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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Leflunomide Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

(le FLOO noh mide)

U.S. Brand Names


Canadian Brand Names

Apo-Leflunomide®; Arava®; Mylan-Leflunomide; Novo-Leflunomide; PHL-Leflunomide; PMS-Leflunomide; Sandoz-Leflunomide

Mexican Brand Names


Pharmacologic Category

Antirheumatic, Disease Modifying

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

• Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment and after treatment ends. A pregnancy test should be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting this medicine.

• This medicine does not mix well with many medicines. Serious reactions may occur. Check all medicines with healthcare provider.

Reasons not to take this medicine

• If you have an allergy to leflunomide or any other part of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant and do not get pregnant.Use birth control that you can trust. At the end of treatment, you should undergo a process to get rid of the extra leflunomide in your body. Taking a drug called cholestyramine 3 times a day for 11 days should get rid of most of the medicine. Talk with healthcare provider if you wish to become pregnant. You will need to have blood tests confirming that your body is free of leflunomide before you stop taking birth control.

• If you are breast-feeding.

How does it work?

• Leflunomide is an arthritis-changing medicine. It reduces inflammation and helps reduce symptoms and protect joints from further harm.

How is it best taken?

• Take this medicine at a similar time of day.

• Take this medicine with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)

• Take a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not take a double dose or extra doses.

• Do not change dose or stop medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.

What should I monitor?

• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

• You will need a tuberculosis test before starting this medicine.

• If you are a female of childbearing age, take a pregnancy test before starting this medicine.

• If you are a female of childbearing age, check blood work after finishing cholestyramine.

• Check blood pressure regularly. Talk with healthcare provider.

• Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist regularly.

• Follow up with healthcare provider.

How should I store this medicine?

• Store at room temperature.

• Protect from light.

• Protect from moisture. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

General statements

• If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

• Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

• Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

• Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

• Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

• Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.

• Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

Created: 2005-04-07 16:53:34.0

Modified: 2010-03-09 08:28:57.0

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