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Arava is prescribed in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces:
- Improves physical function;
- Staves off the joint damage that ultimately results;
- Swelling associated with this disease;
- The pain;
You MUST NOT take Arava if you are pregnant; Arava can harm the developing baby. If you are still in your childbearing years,
your doctor will want to see negative results from a pregnancy test before starting you on Arava. You'll need to use
reliable contraceptive measures as long as you take the drug.
If you become pregnant while taking Arava, your doctor will stop the drug immediately and prescribe a regimen of
cholestyramine (Questran) in 8-gram doses 3 times a day for 11 days. Questran helps to clear Arava from the bloodstream,
possibly preventing harm to the unborn child.
Arava side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
- weight loss;
- urinary tract infection;
- tendon inflammation;
- stomach inflammation;
- sore throat;
- respiratory infection;
- mouth ulcers;
- loss of appetite;
- joint disorders;
- high blood pressure;
- hair loss;
- back pain;
- abdominal pain;
The recommended starting dose is one 100-mg tablet daily for the first 3 days. If you have an increased risk for blood disorders or liver problems, your doctor may choose to eliminate the 100-mg starting dose to reduce the risk of serious side effects.
After the first 3 days, the doctor will reduce the dose to 20 mg a day. If side effects appear, the dose may be further decreased to 10 mg a day.
Arava is not recommended for children less than 18 years old.
It is best to have a discussion with your doctor prior to taking Arava as there may be cases when it is not advisable to take the drug. Let your doctor know of any allergy from food, preservatives, dyes, or other substances, and if you are experiencing medical conditions such as:
- Disease of the immune system;
- Liver disease including hepatitis b or c;
- Renal disease - may increase the chance of side effects;
- Serious infections - Arava may lessen the body's ability to combat infection;
Arava is not safe for use by pregnant women. It contains chemicals that may be harmful to the unborn baby and may result to birth defects. Women of childbearing age are suggested to use only safe and reliable contraceptives before incurring Arava.
It is uncertain if Arava passes into breast milk. Nonetheless, nursing moms are not advised to take Arava.
Children, 18 years of age and below, are prohibited of taking Arava though there is not enough information provided as to its effects compared with other age groups. Likewise, it is not known how Arava works for the elderly as it has not been specifically studied for older adults. Various side effects and other problems may arise.
Men taking Arava are recommended to use condoms during sexual intercourse as a form of birth control. No study has been done to answer as to how Arava may affect children of men taking the drug at the time of conception. In case you decide to father a child, have a talk with your doctor and stop Arava.
Arava Intake Guidelines
Average oral dosage (tablets) for rheumatoid arthritis:
- Children - dosage is decided by the doctor;
- Adults - 100mg once a day for three days, then 20mg once a day;
Arava must be taken as prescribed in the label. However, the dose may differ from every patient. Do not change the dose unless directed by your doctor.
Arava Missed Dose
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. Should you forget to take the scheduled dosage until the following day, skip it and proceed with the next one. Arava must not be double dosed.
If symptoms of Overdosage are suspected, consult your doctor for the proper medical action.
Arava Side Effects
Consult your doctor if you experience any of these unwanted effects
- Yellow eyes and/or skin;
- Sore throat;
- Nausea and/or vomi ting;
- Loss of appetite;
- Frequent urge to urinate;
- Difficulty or pain in breathing;
- Difficult, burning, or painful urination;
- Chest congestion;
- Bloody or cloudy urine;
- Unusual tiredness or weakness;
- Tenderness in the stomach area;
- Shortness of breath;
- Severe stomach pain;
- Pounding heartbeat;
- Joint or muscle pain or stiffness;
- Fast heartbeat;
- Chest pain;
- Burning, prickling, or tingling sensation in the fingers and/or toes;
- Burning feeling in the chest or stomach;
Other side effects may likely arise. These are expected as the body adjusts to the medication. However, should these conditions continue to be bothersome, see your doctor.
- Back pain;
- Hair loss;
- Skin rash;
- Stomach pain;
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Skin itching;
- Runny nose;
- Red or irritated eyes;
- Pain or burning in the throat;
- Irritation or soreness of the mouth;
- Dry mouth;
- Decreased appetite;
For other side effects that you may experience and is not included in the list, talk with your doctor.
Refrain from drinking alcohol while taking Arava. It can increase the chance of having liver problems.
Do not have immunizations or vaccinations without consulting your doctor first while under medication or after treatment of Arava.
Tell your doctor if you are taking other prescribed or over-the-counter medicines. Change of dose or additional precautions may be necessary.
Arava Other Brand Names
In some countries Arava may be known as: