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Generic name: leflunomide [le-FLOO-noe-mide]
Drug classes: antirheumatics, selective immunosuppressants

What is Arava?

Arava influences the body's immune system. It reduces inflammation and swelling in the body.Arava can be used for treating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.Arava could be used to treat other conditions not covered in this medication guide.


Do not take Arava in the event that you are pregnant. Also, stop taking the medication in the event that you suspect you may be expecting.Use effective birth control while taking Arava or until completing the "drug elimination" procedure to protect yourself against pregnancy.Arava may cause severe or fatal liver damage. Tell your doctor in the event of any history of liver problems or if you are using other medicines, including arthritis or pain medication (including aspirin Tylenol as well as Advil/Motrin), medicines for treating tuberculosis or other infections, medications to treat seizures, hormone birth control, hormone replacement therapy, chemotherapy, cholesterol-lowering medication such as heart medications, or blood pressure medications.Your liver function is likely to be monitored regularly, and you might need to discontinue taking Arava in accordance with your results from these tests.

Before you take this drug

It is not recommended to use Arava in the event that you are allergic to teriflunomide or leflunomide, or if

  • You are pregnant (you must take an unfavourable pregnancy test prior to commencing the treatment);
  • If you suffer from severe liver disease, you have severe liver disease.
  • You also use teriflunomide.

Do not take Arava in the event that you are expecting or could be expecting. Avoid getting pregnant until you have stopped taking Arava and gone through the "drug elimination" procedure to rid your body of this medication. Stop using Arava and consult your physician immediately if you don't get your period or believe that you are pregnant.

To ensure this medicine is suitable for you, inform your doctor if:

  • A history of the liver or of hepatitis (leflunomide can cause serious liver issues);
  • A serious or uncontrolled infection that is not controlled;
  • Kidney disease;
  • Issues with nerves, for example, diabetic neuropathy;
  • An antecedent history of tuberculosis
  • An insufficient immune system, or bone marrow disorders,
  • If you're taking medicines that can weaken your immunity (such as chemotherapy drugs and steroids),

Utilise birth controls to avoid pregnancy while taking Arava. Once you have stopped taking Arava, keep using birth control until you've had blood tests to be sure that the drug has been removed from the body.Discuss with your physician whether you should consider using an alternative form of birth control (condom, diaphragm, or spermicide). The use of hormone-based contraception (birth control implants, injections, pills, skin patches, and vaginal rings) could increase the risk of liver damage when using Arava.It isn't known if leflunomide is absorbed into breast milk or whether it is harmful to the nursing infant. It is not recommended to breastfeed during treatment with this medication.

Similar or related drugs

Simponi, chloroquine hydroxychloride, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Rituxan, and Orencia

How to take Arava?

Before beginning treatment with Arava Your physician may run tests to confirm that you don't have tuberculosis or other infections.Follow the instructions on the label of your prescription. The doctor may alter your dosage. Avoid using this medication in greater or lesser quantities or for longer periods than the recommended time.Your blood pressure is likely to be checked regularly.Arava may reduce blood cells, which help your body fight off infections and assist in helping your blood form clots. Your blood must be checked frequently. The Arava treatment could be stopped for a brief period of time, depending on your results from these tests.The liver function of your body will require frequent testing, and you might need to discontinue taking Arava depending on your results from these tests.When you cease taking this medication, it is possible that you will need to receive other drugs to help your body get rid of leflunomide as quickly as possible. If you do not go through this process to eliminate the drug, leflunomide may remain in your body for as long as two years. Follow your doctor's advice.It is also necessary to undergo this elimination procedure if you intend to get pregnant after quitting Arava.Arthritis can be treated with a mixture of medications. Follow all medications as prescribed by your physician. Take note of the medication guideline or patient's directions that are included with every medication. Don't change your dosages or schedule of medication without consulting your physician.Keep at room temperature, far from heat, humidity, and light.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Dosage of Loading: 100 mg orally twice every day for 3 days
For maintenance: 20 mg taken orally daily (if the medication is not well-tolerated, the dose could be reduced to 10 mg daily).
Haematology parameters and liver enzymes must be checked regularly.
To treat active rheumatoid arthritis (RA):
to lessen the signs and symptoms
to stop structural damage, as evident by X-ray erosion and narrowing of the joint space.
To improve physical function

What happens if I miss the dose?

Do the dose you missed as soon as you can remember. Do not take your missed dosage if it's close to the time of the next dose. Do not take any additional medicine to make up for the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical attention in an emergency or contact the Poison Help Line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.Overdose symptoms can include stomach pain, diarrhoea, and pale skin. It can also cause bleeding, bruising, and dark urine. It can also cause jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin).

What should be avoided?

Avoid being around those who are suffering from colds, the flu, or any other infectious illnesses. Get your doctor's attention immediately when you begin to show symptoms of illness.Do not get a "live" vaccine while using Arava, as you may get a serious infection. The live vaccines are measles, rubella, and mumps (MMR), as well as polio, the typhoid virus, rotavirus, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), shingles, and the nasal virus (influenza) vaccination.

Side effects of Arava

Take immediate medical attention in the event that you exhibit symptoms that you are experiencing an allergic reaction. Arava: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your lips, face, tongue, throat, or face.

See your doctor right away. If you are suffering from:

  • Symptoms of signs of infection: suddenly feeling weak or sick, such as chills, fever, mouth sores, sores in the throat gums that are red or swollen, or difficulty swallowing;
  • Sudden symptoms of chest discomfort or pain, wheezing, dry coughing, and feeling sluggish;
  • Simple bleeding, unusual bruises (nose, vagina, mouth, or rectum), or either red or purple small spots on your skin;
  • Tingling, numbness, and burning or numbness in your feet or hands
  • Liver issues nausea, abdominal pain, or itching nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite dark urine, stools that are clay-coloured, and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin) or
  • Serious skin reactions that cause the throat to be sore, there's swelling on your tongue or face, burning eyes, skin ache, and an erupting red or purple rash that grows (especially in the face and the upper part of the body) and leads to blisters and peeling.

Common arava adverse effects could include:

  • Nausea, diarrhea, and  stomach pain;
  • Headache;
  • Atypical liver function tests
  • Hair loss;
  • Back discomfort;
  • Weakness;
  • The rash

This isn't a complete list of possible side effects, and other effects may also be present. Consult your physician for advice regarding medical effects. Report any adverse reactions directly to the FDA by calling them at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with other drug

Arava may cause serious or even fatal liver damage that can be fatal. This can be exacerbated if you take other medications, such as:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, arthritis or gout medications (including the gold-infused injections); a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug): ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), as well as celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and many others;
  • An antibiotic, antifungal medication, or sulfa medication for tuberculosis, as well as HIV/AIDS or antiviral medication treatment for mental illnesses; seizure medication such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, the acid valproic, and many other medications;
  • Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy; anabolic steroids (methyltestosterone; "performance-enhancing drugs"); cancer medications or any combination thereof are amongst those options that could potentially be prescribed to women.
  • Cholesterol-lowering medicine The medications include Crestor, Lipitor, Vytorin, Zocor, and others, and blood pressure or heart medication.

The list below is not exhaustive, and a variety of other medications can be incompatible with leflunomide. This includes prescription and over-the-counter supplements, vitamins, and herbal products. Make a list of all the medicines you take for any doctor who will treat you. Not all interactions are included in this guideline for medications.




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