Olumiant (baricitinib) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), alopecia areata, and COVID-19 in adults. It comes as oral tablets that are typically taken once per day. The dosage can vary depending on the condition treated.
Olumiant belongs to a drug class called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. JAK inhibitors are part of a group of drugs known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Olumiant is not available in a generic version.
Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Olumiant, including its strengths and how to take it. For a comprehensive look at Olumiant, see this article.
Note: This article describes typical dosages for Olumiant provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Olumiant, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Here’s some information about Olumiant’s dosage.
Olumiant comes as an oral tablet.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, you can take Olumiant in other ways. This is most often done for severe COVID-19 treatment. See “How to take Olumiant” below for details.
Olumiant is available in three strengths: 1 milligram (mg), 2 mg, and 4 mg.
The following information describes the dosage that’s 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.
Dosage for rheumatoid arthritis
The typical dosage of Olumiant for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is 2 mg per day.
Your doctor may prescribe Olumiant alone or in combination with certain disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for RA. An example of these DMARDs is methotrexate (Trexall, Otrexup). Olumiant is a type of DMARD.
Dosage for alopecia areata
Doctors may prescribe Olumiant in a dosage of 2 mg per day or 4 mg per day for severe alopecia areata.
If your doctor starts you on the 2-mg dose, they may raise your dose to 4 mg if the lower dose does not work well enough.
If you have complete or nearly complete hair loss on your scalp, your doctor may start your Olumiant treatment with a 4-mg dose. If the drug helps your hair grow, they might lower your dose to 2 mg per day.
Dosage for COVID-19
The recommended Olumiant dosage for severe COVID-19 treatment is 4 mg per day. Olumiant is given with breathing assistance as part of in-hospital treatment for COVID-19.
Olumiant is meant to be used as a long-term treatment for alopecia areata and RA. If you and your doctor determine that Olumiant is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
For COVID-19, you will receive Olumiant for 14 days or until you are discharged from the hospital, whichever is sooner.
The Olumiant dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- your levels of white blood cells
- your level of hemoglobin (a type of protein in red blood cells)
- how well your kidneys are working
- how well your liver is working
- if you take a type of drug called an organic anion transporter 3 (OAT3) inhibitor, such as probenecid (Probalan)
- which condition you are taking Olumiant to treat, and how severe it is
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Olumiant dosage.
If you have moderate renal (kidney) problems, your doctor will likely decrease your dose of Olumiant to 1 milligram (mg). This is referred to as a renal dose. If you have severe kidney problems, your doctor will not likely recommend Olumiant.
If you miss a dose of Olumiant, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose as usual. You should not double up on doses to make up for a missed dose. Taking multiple doses at once can increase your risk of 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 using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
Olumiant comes as an oral tablet that you swallow. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Sometimes, you can receive Olumiant in ways other than swallowing the tablet.
If your doctor recommends it, you can dissolve Olumiant tablets in water and drink the solution. After drinking it, you should swish some water around in the cup and drink that water, too. This is to make sure you swallow your whole prescribed dose. Follow the specific instructions from your doctor about how to do this. Do not crush Olumiant tablets unless your doctor recommends doing this.
Healthcare professionals can also give Olumiant through a tube a doctor places in your stomach, mouth, or nose. People requiring Olumiant to treat severe COVID-19 may need to receive the medication in this way.
You‘ll take Olumiant once daily, with or without food. Try to take it at the same time every day. This helps keep a steady level of the drug in your body so Olumiant can work effectively.
Accessible drug labels and containers
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Olumiant in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
It is important that you do not take more Olumiant than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to side effects or overdose.
If you take more than the recommended amount of Olumiant
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Olumiant. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Olumiant for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Olumiant without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Olumiant that’s right for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Olumiant. These additional articles might be helpful to you:
- More about Olumiant. For information about other aspects of Olumiant, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Olumiant, see this article. You can also look at Olumiant‘s prescribing information.
- Cost: If you’d like to learn about Olumiant and cost, see this article.
- Details about your condition. For details about rheumatoid arthritis, see our arthritis hub. These rheumatology articles may also be helpful. And for more information and updates on COVID-19, see our COVID-19 hub.
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.