Efficacy and safety of JAK inhibitors in rheumatoid arthritis: update for the practising clinician

Nat Rev Rheumatol 2024;20(2):101–115 DOI: 10.1038/s41584-023-01062-9

The observed benefit:risk ratio strongly favours JAKi use in the majority of patients, and HCPs should consider and adhere to guidance on high-risk patients where applicable. Szekanecz et al summarised the safety and efficacy of approved JAKis tofacitinib, baricitinib, upadacitinib, and filgotinib to aid in clinical decision making.

December 2022

Salinas, et al. evaluate baricitinib safety with respect to VTE, MACE, and serious infection relative to TNFi in patients with RA, in routine care and observe an increased risk of VTE in patients taking baricitinib, compared to TNFi.

November 2022

In this investigation it was concluded that other biologics and apremilast were associated with a 1.4- to 3-times higher risk of hospitalisation for serious infections in PsO/PsA patients when compared to ustekinumab. These findings should be considered in the safety profile of these therapies when selecting appropriate treatment regimens in patients with PsO/PsA.

September 2022

Post hoc analysis, using the final dataset from ORAL Surveillance, reveals a higher risk of non-serious infections and herpes zoster with tofacitinib vs TNFi, and higher risk of serious infection events with tofacitinib 10 mg BID versus TNFi, particularly in patients aged ≥65 years.

July 2021

Fifty-six-week data suggest that upadacitinib could be a favourable long-term treatment option in patients with PsA who are refractory to biologic therapy.As the need for additional therapeutic agents that can effectively control disease activity continues, new data from a 56-week analysis of the oral reversible JAK1 inhibitor, upadacitinib, currently under investigation for the treatment of PsA, shows that efficacy of the drug is maintained over the duration of this study.Mease, et al. explored...

December 2020

Trials of JAKi have been conducted in many therapy areas, including rheumatology, dermatology and gastroenterology. In 2019, a task force was set up to create a consensus to guide clinicians on how to use JAKi in clinical practice. This systematic literature review conducted in 2019 support this consensusIn line with EULAR’s standardised operating procedures for recommendations, a literature search was conducted in EMBASE, Medline and the Cochrane Library databases. To evaluate the efficacy of t...


November 2020

This integrated Phase III safety analysis of UPA showed that UPA had a similar profile to ADA and MTX for serious infections, malignancies, and thromboembolic events. Patients receiving UPA had increased risk of HZ and creatine phosphokinase elevation versus ADA.This integrated Phase III safety analysis of UPA examined >3500 RA patients and 4000 patient-years of exposure. Data were pooled from 3834 patients in SELECT-NEXT, SELECT-BEYOND, SELECT-MONOTHERAPY, SELECT-COMPARE and SELECT-EARLY studie...
Reports from clinical trials and the US Corrona RA registry showed that serious infection event (SIE) incidence was higher in older versus younger patients with RA receiving 10 mg BID of TOF and ADA, however, SIE risk was similar between age groups with TOF 5 mg BID and ADA.Data were collected from Phase II–IV tofacitinib studies, and the US Corrona RA registry. The clinical data set evaluated patients receiving TOF 5 and 10 mg BID versus TNFi (ADA/ETN) in RA patients aged ≥50 years. The EMA rec...

September 2020

Baricitinib, an oral selective JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor,8 demonstrated significant clinical efficacy in phase 3 RA trials. Pooled data from these trials, including a long-term extension (LTE), inform the safety profile for baricitinib, mainly to evaluate the incidence of infection in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with a focus on serious infection, tuberculosis (TB), herpes zoster (HZ) and opportunistic infection (OI). The data collected were from eight double-blind randomised tr...

July 2020

This SLR informed the 2019 EULAR taskforce updating recommendations for RA management. Overall, no new safety signals were reported. The known safety profile of bDMARDs was confirmed and extended to tsDMARDS. IL-6i associated lower intestinal perforation has been further confirmed, while VTE and PE concerns in JAKi treatment need further evaluation.Previous updates for the EULAR recommendations on RA pharmacological management were conducted in 2016. In this SLR safety of csDMARDs, tsDMARDs, and...