I need information on Avara

1 year 1 month ago #2969 by Perecrishent
Hi there everyone. I want to learn and get as much information as possible about Avara (leflumonide). That’s, of course, because I intend to get on this medication (in fact, I already am, but I think to stay on it). The previous medication that I have taken was Methotrexate but I just cannot tolerate on this one and so, my rheumatologist has given me a prescription for this Avara and so I started to take it. Of course, before taking anything I want to learn as much as I can about this specific drug so I started to do an online research. Well, I must say that from that search that I have already done online on the internet, this medication really doesn’t seem to be a very up to date (or a popular drug) for the rheumatoid arthritis that I have (reactive arthritis) – must mention that my autoimmune disease has still not been properly diagnosed. I am just wondering if here is someone else who has ever heard or maybe even have taken this Avara. Since it is not so popular I am not having big hopes but still… maybe someone here used it. I want to ask how did it made you feel? How well/ bad it works on long term? What should I know? Must say that so far it does seems to be working pretty fine.

Well.. to explain it a bit more better… I am currently living in a rather a ‘backward’ country and to be honest, I am not absolutely all 100% sure that this is the right medication that I must stay on. Maybe I am wrong, and I wish I am, but I still think that it is much better safe than sorry.

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1 year 1 month ago #2970 by Antict
Replied by Antict on topic I need information on Avara
Hello there OP, I must confess to you that, in fact, absolutely all of the available medications out there given for RA, are all scary as hell, all of them.. and I do not mean to scare you or anything, I just want to help, mostly to warn you. The reason why I tell you this is that these are some very strong medications but I guess you do know that since a medication I strong, it also has strong side effects. To be honest, it is absolutely no wonder the fact that you have not been able to tolerate the methotrexate. In fact, I can tell you that there are very few people who actually can tolerate it. That’s a pretty nasty stuff.

Now, in regards to Arava… methotrexate indeed it is a more (much more) popular RA drug than Arava, but you should know that Arava it is a newer drug in comparison to methotrexate. Then, the next step up would be such biologics as for example the Enbrel and Remicade, I guess you’ve heard about these. Both these drugs, I must warn you, are some extremely EXTREMELY expensive drugs. I mean, by far not all people can afford them since Enbrel, for example, it is $3500 per month in USA (not sure how in other countries) so… although one good thing is that the Amgen company is having a great program for those people who are not able to afford it since as much as you can guess – lots of people are like that.

Whatever the case, you said that you already used Arava by itself and that it works so far... well, I can say that as much as you keep taking it and it continues to work then just stick with it. As far as it works and it doesn’t give you insupportable side effects then everything would be alright. In terms of long term side effects. I guess there’s always a risk with any drugs and plus, there might be people who wouldn’t get any long term side effects while others would. You never know how it is going to be for you and that’s why it is so important for you to keep up on the regular blood tests to see if everything’s alright, but I still think that your doctor will want you to take those tests and he/ she would keep remembering you about the importance of tests (and if you haven’t already been told I tell you: your doctor needs to keep a close eye on your liver in the first place). And yeah, it is logic that since this medication is affecting your liver, you shouldn’t be taking any other substances that can affect your liver, I guess your doctor already told you this but I just want to make sure that you do know this (in case he missed this part) and to make you understand the importance of not taking substance affecting liver (since there are more people tell you the same thing). Such substances are alcohol and Tylenol as well as number other medications. If you want to know what I would suggest then I can tell you this: before taking any other medication at all (regardless if it is OTC or prescribed) search if it affects liver. If it does then talk to your doctor first. And yeah… forget about alcohol (but I guess you do know this).

