Arava: Uses – Side Effects – Warnings

Arava (leflunomide) is a prescription medicine used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints, as well as psoriatic arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. In this article, we will discuss the uses, benefits, side effects, and warnings associated with the use of Arava.

Uses

Arava is a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) that works by suppressing the immune system to reduce inflammation. It is taken by mouth once a day with or without food. The drug should not be crushed or chewed and should be swallowed whole with water. Arava can take several weeks to make a difference in the symptoms of RA.

Benefits

Arava has been shown to be effective in reducing joint pain and swelling and improving joint function in people with RA. Clinical studies have shown that using Arava in combination with other DMARDs or biologic drugs can further improve results.

Side Effects

Like all medicines, Arava can cause side effects. The most common side effects of Arava include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Influenza-like symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

In rare cases, Arava can cause more serious side effects, such as liver problems or lung disease. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical help immediately:

  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Cough or worsening cough
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin or whites of eyes)
  • Pain in upper right side of stomach
  • Skin rash that gets worse or spreads
  • Sudden, severe headache or confusion
  • Vision changes

Warnings

There are several important warnings associated with Arava use:

  • Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should not use Arava as it can cause birth defects and is considered a Pregnancy Category X drug.
  • Men and women should use reliable contraception during Arava treatment and for two years after stopping the medication to prevent pregnancy.
  • Arava can cause liver injury, including rare cases of severe liver injury leading to death or liver transplant.
  • Arava can also cause immune system suppression, which can increase the risk of infection, including serious infections such as tuberculosis and opportunistic infections.
  • Patients taking Arava should have blood tests to monitor liver function and should be monitored for signs of infection.
  • Arava can interact with other drugs, including warfarin and theophylline, and can increase the risk of side effects.
  • Patients with kidney or liver problems or a history of drug allergy should inform their healthcare provider before starting Arava treatment.

FAQs

Can I drink alcohol while taking Arava?

Alcohol may increase the risk of liver injury associated with Arava. It is recommended that patients avoid alcohol while taking Arava.

Can Arava cause weight gain?

Weight gain is not a common side effect of Arava. However, individual responses to the medication may vary.

How long does it take for Arava to work?

Arava can take several weeks to start working and may take up to four months to reach its maximal therapeutic benefits.

Can I take Arava with other medications?

Arava can interact with other drugs, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements. You should inform your healthcare provider of all medications you are taking before starting Arava treatment.

Can Arava cure rheumatoid arthritis?

Arava is a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) that can help reduce joint pain and improve joint function in people with rheumatoid arthritis. However, there is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis.

Exploring the Benefits of...

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) offer a dynamic and effective...

Understanding the Benefits of...

Recovery from addiction is a journey that extends far...

Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment:...

Mental health disorders can manifest in various forms and...

Elevate Your Confidence with...

In the pursuit of confidence and self-assurance, many women...

Nourishing the Mind: Best...

In the United States, mental health issues like depression...

Manga Mania: Exploring Japan’s...

Greetings from the vibrant world of manga! With its...

Exploring the Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) in Addiction Treatment

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) offer a dynamic and effective approach to addiction treatment, providing individuals with comprehensive care while allowing them to maintain their...

Understanding the Benefits of Sober Living Homes After Treatment

Recovery from addiction is a journey that extends far beyond the confines of a treatment facility. For many individuals, transitioning back to everyday life...

Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment: Navigating the Spectrum of Disorders

Mental health disorders can manifest in various forms and affect individuals in profound ways. From debilitating anxiety to disruptive mood swings, the impact of...

Elevate Your Confidence with a Breast Lift: A Comprehensive Guide to Rejuvenating Your Femininity 

In the pursuit of confidence and self-assurance, many women find themselves exploring various avenues to enhance their physical appearance. Among these options, breast lift...

Nourishing the Mind: Best Foods for Fighting Depression

In the United States, mental health issues like depression and addiction affect millions of people every year. While therapy and medication are vital components...

Manga Mania: Exploring Japan’s Vibrant Comic Book Scene 

Greetings from the vibrant world of manga! With its engrossing narratives and vivid drawings, manga, the Japanese art form of comic books and graphic...

Key Features of Salonist Essential for Healthcare Industry

Salonist, a specialized software solution designed for the healthcare industry, encompasses a range of key features tailored to meet the unique demands of healthcare...

Mastering Rhinoplasty in Manchester: A Comprehensive Guide to Nose Reshaping 

The bustling city of Manchester, known for its rich industrial history and vibrant culture, has become a hub for various aspects of life, including...

Grazax: Uses – Side Effects – Warnings

Uses Grazax is a medication used to treat grass pollen allergies. It is specifically designed for patients who have not responded well to other allergy...