Can leflunomide affect other medicines and treatments?
Can I take other medicines alongside leflunomide?
You may be prescribed leflunomide alongside other drugs. Discuss any new medications with your doctor because some drugs interact with leflunomide. Examples include:
- warfarin (which thins the blood)
- phenytoin (which is used in epilepsy).
Always tell any other doctor treating you that you’re on leflunomide.
If you you need to start another treatment which could interact with leflunomide, your doctor may suggest having a wash-out treatment to help remove the leflunomide from your body.
Will it affect vaccinations?
If you're on leflunomide it's recommended that you don't have live vaccines such as yellow fever or shingles. However, sometimes, a live vaccine may be necessary (for example rubella immunisation in women of childbearing age). In this case your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of the immunisation with you.
Pneumococcal vaccine (which gives protection against the most common cause of pneumonia) and yearly flu vaccines are safe and recommended.
Can I continue with leflunomide if I'm going to have an operation?
If you're going to have an operation, discuss this with your rheumatology team. They may advise you to stop the leflunomide for a time before and after surgery.