Leflunomide is indeed an immunosuppressive disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) that is used in the treatment of active moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
Loading the player...Treatment with Leflunomide <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/rheumatologist">Rheumatologist</a>, talks about the treatment Leflunomide for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.</p>
Rheumatologist, talks about the treatment Leflunomide for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
Loading the player...Leflunomide and Side Effects <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/rheumatologist">Rheumatologist</a>, talks about possible side effects when taking Leflunomide for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis.</p>
Rheumatologist, talks about possible side effects when taking Leflunomide for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis.
Loading the player...Stopping Leflunomide <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/rheumatologist">Rheumatologist</a>, talks about the steps a patient should take when deciding to stop taking Leflunomide.</p>
Rheumatologist, talks about the steps a patient should take when deciding to stop taking Leflunomide.
Loading the player...Leflunomide and Pregnancy <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/rheumatologist">Rheumatologist</a>, talks about the treatment Leflunomide in women of child bearing age and in pregnancy.</p>
Rheumatologist, talks about the treatment Leflunomide in women of child bearing age and in pregnancy.
Taking Arava -Leflunomide
Arava is available as oral tablets in 10 mg, 20 mg, and 100 mg doses.A dose of 10 mg or 20 mg is usually taken once a day as a single tablet. In some cases, it may be prescribed every other day.Rheumatologists used to start Arava with three loading doses of 100 mg per day. This is not usually done any more because there is a greater risk of side effects at this dose.
Arava Takes 6 to 8 Weeks to Start Working
It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks for Arava to start working, and it can take up to 6 months to feel the maximum effect.
It is important for patients starting this medicine to keep taking it as prescribed. If the dose is changed, it can take another 6 to 8 weeks to start feeling the effects of the change.
How to Take Arava After Missing a Dose
If a patient forgets to take Arava at their usual time but remembers later on the same day, the missed dose should be taken immediately.
If yesterday’s dose is forgotten, it should be skipped, and the patient should only take their usual dose for the day.
Leflunomide works slowly, so like other medications if you start leflunomide it may be several weeks to several months before it has an effectiveness. And so again you need to be patient when you’re starting leflunomide for looking for it’s effectiveness.
Local Practitioners: Rheumatologist
Important Tests and Risks
Arava (leflunomide) is a medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. As mentioned, there are several important considerations and precautions to keep in mind when taking Arava:
Regular Blood Tests: Patients taking Arava are typically advised to have their blood tested every month. This is done to monitor the effects of the medication on the liver and blood counts. Arava can potentially cause liver damage or affect blood cell counts, so regular monitoring is essential.
Risk of Combination with Alcohol: Drinking alcohol while taking Arava can further harm the liver. It is strongly advised to either stop drinking alcohol altogether or significantly reduce alcohol consumption while on this medication.
Risk of Infection: Arava may weaken the immune system, making it slightly harder for the body to fight off infections. Patients taking Arava should promptly inform their doctor if they experience symptoms of an infection, such as fever, or if they have been prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection. It's important to stay vigilant and seek medical attention if there are any concerns.
Surgery and Treatment Interruption: Prior to undergoing surgery, it is advisable for patients taking Arava to coordinate with their doctor. Depending on the specific situation, the doctor may recommend temporarily stopping the medication around the time of the surgery. Treatment with Arava can typically be resumed once the surgical site has healed and there is no sign of infection.
Delayed Effectiveness: Leflunomide, the active ingredient in Arava, works slowly in the body. It may take several weeks to several months before the full effectiveness of the medication is observed. It is important to be patient and continue taking the medication as prescribed while waiting for its therapeutic effects.
As always, it is crucial to follow the advice and instructions provided by your healthcare provider regarding the use of Arava. They will be able to provide personalized guidance based on your specific medical history and condition.
Leflunomide works by inhibiting an enzyme called dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), which is involved in the synthesis of pyrimidines, an essential component of DNA and RNA. By inhibiting DHODH, leflunomide reduces the production of pyrimidines, thereby suppressing the proliferation of rapidly dividing cells, including immune cells.
The immunosuppressive effect of leflunomide helps to reduce inflammation and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. It can help relieve symptoms such as joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, and also slow down the progression of joint damage in these conditions.
It's worth noting that leflunomide has a long half-life, and its effects can persist in the body for a prolonged period of time after discontinuing the medication. Due to this, a drug elimination procedure known as "washout" with cholestyramine or activated charcoal may be necessary to accelerate the removal of leflunomide from the body in case of severe adverse reactions or if a patient wishes to become pregnant.
As always, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional for accurate and personalized information about medications and their use.
Rheumatologists are medical specialists who diagnose and treat conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and bones, including rheumatic diseases. They are experts in managing conditions such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and other musculoskeletal disorders. Rheumatologists are knowledgeable about medications commonly used to treat these conditions, including Arava (leflunomide).
If you are considering starting leflunomide or currently taking it and have concerns about its side effects or effectiveness, it is recommended to consult with a rheumatologist. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your specific health condition and needs. Rheumatologists are trained to evaluate the potential benefits and risks of medications like Arava and can help monitor and manage any side effects that may arise.
They can also discuss alternative treatment options if necessary, as well as provide information on lifestyle modifications and complementary therapies that can support your overall well-being. Regular follow-up visits with a rheumatologist are crucial to assess treatment response, adjust medication dosages if needed, and ensure that you receive optimal care for your condition.
If you don't have a rheumatologist yet, you can ask your primary care physician for a referral or seek recommendations from trusted sources, such as friends, family, or other healthcare providers. Additionally, many healthcare networks have online directories that can help you find local rheumatologists in your area.
Remember, it's essential to work closely with your healthcare team, including a rheumatologist, to ensure the safe and effective management of your condition and the medication you are taking.