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Leflunomide for Rheumatoid Arthritis

The prescription drug leflunomide (Arava®) is prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis in adults age 18 and older. It comes in the form of a tablet that is taken once a day.
 
When treating rheumatoid arthritis, leflunomide can help relieve your symptoms, improve physical function, and slow down the progression of the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakes healthy body tissue as foreign matter. As a result, the body attacks its own joints, resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function.
 
As a type of disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), leflunomide works by preventing the body's ability to make certain molecules that cause inflammation and damage joint tissue.
 
(For more information, click What Is Leflunomide Used For?. This eMedTV article provides an in-depth look at using leflunomide for rheumatoid arthritis treatment, including more details on how the drug works and whether there are off-label uses.)
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