Arava – A Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment


Arava (Leflunomide)

Dosage: 10mg, 20mg

$1,16 per pill

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What is Arava and How Does it Work?

Arava is a powerful medication primarily used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder that mainly affects the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the affected joints, severely impacting the quality of life for those affected.

The active ingredient in Arava is leflunomide, which belongs to a class of drugs known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These drugs work by suppressing the immune system to reduce inflammation and slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Arava inhibits the production of certain cells in the immune system, called T-cells, which play a central role in the inflammatory process. By targeting these cells, Arava helps to decrease the inflammation in the joints, alleviate symptoms, and prevent further joint damage.

It is crucial to note that Arava is not a pain reliever and does not provide immediate relief from arthritis symptoms. Instead, it works over time to modify the course of the disease and improve long-term outcomes for patients.

Key Features of Arava:

  • Primary use: Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Active ingredient: Leflunomide
  • Class: Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD)
  • Mechanism of action: Suppresses the immune system to reduce inflammation and slow down disease progression

According to the reputable official website of Arava, this medication has been extensively studied in clinical trials and has been proven effective in improving physical function and reducing the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting Arava or any other medication to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific condition.

2. How Does Arava Work?

Arava is a potent medication that exerts its therapeutic effects by targeting specific immune system cells involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Leflunomide, the active ingredient in Arava, belongs to a class of drugs known as Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs).

DMARDs, such as Arava, work by modulating the abnormal immune response seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike other medications that primarily address symptoms, Arava targets the underlying cause of the disease and helps to slow down its progression.

“Arava helps to relieve joint pain, reduce swelling, and improve joint function, thereby enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with rheumatoid arthritis.”

Mechanism of Action

Arava works by inhibiting an enzyme called dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH). This enzyme plays a crucial role in the production of pyrimidines, which are building blocks for DNA and RNA synthesis.

The inhibition of DHODH by Arava leads to several therapeutic effects:

  1. Reduced proliferation of immune cells: Arava suppresses the excessive production of immune cells, particularly T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, and monocytes. This helps to prevent the overactivity of the immune system, which is a characteristic feature of rheumatoid arthritis.
  2. Diminished inflammatory response: By reducing the number of immune cells and their activity, Arava decreases the release of pro-inflammatory substances. This results in a decrease in joint inflammation, pain, and swelling.
  3. Inhibition of tissue damage: The continuous inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis leads to progressive joint damage. Arava helps to slow down the destruction of joint tissues by suppressing the immune response.

Important Considerations

It is important to note that Arava may not produce immediate relief of symptoms. The therapeutic effect of this medication may take several weeks to become noticeable, as it gradually modifies the immune response.

Arava should not be taken during pregnancy or if you are planning to conceive, as it can potentially cause harm to the unborn baby. It is necessary to use reliable contraceptive methods both during treatment and for a certain period after stopping Arava to eliminate any risk of fetal harm.

Also, regular monitoring of liver enzymes and blood cell counts is essential when using Arava. This monitoring helps to minimize the risk of potential side effects and ensures the safe use of the medication.

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1. Official Arava Website

2. Arthritis Foundation


Arava (Leflunomide)

Dosage: 10mg, 20mg

$1,16 per pill

Select Pack

Use of Arava in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arava, a medication primarily used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is an effective option for managing the symptoms of this chronic inflammatory disorder. With its active ingredient, leflunomide, belonging to the class of drugs known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), Arava offers hope for those suffering from this debilitating condition.

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that predominantly affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. This condition occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium, a thin membrane that lines the joints. Over time, inflammation in the joints can lead to damage, loss of function, and joint deformity.

How Arava Works

Arava works by targeting the underlying cause of rheumatoid arthritis – the overactive immune system. Its active ingredient, leflunomide, inhibits the production of certain immune cells involved in the inflammatory response. By reducing inflammation, Arava helps alleviate the symptoms and slow down the progression of joint damage.

