Medications > Leflunomide (Arava) > Leflunomide (Arava) – pictopamphlet
In this page
Subscribe to our Newsletter
LEFLUNOMIDE (Arava) [Le-floo-NO-meye-d]
How to use this medication
Leflunomide is a medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. While taking this medicine it is important to have your blood tests done and see your doctor on a regular basis.
Leflunomide is usually taken as a 10 mg or 20 mg tablet once a day. In some cases, it may be prescribed every other day.
It will take 6 to 8 weeks for the leflunomide to work. It is important for you to keep taking the medicine.
What you need to do
Drinking alcohol while taking leflunomide could harm your liver. It is best to avoid alcohol.
Leflunomide can harm an unborn child. If you are having sex or
thinking of having sex and could get pregnant, it is important to use birth control. We recommend the birth control pill.
Leflunomide can make it harder for you to fight infections. It is
best to stop taking leflunomide if you have a fever or think you
have an infection. Phone your doctor for advice.
Have your blood tested EVERY MONTH. This is important to
make sure leflunomide isn’t harming your liver or blood counts.
Side effects & important things to know
- Some people feel unwell with nausea when they take leflunomide.
- Leflunomide can also cause diarrhea. The diarrhea can be severe. If you develop diarrhea call your doctor.
- Let your doctor know if you are losing weight when taking leflunomide.
Leflunomide can rarely cause an increase in your blood pressure. Your doctor will monitor this. Tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure.
Leflunomide can rarely cause a rash. Let your doctor know if you develop a rash while taking leflunomide.
Leflunomide can rarely cause thinning of the hair. Let your doctor know if this becomes a problem.
Leflunomide can rarely cause “pins and needles” or tingling in the hands and feet.
Leflunomide can very rarely cause an allergic reaction in the lungs. Call your doctor if you develop a cough that won’t go away or shortness of breath while taking leflunomide.
When should I call my doctor
- If you feel sick and want to stop
- If you are concerned about any side effects
- If you want to or have already stopped the medicine
Other Reasons to Call your Doctor:
Other important information
You can simply stop taking leflunomide. You do not need to wean off it. Please call your doctor if you stop the medication.