Leflunomide

What condition does Leflunomide treat?

Leflunomide is an oral medication used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which the defense system or immune system fails to identify the body itself. It also attacks the healthy tissues around the joints. This medication helps to lessen joint pain, damage, and swelling. Leflunomide will also help you to move better.

Leflunomide is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is a nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). This is also a pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor. Leflunomide starts to work with positive effects at 4 to 8 weeks of treatment. This has the maximum benefit at 3 to 6 months. Leflunomide suppresses the immune system to lessen the pain and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis.

How does Leflunomide work?

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system becomes overactive. Wherein, it attacks some parts of your body such as your joints. Leflunomide works by blocking the part of your immune system. This also blocks some proteins in your body that causes inflammation.

What is the recommended dosage for Leflunomide?

The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, weight, and response to it. You must take this medication exactly as it is prescribed. Do not take more often or more than the prescribed dosage.

Leflunomide is to be taken by mouth usually once a day. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the medicine as a whole with a full glass of water. For the best benefit, take it regularly. Remember to take the medicine at the same time each day. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or gets worse.

After treatment is stopped, a different medication may be given as directed to help remove Leflunomide from your body. This procedure is used if you need a rapid removal of the medicine from your system, for instance, if you are suffering from severe side effects or a female/male planning to have children. Without the procedure, the medicine might stay in your body for up to 2 years. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

What are the side effects of Leflunomide?

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Weight loss
  • Back pain
  • Dizziness
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Itching or skin rash
  • Cold symptoms

What are the precautions in taking Leflunomide?

  • Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease before taking this medication.
  • This is not recommended if you have a weak immune system or serious infections.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any medical history, current medications, or allergies.
  • Do not have vaccinations or immunizations without the consent of your doctor.
  • During pregnancy, this drug is not recommended. If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first.
  • You should know that this drug may cause high blood pressure. You should check your blood pressure before starting treatment and regularly while you are taking this medicine.
  • Keep this at a dry and clean place away from heat and moisture.