Leflunomide or Arava is used in rheumatoid arthritis to reduce pain and slow joint destruction. It is intended for people who are not able to use other disease modifying drugs.
Leflunomide or Arava is a prodrug which is changed in the body to an active metabolite. It inhibits pyrimidine synthesis and thus reduces the production of immune cells that attack joints.
Leflunomide or Arava's side effects include diarrhea, rash, and hair loss; and some people cannot tolerate these side effects.
Leflunomide or Arava is teratogenic and thus is contraindicated in pregnancy and this contraindication includes men who want to father children.
Because Leflunomide or Arava inhibits liver enzymes, it has the ability to produce increased blood levels of other drugs, for example diclofenac, ibuprofen.
Medical Letter 1998;40(1040):110
The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.