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Arava generically known as Leflunomide is an immunomodulatory drug used in the management of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases. It belongs to a class of medications called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). It works by blocking an enzyme that produces toxins, thus reducing the inflammation and joint pain associated with the disease.

Leflunomide is a tablet used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that causes pain, swelling, and loss of function in the joints. Arava can be prescribed for people with psoriatic arthritis and active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It is typically used in combination with other medications and may be prescribed as monotherapy.

Uses and Dosage

Avara (Leflunomide) comes in the form of a tablet and should be taken orally, with or without food. It is usually taken once a day or as directed by your doctor. You need to note that without a drug elimination procedure. Avara (Leflunomide) can stay in the body for up to two years.

The recommended maintenance dose for rheumatoid arthritis is Arava (Leflunomide) 20 mg administered once daily. A dose higher than 20 mg/day is not recommended. If the patient is not tolerating the 20 mg/day dose, the dosage may be reduced to 10 mg daily. The same maintenance dose of 20 mg per day is recommended for psoriatic arthritis.

To increase the chances of the medication being effective, a "loading dose" may be prescribed when the medicine is first taken. Arava therapy is typically initiated with a loading dose of 100 mg (five 20 mg tablets) once daily for 3 days. Avoiding the loading dose may reduce the risk of adverse events if Arava is used in combination with methotrexate.

Side Effects

Serious side effects of Arava (Leflunomide):

  • Bleeding
  • Chest pain
  • Hair loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased thirst
  • Lumps
  • Mental or mood changes
  • Muscle cramps
  • Numbness or tingling of extremities
  • Palpitations
  • Signs of infection (persistent fever, chills, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes)
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Vision changes

Common Side Effects of Arava (Leflunomide):

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss feeling sick
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Stomach pain
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Weakness or pins and needles

Form and Strength

Arava and its generic alternative Leflunomide are available in the following forms and strengths:

Arava: Tablet

  • 10 mg
  • 20 mg
  • 100 mg

Leflunomide: Tablet

  • 10 mg
  • 20 mg


  • ARAVA (leflunomide) is contraindicated for use in pregnant women because it may cause fetal harm. Teratogenicity and embryo-lethality have occurred in animals administered leflunomide at doses lower than the human exposure level.
  • Avoid taking ARAVA during pregnancy, and if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about the potential risks associated with taking ARAVA.
  • Liver enzymes and hematological parameters must be monitored closely, and dose adjustments or discontinuation may be necessary. Due to the exceedingly long half-life of the active metabolite of leflunomide, patients should be carefully observed after dose reduction, as it may take several weeks for metabolite levels to decline.
  • Arava (Leflunomide) is not recommended for use in patients under 18 years of age, as the efficacy and safety of the drug in this population have not been established.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is this medication effective for rheumatoid arthritis?

Yes, clinical trials on Arava & rheumatoid arthritis have proven that these tablets are safe and effective.

How long will it take for this medication to take effect?

It may take a month before you notice an improvement in your symptoms.

What is the contraindication of Arava?

ARAVA is contraindicated in pregnant women, or women of childbearing potential who are not using reliable contraception. It is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity, previous or current skin reactions, immunosuppression, and impaired bone marrow function.

How often is Arava taken?

For patients who are at low-risk for liver disease and bone marrow problems caused by Arava: At first, 100 milligrams (mg) once a day for 3 days, then 20 mg once a day. Your doctor may adjust the dose as needed. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.


Additional information

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10mg, 20mg, 100mg

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Online Pharmacies Canada has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Arava (Leflunomide). Talk to your doctor or other qualified medical practitioners for medical attention or advice, or if you have any concerns about Arava (Leflunomide).