Benefits of Arava in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arava offers several benefits in the management of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Reduced joint pain and swelling: Arava helps alleviate the pain and swelling commonly experienced by individuals living with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Improved joint mobility: By targeting inflammation, Arava can improve joint mobility and functionality, allowing individuals to engage in daily activities more comfortably.
  • Long-term disease management: Arava is a disease-modifying medication, which means it helps slow down the progressive joint damage associated with rheumatoid arthritis. It can significantly contribute to long-term disease management and improve overall quality of life.

Usage Guidelines and Side Effects

Like any medication, Arava has specific usage guidelines and potential side effects that individuals should be aware of. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting Arava and follow their instructions closely.

Some common side effects of Arava include:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Nausea
  3. Headache
  4. Hair loss
  5. Elevated liver enzyme levels

Additionally, Arava may suppress the immune system, increasing the risk of infections. Regular blood tests and monitoring are necessary to ensure the safe and effective use of Arava.

For more information on Arava and its usage, please refer to Arava’s official website.

In Conclusion

Arava, with its active ingredient leflunomide, belongs to the class of DMARDs and is widely used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. By targeting the overactive immune system, Arava helps reduce inflammation, alleviate symptoms, and slow down joint damage progression. While it offers numerous benefits, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional and be aware of the potential side effects before initiating Arava treatment.

Usage of Arava in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Arava, a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), is extensively prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This chronic, inflammatory disorder primarily affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.

Although there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, Arava has proven to be effective in managing the condition, slowing down its progression, and preventing further joint damage.

How Does Arava Work?

Arava contains the active ingredient leflunomide, which combats RA by inhibiting excessive production of certain immune cells that attack healthy joint tissues. By suppressing the immune system’s overactivity, Arava helps reduce inflammation, alleviate symptoms, and ultimately improve the quality of life for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Furthermore, Arava exerts its disease-modifying effects by hindering the proliferation of cells responsible for joint destruction. By impeding the destructive process, Arava assists in preserving the integrity and functionality of affected joints, diminishing the long-term impact of rheumatoid arthritis.

Benefits of Arava in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

When compared to other available treatment options, Arava offers several advantages:

  1. Efficacy: Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of Arava in reducing joint inflammation, pain, and swelling in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  2. Long-term management: Arava not only provides immediate symptom relief but also helps prevent the progression of damage to joints, making it a suitable choice for long-term treatment.
  3. Combination therapy: Arava can be used in combination with other DMARDs or biologic agents, potentially enhancing treatment outcomes and providing a comprehensive approach to managing rheumatoid arthritis.
  4. Tolerability: Arava’s side effects are generally well-tolerated, allowing patients to maintain their treatment regimens without significant disruptions to their daily lives.
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Important: Prior to initiating Arava treatment, it is crucial for patients to undergo thorough medical evaluation, including liver function tests and blood cell counts. Regular monitoring is necessary to ensure the drug’s continued safety and effectiveness.


Arava, a DMARD medication containing leflunomide, has established itself as a valuable tool in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. By targeting the underlying mechanisms that drive this chronic inflammatory disorder, Arava effectively alleviates symptoms, slows the progression of joint damage, and supports long-term management of the disease. If you suspect you may have rheumatoid arthritis or require more information about Arava, please consult with a healthcare professional, such as a rheumatologist.

5. Arava Dosage and Administration

When starting treatment with Arava, it is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and administration instructions provided by your healthcare professional. The dosage may vary depending on individual factors, such as the severity of the disease, medical history, and response to the medication.

Here are some key points to remember:

  1. Initial Loading Dose:
  2. A loading dose of 100 mg per day is usually recommended for the first three days to quickly achieve therapeutic levels in the body.

    For patients at high risk of experiencing adverse effects, a loading dose of 50 mg per day may be prescribed.

    It is important not to exceed the recommended loading dose to minimize the risk of side effects.

  3. Maintenance Dose:
  4. After the initial loading dose, the maintenance dose of Arava is typically 20 mg per day.

    Your doctor may adjust the maintenance dose based on your response to the treatment and any potential side effects.

  5. Usage Instructions:
  6. Arava tablets should be taken orally with water, once a day, preferably at the same time each day.

