This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.
Background and Date of Approval
Leflunomide is an antirheumatic drug developed by the U.S. Food And Drug Administration and initially approved on 9 Oct 1998 for treating rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.
Mechanism of Action of undefined
Leflunomide works by suppressing the immune system and reducing inflammation. It inhibits the activity of certain immune cells called lymphocytes, which are involved in the inflammatory process.
Uses of undefined
Leflunomide helps to treat rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints. It is also used in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, which is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in some individuals with psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis affects the joints and can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available
Take the Leflunomide as advised by your physician. Do not crush, chew, or open the medicine. Your physician will decide the correct dosage and duration based on age, body weight, and disease condition. Only stop taking the tablet if your doctor advises you to stop.
Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined
This drug is contraindicated in individuals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to it or its component. Before taking Leflunomide, it is necessary to consult with your physician if you have a history of interstitial lung disease, tuberculosis, skin ulcers, unexplained chronic diarrhea, liver, and kidney problems. Your doctor may perform certain tests for further diagnosis and prescribe you a low dose if necessary. Certain vaccinations may not be recommended while on treatment with this drug because this drug can affect the immune system, and this can impact the effectiveness or safety of vaccines. This drug remains in the body for a considerable period even after discontinuation. Therefore, it's important to discuss vaccination plans with your doctor before initiating the treatment.
If you are currently experiencing a severe infection, it may be necessary to delay or avoid starting Leflunomide treatment until the infection is resolved. This drug is contraindicated during pregnancy because it can have harmful effects on a developing fetus and may also be present in breast milk. Drinking alcohol while taking this drug can further stress the liver and lead to liver toxicity or other complications. Hence it is strongly advised to avoid consuming alcohol during the treatment.
The side effects known to occur commonly during the treatment with Leflunomide are loss of appetite, weight loss, low white blood cells, mild increase in blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, dry skin, and itching. Some serious side effects include serious allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, feeling dizzy or light-headed, weakness), skin rash or ulcers in the mouth, bruising, pale skin, yellow discoloration of eyes and skin, abdominal pain, infections (fever, sore throat, cough), and tingling or pain in hands or feet.
Word Of Advice
Since this medication aims to reduce joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. It may take several weeks or months to experience the full benefits of Leflunomide, so be patient and continue taking it as directed.
Frequently Asked Question
- Aspire Pharma Ltd, Electronic medicines compendium (EMC), [Revised on June 2022] [ Accessed on 17th August 2023], https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.5399.pdf
- Sanofi-aventis US LLC, US Food and Drug Administration, [Revised on July 2011] [ Accessed on 17th August 2023], https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/020905s022lbl.pdf
- Goodman & Gilman’s, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Immunosuppressants, tolerogens, and immunostimulants, 12th edition, 2011, 1014.
- KD Tripathi, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology, Antirheumatoid and antigout drugs, 7th edition, 2013, 212.
The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice; it is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you are eligible to receive this treatment.