Generic Name: leflunomide
Drug Class: disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD)
Arava is an oral prescription drug used to treat active rheumatoid arthritis or RA. It reduces the signs and symptoms, improves physical function, and inhibits structural damage, as shown by X-ray erosion and joint space narrowing.
Arava Dosage Forms
This is available in Arava 10 mg, 20 mg, and 100 mg tablets.
Arava Mechanism of Action
This DMARD primarily works by regulating the autoimmune lymphocytes. Its immunomodulating effects prevent the expansion of activated autoimmune lymphocytes by interfering with the progression of the cell cycle.
How to Take Arava
Before starting to take Arava, it is necessary to read the drug information leaflet or medication guide given by a healthcare professional. Unless you fully understand how any medication should be used, you should not take it. The pharmacist or doctor should be consulted if you need further medical advice.
Arava tablet is usually prescribed once a day and only meant to be taken by mouth. You may administer it with or without a meal. Swallow the embossed tablet and drink fluids right after.
Make a dosing schedule. Do not increase or decrease your Arava dosage. You should also not take this oral drug more frequently than advised. By the end of the treatment, you will be prescribed cholestyramine in order to remove leflunomide from the body. Without doing this procedure, the active ingredient of this drug can stay in your system for two years.
Arava Side Effects
Mild & Common Side Effects:
-Loss of appetite
Severe Side Effects:
-Numbness or tingling sensation
-Increased thirst and urination
-Easy bruising or bleeding
-Unexplained weight loss
-Mental or mood changes
-Persistent sore throat
Note that this is not a full/complete list of the side effects of Arava.
Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional if you experience severe or persistent adverse reactions.
Warnings and Precautions when using Arava
Do not take this prescription drug if you have a known allergy to leflunomide or any inactive ingredients the tablet may contain. Always be on the lookout for serious allergy symptoms, such as trouble breathing, swelling of the face and neck, severe dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, and hives/itchiness. It is important to stop using this medication as soon as possible if you notice this side effect.
This medication may be contraindicated for people with a history of any recent infection, immune system disorder, bone marrow disorder, blood disorder, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, and alcohol abuse. Moreover, you should discuss all prescription, nonprescription, and herbal products you are taking due to drug interactions.
Dizziness and headache are among the common adverse effects of this medication. Practice safety caution when doing tasks that would need alertness, especially driving. You must also limit your consumption of alcoholic drinks.
The use of oral medication can cause a weakened defense system. This drug can mask signs of infection or make you more likely to get an infection. Do not come in contact with people who have or have recently acquired infections, such as flu, chickenpox, or measles.
Pregnant moms and breastfeeding mothers should not take this medication because of the undesirable effects that it can cause to unborn children and breastfed babies.
How much does Arava cost in Canada?
You may see the list of prices on this page. You can get the best deals when you order your prescription drugs from PharmaPassport.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does the drug Arava do?
Arava (leflunomide) treats rheumatoid arthritis while managing its signs and symptoms. It suppresses certain blood cells that are responsible for inflammation.
Is Arava safer than methotrexate?
Arava vs methotrexate – Both medications are effective and safe in treating rheumatoid arthritis, provided that they will be taken with caution. These drugs have different mechanisms of action.
How long does it take Arava to start working?
It is important for patients to take this medication regularly for it to be more effective. Clinical trials on Arava & rheumatoid arthritis show that it can take 6-8 weeks for this oral medication to start working, and it will take about 6 months to feel its maximum effect.
Does Arava cause weight gain?
It is possible to experience modest weight gain while on this medication. However, if you experience sudden and unexplained weight changes while using this drug, you must notify your physician immediately.
Can Arava cause weight loss?
There is no proven link between Arava & weight loss. When you lose weight while taking this medication, it may be due to other underlying conditions.
Is Arava over the counter?
This oral product is a prescription drug. You need to present a valid prescription when purchasing this product from any pharmacy.