An informed arthritis patient is always an intelligent arthritis patient. Conquer rather than cope with your arthritis.

Leflunomide

What is Leflunomide?
Leflunomide is a drug used for treating Rheumatoid arthritis. It is a disease modifying agent and not an analgesic.
How long will it take to work?
Leflunomide usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to start working in Rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence suggests that there is significant improvement in the number of swollen, tender joints in rheumatoid arthritis patients with Leflunomide *.
What dose of Leflunomide will I have to take?
Leflunomide is taken once daily in a dose of 10/20 mg. A loading dose of 100 mg once a day is given for 3 days to begin with to build up leflunomide level in the blood.
What should I discuss with my Rheumatologist before
starting Leflunomide?
Before starting Leflunomide, tell your Rheumatologist if you have any of the following --
  • Any liver problem you have.
  • Amount of alcohol you consume in a week.
  • Any ongoing infections.
  • Any hematological problems you have.
  • If pregnant or planning to conceive.
Can Leflunomide be taken in pregnancy?
No. Leflunomide can harm your unborn baby. Please talk to your rheumatologist if you planning pregnancy. Use of an effective contraceptive measure is extremely important throughout the treatment phase. Women may consider pregnancy 2 years after stopping leflunomide as it remains in the system for 2 years after stopping the drug. This 2 year period can be reduecd to 3 months with a special 'wash-out' treatment with a drug called cholestyramine.
Men should stop leflunomide, take the wash out treatment & wait for 3 months before planning to father a child.
Can Leflunomide be taken while breast feeding?
No.
Can I take alcohol when I am on Leflunomide?
No. You should not drink alcohol whilst on Leflunomide.


* Osiri M, Shea B, Robinson V, Suarez-Almazor M, Strand V, Tugwell P, Wells G. Leflunomide for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003,
Issue 1. Art. No.: CD002047. DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD002047
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Created on: April 2007
Last updated on: Oct 2014
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