General Information
 
Uses
 
What should I know before taking this drug
 
Precautions
 
Dosage information
  
Adverse reactions
 
Storage
 
Additional information if any
 

Brand names and manufacturer

Arava (sanofi)
 

Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule

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Leflunomide is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.
 

Pronunciation

Leflunomide is pronounced as: le FLOO noe mide
 

What is leflunomide?

Leflunomide is an antirheumatic drug. (Disease modifying anti rheumatic drug (DMARD’s)) 
 

Common uses of leflunomide

Leflunomide is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
 

How to use leflunomide

Take leflunomide as directed by your doctor with or with out food. Take this medication regularly to better results. 

If you do not understand the instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
 

When not to take leflunomide

Do not take if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant

You have compromised immunity system
You have liver problems
 
 
 
Children:
Leflunomide should not be used in children as its safety and effectiveness is not established.
Old people:
Pregnant woman:
Leflunomide belongs to FDA pregnancy category X. This means that leflunomide will cause birth defects if used during pregnancy. The use of this drug in pregnancy clearly outweighs any possible benefit. Do not use leflunomide if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
 
Lactating women:
Leflunomide passes into breast milk and harm nursing baby. Do not use leflunomide if you are breastfeeding your child. 
 
Other:
 

What are the dosage forms leflunomide is available in the market

Leflunomide is available in the form tablets. 
 

Doses for leflunomide

Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease. 

Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.
 

What about if I missed the dose of leflunomide

If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.

 

What should I do if I over dosage leflunomide

In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.

 
 
 
Following are the common side effects for leflunomide
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea, Nausea 
 
 
Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects
  • Serious allergic reactions like rash, swelling
  • Difficult in breathing
  • Severe dizziness 
 
 
Store leflunomide at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C / 59 – 86 degrees F). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any left over portion is disposed off safely.
 
 
 
 
Do not take live vaccine while taking leflunomide and avoid coming into contact with any one who has taken live vaccine.
 
After you stop taking leflunomide, your physician may prescribe other medication to remove leflunomide completely from the body.
 
Leflunomide affect liver adversely. Your health care provider monitor liver function tests while taking this medication. 

It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information. 

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: May 10, 2012

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