Arava is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the joint pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with active rheumatoid arthritis. Arava can also improve function and help prevent damage caused by the disease. Arava is also referred to by its drug name, leflunomide.
Arava is an immunosuppressant, which is a drug that suppresses the immune system. Arava is also considered a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). Arava is believed to work by preventing the production of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in certain cells, including cells of the immune system. Blocking DNA production causes those cells to die, thereby suppressing the immune system and weakening autoimmune attacks.
How do I take it?
Prescribing information states that Arava is taken orally as a tablet once daily.
The FDA-approved label for Arava lists common side effects including diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, nausea, headache, rash, and indigestion.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Arava include severe infections, low blood cell counts, potentially-fatal lung disease, nerve damage, elevated blood pressure, and a potentially fatal skin reaction known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Arava — Sanofi
Leflunomide (Arava) — American College of Rheumatology