Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lefluno What?

Leflunomide otherwise known as Arava, it is the most recent addition to my medication lineup.

It is the one I'm counting on the most right now, to slow down the progression of this disease and allow me to use my body for a whole lot longer.
This drug Leflunomide (Arava) is a DMARD (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug).

It is in the same class as the last one I was on Methotrexate. Unfortunately, I was unable to tolerate the Methotrexate in either the pill or injectable form.

Much like Methotrexate, Leflunomide can cause liver damage and my blood work has to be monitored to make sure everything is OK and I can continue treatment.
My immune system is already compromised because of RA and Sjogrens. This medication lowers the immunity even more. I won't know for a while if this medication is fully benefiting me since like most RA medications it takes time to take full effect. So far I have had no side effects so I'm off to a good start, and I feel good knowing my new rheumatologist is willing to work with me on a medication plan that works.

For those of you reading this who have RA or any autoimmune disease that requires these treatments you will understand this post, the medications, side effects etc.

For those of you who I hope are open to learning about autoimmune diseases, and your only gauge is the ads on TV with Tylenol arthritis for example. Nothing against the medication but it's not our reality. I hope this post changes your mind or at least opens your mind.

On an unrelated note, today I received the arthritis compression gloves that I had ordered. I'm not sure if they will help with swelling or joint damage. I do know that so far, my freezing Raynauds hands feel a lot better wearing them. It may not be a cure all but anything in this cold Minnesota winter comes as a small relief right now.
Biofreeze is also in the picture mostly by accident, but it has helped me a lot with my muscle aches.

I am not endorsing any products or offering any medical advice. Only your doctor can do that. I'm just sharing what has or for that matter hasn't worked for me over the years. I'll let you know more about the gloves as I use them more.

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