The published results of the post-marketing ORAL Surveillance study, which compared the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib with anti-TNF therapy in older patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have cardiovascular risk factors, have led to changes in the recommendations for the use of JAK inhibitors. Although new safety signals have emerged for tofacitinib, namely malignancy and cardiovascular disease, it should be noted that these signals are relative to those seen with TNF blockers. The new data further raise our intrigue that venous thromboembolism might be a true risk related to JAK inhibition. Reassuringly, the totality of the findings from this newly published study and the other data collected to date suggest that JAK inhibitors can be used safely at approved doses by many patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
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