Arava, a medicine prescribed for treating rheumatoid arthritis belongs to DMARD (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) type of drugs. Arava is prescribed to reduce the damage in joints and bones and also to help improve physical movements in them. As an oral drug Arava is available in doses of 10, 20 and 100 mg which a patient can take as advised by an expert medical practitioner. The drug contains leflunomide as its main active ingredient. The drug is classified as pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor.

Primarily used for treating rheumatoid arthritis, Arava helps in improving a person’s physical movement and decreases the risk for structural damage occurring in the joints. In treatment, Arava drug leads to blocking of certain enzymes that are linked with abnormal tissue growth and development. In rheumatoid arthritis the immune system in the body is unable to detect these abnormal cells and in turn the healthy tissues are destroyed. Arava prevents the occurrence of such action and thus helps in reducing joint damage, swelling and even pain.

Arava is prescribed in adults suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The effect of the drug can be observed after four or six weeks.

Like many other drugs, Arava too is associated with some severe side effects. One of the most dreaded side effects of Arava or leflunomide is that it can lead to cancer. Arava has been found to be responsible for lymphoma, the cancer of lymphocytes. It’s thus advised to discuss with the healthcare expert about all the possible complications of Arava. Another major side effect of Arava is the liver damage. Liver damage cases due to Arava have been notified to be caused when the drug was taken with antifolate (Methotrexate).

Arava has been also observed to be causing problems like severe infections, lung diseases, anemia and skin reactions. Arava also shows interactions with alcohol and some vaccines. Proper precautions must be followed before taking Arava. The doctor should also be acknowledged about all the drugs a person is taking and about their individual drug allergies. Arava causes weakening of the immune system, it’s thus imperative to notify healthcare expert if a person suffers from a weak immunity, in order to prevent facing from any complications later.