Olumiant is a prescription drug that’s used in adults to treat:
- moderate to severe RA, when certain other drugs haven’t worked well enough
- severe alopecia areata
- severe COVID-19, as part of hospital treatment that includes breathing assistance
The active ingredient in Olumiant is baricitinib. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Olumiant belongs to a group of drugs called Janus kinase inhibitors.
This article describes the dosing of Olumiant, as well as its strengths and how to take the drug. To learn more about Olumiant, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Olumiant’s usual dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when taking Olumiant, always take the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
The information listed below has commonly recommended dosages of Olumiant.
What is Olumiant’s form?
Olumiant comes as tablets that you swallow.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, Olumiant can be taken in other ways. This is typically done for severe COVID-19 treatment. See “How is Olumiant taken?” below for details.
What strengths does Olumiant come in?
Olumiant comes in three strengths: 1 milligram (mg), 2 mg, and 4 mg.
What are the usual dosages of Olumiant?
The information below describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for rheumatoid arthritis
Olumiant’s recommended dosage for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is 2 mg taken once per day.
You may be prescribed Olumiant by itself or with certain other medications for rheumatoid arthritis.
Dosage for alopecia areata
Olumiant’s recommended dosage for severe alopecia areata is either 2 mg or 4 mg, taken once per day.
If you start with the 2 mg dose and this doesn’t work well enough, your doctor might increase your dose to 4 mg per day.
Your doctor may prescribe the higher 4-mg dose if you have complete or nearly complete hair loss on your scalp. If Olumiant treatment helps your hair grow back, your doctor might then lower your dosage to 2 mg per day.
You may be prescribed Olumiant by itself or with certain other medications for alopecia areata.
Dosage for COVID-19
Olumiant’s recommended dosage for severe COVID-19 treatment in the hospital is 4 mg taken once per day. You’ll take the drug for 14 days or until you leave the hospital, whichever comes first.
For COVID-19 treatment, Olumiant is given along with breathing assistance, such as oxygen therapy.
Is Olumiant taken long term?
For RA and for alopecia areata, Olumiant is usually prescribed as a long-term treatment. As long as the drug is working well to treat your condition and it’s safe for you, it’s likely that you’ll take it long term.
For COVID-19, Olumiant is given for 14 days or until you’re discharged from the hospital, whichever comes first.
You may need dosage adjustments in some cases. See below for details.
- Kidney disease. If you have moderate kidney disease, you may need a renal dose adjustment (a lower dosage of Olumiant). This is because your kidneys may not be working correctly, and Olumiant could build up in your body. This could raise your risk of side effects from Olumiant. If you have serious kidney disease, your doctor may suggest other medications that are safer for you to take.
- Low blood cell counts. While you take Olumiant, your doctor will monitor your immune system through blood tests. If certain blood cell counts get too low, your doctor may pause your treatment with Olumiant until your blood cell counts are back to usual levels.
- Certain other medications. If you’re taking certain medications that can interact with Olumiant, your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of Olumiant. An example of a drug that could interact with Olumiant is the gout medication Probalan (probenecid).
Other medical conditions you have may also affect your Olumiant dosage. To learn more, talk with your doctor.
The Olumiant dosage you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- other medications you may be taking, such as Probalan (probenecid)
- other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is Olumiant’s dosage?”)
- what condition you’re taking Olumiant for, and how severe your condition is
You’ll take Olumiant by swallowing the tablet. You can take the drug with or without food.
You can take Olumiant at any time of day, but try to take it around the same time each day. This helps keep a consistent level of the drug in your body.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips that may help. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist. In some cases, typically for COVID-19 treatment in the hospital, Olumiant can be given in other ways besides swallowing the tablet.
If your doctor approves, you can dissolve Olumiant tablets in water and drink this solution. After you drink the solution, swish some more water around in the cup and drink that as well. This helps make sure that you swallow all of your Olumiant dose. Follow specific instructions from your doctor or another healthcare professional about how to dissolve the tablets. You should not crush Olumiant tablets unless your doctor tells you to do this.
Also, healthcare professionals can give Olumiant through a tube in your stomach, nose, or mouth. This might be needed for COVID-19 treatment. For information on Olumiant expiration, storage, and disposal, see this article.
Accessible drug containers and labels
If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print or use braille
- feature a code that you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Olumiant in an easy-open container for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or alopecia areata treatment. Your pharmacist may also have some tips that can help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
If you forget to take a dose of Olumiant, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time to take your next dose, just skip the missed dose and take the next dose at its regular time.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Olumiant on time, 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.
Do not take more Olumiant than your doctor prescribes. Taking more than this can lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you take too much Olumiant
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Olumiant. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Olumiant for you, they‘ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Olumiant without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Olumiant exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Would a lower dosage of Olumiant still work for my condition?
- Will you reduce my dosage if my condition improves?
- Does my risk of certain side effects increase with a higher dose of Olumiant?
Could my doctor change my Olumiant dosage based on certain lab test results?Anonymous
Yes, it’s possible. During your Olumiant treatment, your doctor will check how well your immune system is working with regular lab tests.
Your doctor may lower your dose of Olumiant or pause your treatment if your lab test results show any of the following:
- an infection or certain blood disorders
- blood cell counts that are too low
- problems with your liver or kidneys
Your doctor will treat the condition if necessary. And in some cases, they may have you stop taking Olumiant and switch to a different treatment.
To learn more about lab tests you’ll need during your treatment and how the results could affect your dosage, talk with your doctor.The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline 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.