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Brand Name: Arava
Generic Name: Leflunomide
Arava is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used to improve physical function and to prevent the development of structural damage to the joints.
Arava can be taken with or without a meal. Consult you doctor regarding the dosage suitable for you.
It may take 4 weeks or more before you notice any improvement while taking Arava.
Before taking Arava, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances, have a weakened immune system, blood or bone marrow disorders, an infection, or have recently received a vaccination, if you have hepatitis B or C or other liver problems, kidney problems, or drink alcoholic beverages, if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast–feeding. Arava may cause harm to the fetus. Arava must not be used during pregnancy, or by women who are able to become pregnant unless they are using reliable forms of birth control. A negative pregnancy test must be obtained before the start of treatment with Arava.
Contact your health care provider at once if your menstrual flow is delayed or if you suspect that you are pregnant. After completing therapy, women of childbearing potential who plan to become pregnant must undergo a procedure to flush any remaining medicine out of the body system. It is not known if Arava passes into breast milk. Do not breast–feed while taking Arava. This medication may cause birth defects in children of men taking Arava at the time of conception. Discuss the use of reliable birth control methods (e.g., condoms) with your doctor or pharmacist while taking Arava.
Talk with your health care provider about stopping Arava if you and your female partner are planning for parenthood. Some medicines may interact with Ansaid, therefore tell your doctor of all prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement that you are taking. Drinking alcohol while taking Arava may increase the risk of liver problems.
Talk with your doctor before drinking alcohol while taking Arava. You should avoid receiving vaccines while taking Arava. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop a skin rash, small blisters over a large portion of the body, or lesions around the eyes, mouth, or throat. Lab tests, including liver function, may be performed to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
Arava is not indicated for children younger than 18 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember. However if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the Missed Dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Possible Side Effects
Some of the Possible Side Effects are:
Back pain, bronchitis, diarrhea, dizziness, dry skin, hair loss, headache, increased cough, indigestion, joint disorder, loss of appetite, muscle aches, nausea, runny nose, sinus infection, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, vomiting, weakness, weight loss.
Contact your doctor if any of these or other side effects occur. If you experience any of the following serious side effects, you should seek medical attention immediately- allergic reactions (rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue), blistering or peeling skin, blisters on the inside of eyes, nose, or mouth, chest pain, dark urine, easy bruising/bleeding, feelings of numbness or tingling, fever, infection, muscle cramps, including leg cramps, pale skin, pale stools, sore throat, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, vomiting, yellowing of the eyes or skin.