Lawsuits against Aventis regarding side effects of Arava has been pouring in as different studies reveal its fatal side effects. Arava is manufactured by Aventis Pharmaceuticals. Arava has been used by around 1.5 million people since its approval. It was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September 1998 for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

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 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 clinical trials it proved effective in treatment of tender and swollen joints, and functional and disability problems due to arthritis. It also proved effective in reducing intensity of pain.

Studies revealed that Arava could produce fatal side effects. It has shown six times higher risks of severe damage compared to methotrexate, other arthritis drug. Agency for the Evaluation of Medical Products in Europe issued a warning regarding side effects of Arava in February 2001. It revealed that Arava could cause severe liver damage. American College of Reumatology too published a warning regarding side effects of Arava. It asked patients to have monthly blood test while using this drug and every three months after stopping its use. The study concluded that Arava is dangerous and could remain in body tissues for a long period of time even after the patient has stopped using it.

Arava can produce several serious side effects. You should immediately seek medical help if any of these serious side effects occur. It can produce persistent cough, numbness or tingling of hands or feet and hair loss, chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeat, increased thirst and urination. It can also cause acute muscle cramp or pain, mental changes or mood changes. It can lead to vision changes, easy bruising or bleeding and in some cases unusual growths or lumps too. Other serious side effects of Arava are swollen glands or lymph nodes, unexplained weight loss, unusual tiredness and weak immune system. Severe allergic reactions such as rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; blisters on the inside of the eyes, nose, or mouth can also be caused due to use of Arava.

In July 2010 FDA added information on severe liver injury through the Boxed Warning on label of Arava. Previously black box warning was regarding contraindication in pregnant women, or women of childbearing age who were not using any consistent contraception. This was a result of a review by FDA regarding adverse effects of Arava. This review included 14 cases of fatal liver failure, between Aug. 2002 and May 2009. This review revealed that patients using Arava were at greater risk of developing liver diseases compared to those who are not using this medicine.

Many lawsuits have been filed against Arava and increasing day by day. If you or any of your close ones have suffered due to Arava side effects, you can file a lawsuit against Aventis related to Arava side effects.