Arava (Leflunomide) treats rheumatoid arthritis and helps lessen the occurrence of joint damage by decreasing inflammation and reducing immune system activity. This drug is often classified as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) or an immunomodulatory agent. Its main mechanism of action involves blocking the enzyme which is needed for the synthesis of pyrimidines. By interfering with this process, it can help to limit or block the spread of white blood cells called lymphocytes. These cells play a central role in the immune system`s defenses, and affecting their multiplication leads to suppression of the immune system.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes structural damage to the joints, which can often impair the function of the body. It is a progressive disease which can have a significant impact on the quality of life. Treatment with this drug can reduce the clinical signs of RA as well as decreasing the physical damage caused to the joints, which can help the patient to move better. This is due to it modifying and affecting the immune response, as excess immune system activity is believed to be responsible for causing RA. Research has also pointed to anti-inflammatory effects and antiproliferative action, which serve to further benefit treatment.
Clinical studies have taken place in which prominent researchers examined further potential uses for this medicine. These studies examined its effects if used for ankylosing spondylitis, peripheral arthritis, psoriasis in those suffering from psoriatic arthritis, sarcoidosis, preventing the rejection of a transplanted organ and other medical disorders which are not referenced here. However, further research may be needed before it can be deemed effective for any other conditions, and currently it is only used for rheumatoid arthritis.
- Poor appetite
- Body weight reduction
- Stomach or digestive discomfort
- Symptoms resembling the common cold
Remain in regular contact with your physician and report all side effects you experience. You must immediately cease taking this medicine and seek medical help straight away if you notice soreness when passing urine, skin blisters, coughing or any severe side effects which have not been referenced in this paragraph.
Under no circumstances should this medicine be used while pregnant. Physicians may require a negative pregnancy test before allowing treatment to commence.