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Leflunomide Side Effects

While only some people will experience side effects during treatment with leflunomide, some of these reactions are potentially serious and should be reported to a healthcare provider right away. Contact your healthcare provider if you are taking this drug and experience chest pain, breathing problems, or vision problems. Fortunately, side effects tend to be minor, ranging from things like nausea and diarrhea to headaches.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Leflunomide

Just like any medicine, leflunomide (Arava®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with leflunomide. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Leflunomide Side Effects

Some side effects are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, especially of the mouth, lips, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Signs of liver problems, such as:
    • Dark urine
    • Loss of appetite
    • Fatigue or excessive tiredness
    • Pain in the right upper part of the abdomen (stomach)
    • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath, new onset or worsening cough, or other breathing problems
  • Swelling in the extremities, such as the arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), which may cause dry mouth, thirst, blurred vision, and dizziness
  • Changes in mood, such as depression, anxiety, or sleeping problems
  • Signs of an infection, such as fever, body aches, fatigue, or a general feeling of discomfort
  • Vision problems, such as blurred or cloudy vision
  • Tingling, pricking, or numbing sensations of the skin
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Signs of blood cell problems, such as:
    • Fatigue or extreme weakness or tiredness
    • Paleness
    • Easy bruising or bleeding
    • Frequent infections.
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Leflunomide Drug Information

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