Arava is brand name for leflunomide. It is used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces damage on bone joints and improves physical functioning. It is also used for other purposes.

Structural Formula

Arava primarily contains leflunomide. It is a pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor. Its chemical name is N- (4´-trifluoromethylphenyl)-5-methylisoxazole-4-carboxamide. Its empirical formula is C12H9F3N2O2, and molecular weight is 270.2. Its structural formula is as follows:

Arava is an oral drug and comes into 10, 20, or 100 mg doses. It also contains titanium dioxide, colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, povidone, starch, and talc  as inactive ingredients. In 20 mg tablets yellow ferric oxide is also present.

Uses of Arava

Arava is used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It also improves physical function and prevents the development of structural damage to the joints. It blocks the certain enzymes, which causes abnormal tissue development or growth. Through this it checks arthritis.  In rheumatoid arthritis immune system of the body attacks healthy tissues as it fails to recognize them. It starts acting on healthy tissues as well defective ones. It reduces the joint damage. Joint pain and swelling also decreases with use of it.

It weakens the immune system and prevents it from attacking on healthy tissues. It is also used for other purposes such as prevention of rejection of organ transplant as well.

It is an oral medicine and should be taken as prescribed by doctor. Patients should discuss with their doctor about its dosage, side effects and other details.

Precautions before using Arava

You must consult your doctor before using Arava in following conditions.

  • If you are pregnant, planning to have a baby or breast-feeding mother, then you should ask your doctor before using Arava. You should also inform him if you get pregnant while using this medicine.
  • If you are using any other medicine or dietary supplement, tell your doctor as some medicines can have adverse interaction with Arava.
  • If you have any allergies, tell your doctor as your condition can worsen with use of Arava.
  • If you have a weak immune system consult your doctor as Arava weakens immune system and it can worsen your condition.
  • If you have an infection or a history of a reoccurring infection consult your doctor before using Arava.
  • If you have been vaccinated recently tell your doctor as it may interact with Arava.
  • If you are suffering from lung problems or have such history, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) or a positive TB test is other condition when you should consult a doctor.
  • If you are suffering from high blood pressure, blood or bone marrow problems, consult your doctor.
  • If you are suffering from any liver problems or have abnormal liver function tests, consult your doctor.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking Arava.
  • You should consult your doctor if you have or a history of kidney problems.
  • If you are suffering from immune system disorder or other serious medical conditions, consult your doctor before taking Arava.
  • Consult your doctor immediately if you develop any unusual or severe side effect while using Arava.
  • You should regularly go through liver function tests while and till six months after using Arava.
  • Stop using Arava and consult your doctor immediately in following conditions.

♦ You are allergic to any ingredient in this drug

♦ You are suffering from bone marrow problem

♦ You have developed any liver problem including hepatitis.