Clinical EffectsIn clinical studies, Arava has been shown to reduce symptoms and increase physical function in people with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as to slow down the progression of the disease. Symptoms, such as painful, swollen, and tender joints, were improved within one month of giving people Arava. Improvements in physical function occurred after six months of treatment, and included an improved ability to walk, dress, and get up from a seated position.
In these studies, Arava was shown to be more effective than a placebo (a sugar pill that does not contain any active ingredients). It also worked as well as two other medicines used to treat rheumatoid arthritis: methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®) and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®, Azulfidine EN-tabs®).
When and How to Take ItSome general 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 will help you remember to take it and will maintain an even level of the drug in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
Dosing InformationThe dose of Arava 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 dose unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
(Click Arava Dosage for more information.)