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Friday, December 17, 2010


One of the other RA medications is Arava (leflunomide) which is a DMARD (disease-modifying antirheumatic drug). It comes in tablets and is taken with or without food. It slows down joint damage, improves physical function, and diminishes swelling and pain caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis.

It can take a while, up to about 4 weeks, before you notice the effects of Arava. Store it at room temperature, away from heat, light and moisture; the latter indicates NOT to store it in the bathroom!

Arava may not be a good solution for everyone, because it can interact with other medications like: Methotrexate, Rifampin, Anticoagulants like warfarin for instance, Cholestyramine, Medicines that can cause liver damage (acetaminophen, methotrexate, ketoconazole, isoniazid, certain medicines for HIV infection), medications which lower the immune system.

Your physician will know whether you can take this medication or not, but you should inform him beforehand of any and all medications you are taking. This also includes nonprescription medicine, herbal and/or dietary supplements.

In case your doctor isn't already aware of it, let him know if you are allergic to medicines, foods, or anything else, or if were recently vaccinated, or if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding, if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or have an infection or lung problems.

Side effects of Arava are back pain, diarrhea, dizziness, hair loss, headaches, indigestion, muscle aches, nausea, runny nose and weakness.

You need to carefully read through all the severe side effect Arava can cause; it is quite a list and in case you experience any of them then don't hesitate and contact your physician right away. If you are not sure whether you are dealing with a side effect, just call your doctor and ask.

I found it a little disturbing reading that after you stop taking Arava, it can stay in your body for about 2 years and your doctor may decide to give you medications to remove Arava from your body.

I am grateful all these medications are available making life easier for those with RA, but it is quite an ordeal having to take other medications in order to cleanse our bodies from the effects of an RA medication.

It is such a comfort knowing that it is so much easier to have our bodies cleansed from sin. God is loving and forgiving and all that is needed is for us to confess our sins and ask His forgiveness!

Psalm 86:5
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.


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