What is leflunomide and why is it prescribed?
Leflunomide is a type of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). It's also known by its trade name, Arava.
DMARDs like leflunomide dampen down underlying disease processes, rather than simply treating your symptoms.
Leflunomide reduces the activity of your immune system (your body's defence system), which may be overactive in some conditions. This means it can reduce the inflammation that causes:
Leflunomide is always used with care because of its effects on the immune system.
Why am I being prescribed leflunomide?
Leflunomide is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other types of auto-immune disease.
Will I need any special checks before I take leflunomide?
It’s important that you have a blood test and blood pressure measurement before starting treatment.
Are there any alternatives to leflunomide?
A number of other drugs are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and related conditions. Your doctor or rheumatology nurse will discuss these other options with you.