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JAK Inhibitor Increases Lipid Levels in Patients with PsA

Tofacitinib (Xeljanz) was associated with increases in serum lipid levels among patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), according to the findings of a recent study.

In the study, the researchers pooled data from 2 phase 3 studies and 1 ongoing long-term extension study, which included a total of 783 participants treated with tofacitinib. They assessed fasting lipid levels, blood pressure, hypertension-related adverse events (AD), and major cardiovascular events (MACE).
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They found percentage increases from baseline in low-density and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (LDL and HDL) ranged from 9% to 14% for 5 mg and 10 mg doses of tofacitinib at 3 and 6 months. However, they did not observe any meaningful changes in LDL/HDL or total cholesterol/HDL ratios. Blood pressure remained stable through 24 months, the researchers said.

Overall, 58 participants (7.4%) had hypertension-related adverse events; however, none were fatal. Five participants (0.6%) experienced a MACE; 2 died.

“Serum lipid level increases at month 3 following tofacitinib treatment in PsA were consistent with observations in rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis,” the researchers concluded. “The incidence rate of hypertension‐related AEs and MACE was low; long‐term follow‐up is ongoing.”


Gladman DD, Charles‐Schoeman C, McInnes IB, et al. Changes in lipid levels and incidence of cardiovascular events following tofacitinib treatment in patients with psoriatic arthritis: A pooled analysis across phase 3 and long‐term extension studies [published online May 21, 2019]. Arthritis Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23930

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