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News From the Food and Drug Administration
July 3, 2018

New Relief for Ulcerative Colitis

JAMA. 2018;320(1):23. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.8554

Tofacitinib has received expanded approval to treat adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. The drug was approved in 2012 to treat rheumatoid arthritis and in 2017 for patients with psoriatic arthritis.

As a Janus kinase inhibitor, tofacitinib works intracellularly to disrupt activities in signaling pathways involved in inflammation. Although other FDA-approved medications for the chronic treatment of ulcerative colitis are given as an intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection, tofacitinib is the first oral treatment approved for this indication.