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Precautions and Warnings With Leflunomide

People with liver disease or elevated liver enzymes should not take leflunomide. Other warnings and precautions include being aware of drug interactions and certain complications that should be reported to your healthcare provider right away. Also, you should not use this drug while pregnant or if you have certain allergies.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Leflunomide?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking leflunomide (Arava®) if you have:
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • A history of abnormal liver function tests
  • A history of alcoholism or currently drink large amounts of alcohol
  • Blood problems, including anemia or low blood platelets
  • Bone marrow problems
  • A weakened immune system, due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), or any other cause
  • Frequent or uncontrolled infections, or currently have an infection
  • Cancer, or a history of cancer
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lung problems
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
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