Arava, also known by its drug name, Leflunomide, is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998 to treat 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 an immunosuppressant, or in other words, 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 some cells in 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?
Arava is taken orally as a tablet once a day.
Serious but rare side effects of Arava include liver damage or failure.
The most commonly reported side effects of Arava are nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness.
For answers to frequently asked questions about exposure to Leflunomide during pregnancy and breastfeeding, visit the experts at MothertoBaby.org.