What is Arava?
Arava is a type of medication called a “disease-modifying
antirheumatic drug or DMARD.”
How does Arava
Arava works to modify the disease. Arava cannot cure RA, but it can help
control the symptoms and progression of the disease.
How is Arava
different from other RA medications?
Arava works differently than other available medications by affecting a
unique stage in the disease process.
How do I know
if Arava is working?
You may begin to experience an improvement in joint swelling and
tenderness after about 4 weeks.
How often do I
need to take Arava?
You’ll only need to take Arava once a day. It works best if you take
it at the same time every day.
Should I take
Arava with food?
Arava can be taken with or without food.
How long will
I need to take Arava?
Remember, there is no cure for RA, but Arava can help improve the signs
and symptoms and slow down joint damage. You must follow your doctor’s
instructions for taking Arava. Most people have to take RA medications
for the rest of their lives. If you do not follow the treatment program,
Arava will not be able to work properly, which may lead to worsening
Can I take
Arava if I am pregnant or wish to become pregnant?
No. Your doctor will verify that you are not pregnant before starting
Arava, and will counsel you on the risk of birth defects if you become
pregnant while taking Arava.
INFORMATION AND WARNING: Arava must not be used in pregnant women or
women who can become pregnant who are not using reliable birth control
because Arava may increase the risk of birth defects. You may be at
increased risk of death of your unborn child or of having a baby with a
birth defect if:
pregnant when you start taking Arava|
pregnant while you are taking Arava, or|
|You do not
wait to become pregnant until you have stopped taking Arava and
followed the drug elimination procedure described below.|
If you are
currently taking Arava or have discontinued Arava and are going through
the required drug elimination procedure, you and your partner should
take every precaution to avoid becoming pregnant, such as both partners
using reliable birth control as recommended by your doctor. It is VERY
IMPORTANT that you contact your doctor IMMEDIATELY if your menstrual
period is at all late or if for any other reason you believe you may be
discontinue Arava treatment for any reason, you should undergo the drug
elimination procedure described below.
discontinuing Arava, your doctor will prescribe a drug elimination
procedure consisting of a full 11-day course of drug elimination
medication followed by 2 separate laboratory blood tests at least 14
days apart to assure a very low drug level in your body. If your drug
levels are too high, your doctor may recommend additional drug
After the drug
elimination procedure, your risk of having a baby with a birth defect is
very low and should be no higher than the risk in the general
population. If you do not follow the drug elimination procedure, it
could take up to 2 years to reach this very low drug level in your
Can I take
Arava if I wish to father a child?
Available information does not suggest that Arava taken by the father
would be associated with an increased risk to the unborn child. To
minimize any possible risk, men wishing to father a child should
consider discontinuing use of Arava and taking cholestyramine 8 grams 3
times daily for 11 days.
should not take Arava?
People who are hypersensitive to any of the ingredients of the product
must not take Arava.
should not be used by nursing mothers.|
not recommended for patients with serious immune deficiencies or
severe uncontrolled infections.|
|If you have
other diseases such as kidney problems, tell your doctor.|
Arava affect my liver?
Arava can cause an increase in liver enzymes. Therefore, your doctor
will monitor your liver enzyme blood test to check for problems and
adjust or discontinue your dose if necessary. Arava is not recommended
in patients with significant liver disease or hepatitis B or C.
cause any side effects?
In clinical trials the most common side effects were: diarrhea, high
liver enzymes, loss or thinning of hair, or rash. Your doctor may
recommend medication if you develop gastrointestinal (stomach/digestive)
problems. However, you may experience other less frequent side effects
not listed here. If you notice any of the listed side effects or any
other problems, talk with your doctor. Arava is not recommended in
patients with significant liver disease or hepatitis B or C.
What if I am
taking other medications?
Let your doctor know about all of the medications you are taking. Most
medications can be given with Arava.
Be sure to
tell your doctor if you are taking cholestyramine, methotrexate, or
If you have
additional questions about Arava, please talk with your doctor.
here for additional important information about Arava™.