When using Arava, the dosage will depend on how you respond to the drug, other medications you are taking, and various other factors. The recommended dose for treating rheumatoid arthritis is 100 mg taken once a day for three days, followed by 20 mg once daily thereafter. However, if you experience side effects or have certain medical conditions, you may need a lower dosage.
The dosage of Arava® (leflunomide) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- How you respond to Arava
- Other medications you are taking
- Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
The recommended Arava dosage for treating rheumatoid arthritis is 100 mg daily for three days, followed by 20 mg once daily thereafter. The initial higher dose of 100 mg daily for three days is called a "loading dose." A loading dose is used to quickly get Arava to effective levels in the blood. However, a loading dose may increase your risk for Arava side effects.
If you are at risk for side effects from Arava, especially liver or blood problems, or are taking certain other medications, your healthcare provider may choose to skip the loading dose and start you on 20 mg daily. In this case, it may take longer for the medicine to start working for you.
Some people may not tolerate 20 mg of Arava a day, due to bothersome side effects. For these people, the dosage may be decreased to 10 mg daily.
Some considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Arava include the following:
- This medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
- You can take Arava with food or on an empty stomach. Try taking it with food if it upsets your stomach.
- You can take this medicine any time of day. Try to take it at the same time each day, as this may help you remember to take the medicine and will maintain an even level of the drug in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
- If you are unsure about anything related to dosing with Arava, please talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.