DMARD stands for
disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug. This
classification of drugs is typically used to slow the
progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
prescription drug medications have side effects, Arava (leflunomide) seems to have the most
serious warnings and side effects. The death rate of
patients using this DMARD is 33 times higher than its drug
medication competitor Methotrexate. The Public Citizen
action group filed a petition to the Federal Drug
Administration requesting the immediate ban of Arava
stating; "With a variety of better drug treatments
available, there is no reason to subject patients to an
accumulating list of added risks. (Arava) should be
promptly removed from the market."
RA arthritis pain relief should carefully
evaluate Arava information and side effects before
deciding to take Arava. It is important to note that
Arava might slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis
it does not provide
rheumatoid arthritis cures.
A letter from the Public Citizen's Health Research
Group, sent in conjunction with the Public Citizen
petition, stated; "To have this many deaths and severe
reactions over such a short time is truly disturbing.
When there are other treatments that are more effective
and don't endanger patients as much as this drug, there
is absolutely no reason for the FDA to keep Arava on the
Agency for the Evaluation of Medical Products issued
warnings in 2001 to doctors and patients citing
nine liver failure deaths in Arava patients. Also in
2001, Arava manufacturer Aventis Pharmaceuticals issued
Arava warnings to doctors.
MSNBC reported in 2002 that Arava was linked to 12 liver
failure deaths. If prescribing this particular DMARD, your doctor will
test liver function before starting the drug and will
continue monthly blood tests for an extended period
Arava can also lower resistance to infections and can
make infections harder to treat. It can suppress the
immune system. While taking this drug, avoid immunization
shots with live vaccines. Avoid exposure to chickenpox
and measles while taking Arava.
pain and inflammation.
blood cell count.
ulcers and fungal infections in the mouth.
experience an allergic reaction to Arava, immediately
call your health care provider or 911. Hives, itching,
rash, tightness of chest, difficulty breathing, swelling
of hands, face, lips, tongue, eyes or throat indicate an
allergic reaction to Arava.
Contact your health care provider immediately if you
experience bruising, frequent infections, unusual
fatigue or paleness. These warnings are signs of lowered
blood cell count. Contact your health care provider
immediately if you experience yellowing of the skin or
Arava can cause serious side effects. Only you can
decide if this specific DMARD is the best means of treating your
arthritis pain. It is important for people currently
taking Arava to discuss side effects concerns with their
physician. Ideally, the attending physician is aware of
the potential health risks associated and will advise
using other alternatives to minimize the risk of heart
disease, liver and kidney problems and other side
One alternative for
rheumatoid symptoms is
Arthritin, a drug-free, healthy and effective
arthritis treatment scientifically formulated to
strengthen and build essential cartilage, reduce pain
and promote healing. The anti-inflammatory, analgesic
and diuretic ingredients within Arthritin create a
highly effective and powerful formula that offers relief
without harmful side effects common in prescription drug