What is this medicine?
LEFLUNOMIDE (le FLOO na mide) is for rheumatoid arthritis.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
increased blood pressure
low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
redness, blistering, peeing or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, blood in urine
signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or trouble passing urine
signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
hair thinning or loss
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
birth control pills
certain medicines for diabetes like nateglinide, repaglinide, rosiglitazone, pioglitazone
certain medicines for high cholesterol like atorvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin
live virus vaccines
medicines that increase your risk for infection
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture and light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
have a fever or infection
high blood pressure
immune system problems
low blood cell counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
lung or breathing disease, like asthma
recently received or scheduled to receive a vaccine
receiving treatment for cancer
skin conditions or sensitivity
tingling of the fingers or toes, or other nerve disorder
an unusual or allergic reaction to leflunomide, teriflunomide, other medicines, food, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your healthcare professional for regular checks on your progress. Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
This medicine may stay in your body for up to 2 years after your last dose. Tell your doctor about any unusual side effects or symptoms. A medicine can be given to help lower your blood levels of this medicine more quickly.
Women must use effective birth control with this medicine. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Inform your doctor if you wish to become pregnant. This medicine remains in your blood after you stop taking it. You must continue using effective birth control until the blood levels have been checked and they are low enough. A medicine can be given to help lower your blood levels of this medicine more quickly. Immediately talk to your doctor if you think you may be pregnant. You may need a pregnancy test. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.
You should not receive certain vaccines during your treatment and for a certain time after your treatment with this medication ends. Talk to your health care professional for more information.
February 16, 2018