant from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good to use can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

Olumiant tablets should be stored at a room temperature of 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) in a tightly sealed container away from light. If needed, Olumiant tablets can be kept for short periods at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Olumiant and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.