Leflunomide is a topic covered in the Consumer DrugInfo.

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General

Pronunciation:
(le floo' na mide)

Brand name:

  • Arava®

Important Warning

Do not take leflunomide if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Leflunomide may harm the fetus. You should not begin taking leflunomide until you have taken a pregnancy test with negative results and your doctor tells you that you are not pregnant. You must use an effective method of birth control before you begin taking leflunomide, during your treatment with leflunomide, and for 2 years after treatment. If your period is late or you miss a period during treatment with leflunomide, call your doctor immediately. Talk to your doctor if you plan to become pregnant within 2 years after stopping treatment with leflunomide. Your doctor can prescribe a treatment that will help to remove this medication more quickly from your body.

Leflunomide may cause liver damage that can be life-threatening and even cause death. The risk for liver damage is greatest in people taking other medications known to cause liver damage, and in people who already have liver disease. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had hepatitis or any other type of liver disease and if you if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking acetaminophen (Tylenol, in other over-the-counter products), aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen [Advil, Motrin] and naproxen [Aleve, Naprosyn], cholesterol-lowering medications (statins), hydroxychloroquine, iron products, isoniazid (Laniazid, in Rifamate, in Rifater), methotrexate (Trexall), niacin (nicotinic acid), or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater). If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: nausea, extreme tiredness, unusual bleeding or bruising, lack of energy, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark-colored urine, or flu-like symptoms.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests to check your body's response to leflunomide.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking leflunomide.

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