The generic ingredient in Arava is leflunomide which belongs to the disease-modifying anti-rheumatic class of drugs (DMARD) which slows joint damage from rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
While not a cure, Arava is prescribed to relieve pain and swelling in the joints, prevent joint damage, and help keep the joints working in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Arava blocks the production of white blood cells that cause joint inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, thereby slowing down the progression of the disease.
You will usually start the treatment by taking a tablet of 100mg once daily for the first three days. Then, your doctor will usually reduce the dose to 10-20mg to be taken once daily. This medication is taken orally. Take Arava at the same time each day, with or without food. You may begin to feel improvement in joint swelling and tenderness after about four weeks.
These may not be all the side effects of Arava 10mg.
Arava is contraindicated in pregnant women, or women of childbearing potential who are not using reliable contraception because of the risk of birth defects. Patients with liver disease should not be treated with Arava.
Prior to taking Arava, your doctor will order blood tests to monitor your blood cells and your liver at regular intervals. Your blood pressure will also need to be checked regularly.
Protect Arava from light and moisture. Store it at room temperature and away from children.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the lining around your joints, gradually destroying the cartilage and bone within the joint. The joint loses its shape and alignment because the tendons and ligaments weaken and stretch. Symptoms include tender, warm, swollen joints, joint stiffness (which is usually worse in the morning), fatigue, fever, and weight loss. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the fingers and toes first. RA affects women more often than men. It is estimated that about 1% of the U.S. population has this condition.
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