Arava Uses

How Does It Work?

Arava belongs to a class of medications called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). DMARDs are a group of drugs that work in different ways to slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
Arava works by blocking the body's ability to make molecules called pyrimidines. T cells are a type of immune cell known to be overactive in people with rheumatoid arthritis. They produce chemicals that cause inflammation and damage joint tissue. T cells need pyrimidines to divide, or reproduce. By inhibiting pyrimidine production, Arava prevents T cells from reproducing, thereby reducing inflammation and preventing joint damage.
DMARDs, such as Arava, are not designed to provide immediate relief from symptoms. Therefore, they may be used with medicines that can relieve ongoing symptoms, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or low doses of prednisone.

Can Children Use Arava?

This medication has not been approved for use in children, as it has not been adequately studied in children (usually defined as individuals younger than 18 years old). However, it is sometimes used "off-label" in children. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Arava in your child.

Can Older Adults Use Arava?

Yes -- Arava can be used in older adults. In clinical trials, people over the age of 65 responded no differently to Arava then younger age groups. Because older adults are more likely to have multiple medical conditions and to take multiple medications, they may need to be monitored more closely while taking Arava.

Is Arava Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this drug for treating something other than rheumatoid arthritis. This would be known as an "off-label" use. For example, Arava may be prescribed off-label to treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis, sometimes called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Arava is also sometimes used off-label for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis (see Arava and Psoriatic Arthritis for more information).
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Arava Medication Information

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