What Is Cibinqo® (abrocitinib)?

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: May 2023 | Last updated: May 2023

Cibinqo® (abrocitinib) is a daily medicine for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema. Cibinqo is useful for adults with atopic dermatitis that has not responded well to other drugs or biologics. It is also useful for people who are not able to take other medicines or biologics for eczema.1

Cibinqo is a Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitor. These inhibitors are a new class of drugs for people with eczema. Many experts view JAK inhibitors as a breakthrough in the treatment of eczema.1,2

What are the ingredients in Cibinqo?

The active ingredient in Cibinqo is abrocitinib.3

How does Cibinqo work?

Cibinqo is an oral tablet taken daily. The active ingredient is a small molecule that blocks JAK1. Medicines that block JAK1 prevent the body from making proteins called cytokines. Cytokines promote inflammation and play a role in the red and itchy skin that people with eczema experience.2,3

What are the possible side effects of Cibinqo?

The most common side effects of Cibinqo include:3

  • Swelling of the nasal passages and back of the throat
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Tiredness
  • Acne
  • Bacterial skin infection called impetigo
  • Red, itchy, allergic skin rash (contact dermatitis)
  • Pain in the back of the mouth and throat
  • Abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Increase of an enzyme in the blood called creatine phosphokinase
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood platelet count (thrombocytopenia)

Cibinqo has a boxed warning, the strictest warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has this warning because taking JAK inhibitors for inflammatory conditions like AD can cause serious problems in some people. Serious side effects of Cibinqo include:3

  • Infections that may lead to hospitalization or death, including tuberculosis (TB), herpes simplex virus (cold sores or genital herpes), herpes zoster virus (shingles), the flu, and invasive fungal infections
  • A higher rate of death
  • A tear or separation in the lining of the back of the eye (retinal detachment)
  • A higher rate of cancers, including lymphatic and lung cancers
  • A higher rate of heart attack, sudden cardiovascular death, and stroke
  • A higher rate of blood clots, including those in the lungs and legs

These are not all the possible side effects of Cibinqo. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Cibinqo. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Cibinqo.

Things to know about Cibinqo

Cibinqo should not be taken in combination with:3

  • Anti-platelet drugs
  • Other JAK inhibitors
  • Biologics that affect the immune system
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system

Cibinqo should be carefully considered if you are taking any other drugs or biologics that are easily affected by changes in something called P-glycoprotein. This protein affects drug transport and absorption.3,4

What should you do before taking the drug?

Before taking Cibinqo, tell your doctor if you:3

  • Have kidney problems, a kidney condition, or kidney disease
  • Have moderate to severe liver disease or an impaired liver
  • Carry 2 non-functional copies of the CYP2C19 gene or are a poor CYP2C19 metabolizer

Discuss your current vaccination record with your doctor before taking Cibinqo. You may need to catch up on recommended vaccines, including for shingles. Some vaccines are not reccomended while taking Cibinqo.3

Blood tests will be needed before and during treatment with Cibinqo.3

Before beginning treatment for eczema, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.


There is not enough data to know if Cibinqo is safe to take while pregnant. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking Cibinqo. Breastfeeding is not safe when taking Cibinqo.1,3

Infections and retinal detachment

Watch for signs of infection while taking Cibinqo. Infections may become serious and should be reported and treated immediately.3

A tear or separation to the lining of the back of the eye known as retinal detachment has occurred in clinical trials of Cibinqo. Sudden changes in vision should be reported to your doctor immediately because this may be a sign of retinal detachment.3

Sunlight exposure

Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight while taking Cibinqo. Use a broad-spectrum sunblock and protective clothing to reduce exposure.3

Blood clotting

Blood clotting (thrombosis) has occurred in clinical trials of Cibinqo. Thrombosis can happen in any vessel in the body, including the veins and arteries of the heart, lungs, brain, and large vessels in the legs and arms. This can lead to serious, life-threatening complications or death. Watch for signs of blood clotting and seek immediate treatment if any of the following symptoms occur:3,5

  • Swelling, pain, redness, and heat in only 1 leg or arm
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness or weakness on 1 side of your body

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Cibinqo.

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