    Swallow the tablet whole, without crushing or chewing, to ensure the proper release of the medication.

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.

  7. Monitoring:
  8. Your doctor will regularly monitor your liver function while on Arava treatment, as the medication may cause liver damage in some cases.

    It is essential to undergo scheduled blood tests as recommended by your healthcare professional to ensure the safe use of Arava.

  9. Interactions and Precautions:
  10. Inform your doctor about all the medications, supplements, or herbal products you are currently taking to avoid potential drug interactions.

    Pregnant women, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding mothers should not use Arava, as it may cause harm to the developing fetus or nursing baby.

    For a comprehensive list of drug interactions, precautions, and contraindications, refer to reliable sources such as or consult with your healthcare provider.

Remember to always seek professional medical advice and guidance before starting or altering any treatment regimen.


Arava (Leflunomide)

Dosage: 10mg, 20mg

$1,16 per pill

Select Pack

6. Potential Side Effects and Precautions

While Arava can be effective in managing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, it is important to be aware of potential side effects and take necessary precautions when using this medication. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.

6.1 Common Side Effects

Some common side effects of Arava may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
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It is essential to inform your doctor if any of these side effects persist or worsen.

6.2 Serious Side Effects

Although less common, Arava may cause more serious side effects. Immediate medical attention should be sought if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Severe skin rash or itching
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath

These serious side effects may require prompt medical intervention and should not be ignored.

6.3 Precautions and Interactions

Prior to starting Arava, it is vital to inform your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions, including liver or kidney disease, current infections, or a history of bone marrow disorders. Additionally, certain precautions should be taken:

  • Pregnancy: Arava can cause harm to an unborn baby. It is contraindicated for use during pregnancy.
  • Contraception: Women of childbearing potential must use reliable contraception during Arava treatment and undergo a drug elimination procedure before planning pregnancy.
  • Immunizations: Live vaccines should be avoided while taking Arava, as it may interfere with the vaccine’s effectiveness.
  • Drug interactions: Inform your healthcare provider of all medications, vitamins, and supplements you are currently taking, as some drugs may interact with Arava.

For more detailed and comprehensive information about Arava, its side effects, precautions, and interactions, it is recommended to refer to authoritative sources such as the FDA-approved prescribing information and consult a healthcare professional.

7. Side Effects of Arava:

While Arava can effectively manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, it is essential to be aware of the potential side effects that may occur. It is important to note that not all individuals will experience these side effects, and some may only encounter mild symptoms. However, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional if any side effects arise.

Gastrointestinal Effects:

Some patients may experience gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. If these symptoms persist or become severe, it is advisable to inform your doctor immediately.

Liver Toxicity:

Arava can cause liver damage, so regular liver function tests are essential during the treatment. Symptoms that may indicate liver problems include yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, persistent fatigue, or abdominal pain.

Lung Problems:

In rare cases, Arava has been associated with lung problems such as inflammation or scarring. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience breathing difficulties, persistent cough, or chest pain.

Immune System Suppression:

Being a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Arava affects the immune system. However, in rare cases, it may cause significant suppression of the immune system. If you notice any signs of infection such as fever, chills, or sore throat, notify your healthcare provider promptly.

Peripheral Neuropathy:

Arava may lead to nerve damage, resulting in symptoms like numbness, tingling, or weakness in the extremities. If you experience any of these sensations, it is crucial to seek medical attention.

Skin Reactions:

Some individuals may develop skin reactions while using Arava, including rash, itching, or blisters. These symptoms should be reported to your healthcare professional for further evaluation.


Arava has been associated with an increase in blood pressure in some patients. Regular monitoring of blood pressure is necessary during the treatment period.


Additional side effects that have been reported but are less common include hair loss, numbness or tingling in the mouth or throat, and changes in taste perception.

Routine monitoring of blood parameters is critical to detect any potential side effects and ensure the safe use of Arava. It is essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and report any unusual symptoms promptly.

For more detailed information on Arava and its side effects, please refer to the official medication guide provided by the manufacturer here.

Category: General health

Tags: Arava, Leflunomide