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.

Common side effects of Arava

Arava can produce many common side effects, which are not dangerous. The common side effects of Arava are as follows

  • Mild stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain;
  • Numbness or tingling for a little time
  • Running or stuffy nose
  • Symptoms of cold
  • Mild itching
  • Mild skin rashes
  • Nausea
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Indigestion

These side effects are not dangerous in nature. They can fade away quickly. But if any of these side effects persist for long time, seek medical help.

Serious side effects of Arava

Arava can produce several serious side effects. Some of severe side effects are listed below. You should immediately seek medical help if any of these serious side effects occur.

  • Use of Arava can produce persistent cough, numbness or tingling of hands or feet and hair loss
  • It can cause chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeat
  • It can also produce increased thirst and urination.
  • Other serious side effect of Arava is acute muscle cramp or pain.
  • It can also cause mental changes or mood changes.
  • It can cause vision changes too.
  • It can lead to easy bruising or bleeding.
  • In some cases unusual growths or lumps can also be seen.
  • Other serious side effects of Arava are swollen glands or lymph nodes, unexplained weight loss, unusual tiredness.
  • It weakens immune system and slows down body’s power to fight infection. It can cause different signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat.
  • 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.
  • It can cause liver problems. Symptoms of liver problems such as dark urine, pale stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes, stomach pain, severe or persistent nausea or loss of appetite could be experienced after use of Arava.

Precautions while using Arava

Tell your doctor if you have any allergic reaction while using Arava, as you may be allergic to any of its ingredients.

If you have any immune system disorder like HIV infection, do not use Arava and consult your doctor.

If you develop any infection, cancer, bone marrow or blood disorder, consult your doctor.

Consult your doctor if you have any kidney or heart disease.

Any liver disease such as hepatitis B or C or alcohol abuse should also be consulted with doctor.

Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity where you need to be highly alerted as use of Arava can make you dizzy.

Avoid alcohol while on Arava. It can affect your liver.

Avoid vaccinations during use of Arava without asking your doctor.

Take measures to prevent infections.

Stop using Arava if you get pregnant while using Arava. Do not use it while breast-feeding.

Stop using Arava in following conditions and consult your doctor immediately

  • If you experience fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
  • If there are white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
  • If you develop chest pain
  • If you have cough and having trouble while breathing
  • If you have painful or burning urination
  • If you have pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding and unusual weakness
  • In case of nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice or any other sign of liver problem, you should stop use of Arava
  • If you have sore throat, headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.