Arava (Leflunomide) Attorneys
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
Arava (leflunomide) is a pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor used to reduce the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used to prevent the development of structural damage and improve the physical function of the joints. Arava, made by Aventis Pharmaceuticals, is believed to work by preventing certain enzymes from promoting the development of abnormal tissue.
On November 21, 2003, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned doctors that the use of Arava had been linked to serious liver damage that had resulted in deaths. The FDA has since warned that use of the drug also posed a potential risk for birth defects, Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), kidney problems, and interstitial lung disease. A brief discussion of each of these potential side effects follows:
- Liver and kidney damage - the FDA has warned that Areva may not be appropriate for those taking medications that can be harmful to the liver or for those with liver disease, including hepatitis B or C, kidney problems, bone marrow disorders, severe immune system disorders, or uncontrolled infection.
- Birth defects - the FDA has warned that women of childbearing age who are contemplating becoming pregnant should not take Arava. Women who discontinue treatment with Arava should complete a drug elimination procedure prior to becoming pregnant because the drug remains in the body a long time. Women should also not breast-feed if taking Arava.
- SJS - a serious immune-complex-mediated hypersensitivity disorder that can be triggered by many drugs (including Arava), malignancies, and viral infections. SJS can cause rash, skin peeling, and sores on the mucous membranes.
- Interstitial lung disease - there have been reports of inflamed lung tissues in patients taking Arava. The onset is marked by new or worsening symptoms including cough or difficult breathing.
Other potential side effects associated with taking Arava include:
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rash
- Hair loss
- Mouth sores
If you or a loved one develops the symptoms of any serious side effects associated with Arava, you should immediately contact your health care provider. You may also have a claim to compensation. To find out, contact a qualified pharmaceutical injury attorney.