I have to say that I did have taken Avara (and still do) and I have also used methotrexate as well (which, by the way, it is very hard on the liver as well) and plus to that, I have also used both of them concomitantly together (but from my experience I tell you – nowadays that’s a complete no no for me!). that is because my liver has suffered a lot because of this horrible combination. It does a big damage to it. Luckily my liver has survived, but there were chances that it would not and I was trying really hard to keep it safe as well. And plus to that, I have never had any elevated results… in short – only damages. And as I said, I was trying to keep it safe. Of course I was EXTREMELY careful on not taking absolutely anything that can damage my liver and I have also been trying to eat in a way that could help my liver and plus I was also regularly using an herbal supplement that it is being called milk thistle and that stuff is considered to be a really good support for the liver. I’ve gotta say that I was reading a lot about it, I have been doing lots of research in regards to liver health and so on and so forth. Been talking to people and read lots of thread on liver health. I suggest you to read some of them as they are really interesting and most importantly – are very useful for you in your situation as it is for me, of course.

And yeah, by the way, one last thing here. I am currently using Enbrel (I’m now finally having an insurance) and plus to that, I am still using Arava as well (I mentioned earlier that I take Arava). With these 2 I am feeling much better and I did tried to stay only on Enbrel, however it did seemed like I need to that that little extra in order to keep my RA under control, I mean, under full control where I can say that I nearly feel absolutely fine with absolutely no problems since, even with the Enbrel (which by the way is working extremely well, none the less). By the way, I am not trying to ban methotrexate saying that it is a bad medication or trying to say that Enbrel it is a lot much better and that everyone should choose it. However, what I am trying to say is that this IS true, but only for me. Maybe for someone else that’s different. So I just try to say that you’ve gotta search it yourself and see how it is working. Maybe this is going to help you a bit.

Anyway, OP, for how long you have been having RA. Maybe you would like to ask something else? Generally, if you feel like you want to talk about this then you’ve gotta know that I am always here for you for a fellow RA sufferer. I’m just trying to help because I do know what’s that to suffer from RA and not to find a medication that would help. As I said – I was in such a situation. All the best!

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1 year 1 month ago #2971 by Perecrishent
Antict, I just want to say that I am very and very thankful to you. Thank you extremely much for everything, for taking your time to write that down and to reply my post with some really useful for me information. I did found something very useful and it was very kind of you to do that for me.

I must say that I am very pleased to see that you are using this medication Arava and that it is working for you (even if it does along with Enbrel, it is always better to have 2 medications that work in combination than not to have any medication that works). Whatever the case… as I have already mentioned it a bit earlier… my main concern in regards to specifically this medication is that it does not seem to be very popular medication. It is not one of the top used medications for RA and I’m not sure if that’s correct to think the way I do but this rather concerns me a little bit… that’s because… if it would be really that helpful then wouldn’t it be a bit more popular (top used) medication? Since it is not, this leads me to think that it is either not really helpful or that it gives too much/ too severe side effects. I really hope I’m wrong with this one… and the reason why I must take is that… after the first drug (methotrexate) has not worked for me because of too many side effects, this has been the only other drug that my rheumatologist has been willing to prescribe to me. Again, maybe that’s wrong the way I think of this medication and generally, however I just want to make sure that my doctor won’t put in my body some kind of less effective/ cheaper drug, it is obvious that I would rather take something that’s more helpful/ more potent. And, to be honest, I do think now that this drug really is less effective/ cheaper drug if comparing this stuff to Enbrel, which, as you have already said it up there $3500 per month… that’s just a crazy amount to pay for it. For some people out there, their month salary is less than that.

And yeah, in regards to your last question about how long I suffer from it… well, I have had rheumatoid arthritis /reactive arthritis for approximately 2 years or so now (maybe a little bit more). But I can tell you guys that it came on extremely suddenly and quickly (within a matter of some weeks actually) and this is the reason why I tend to think more that it is Reactive Arthritis, in fact. And yeah, I must say… I do know some of you might think that this is nonsense or something as I know this sounds nuts, however it has actually started to appear after I have had a tooth implant. I just hope I’m not the one crazy here, LOL.

Whatever the case, a lot of thanks for your really helpful post… I really, REALLY appreciate it very much and I think that I shall continue taking the Arava since you say that it is helpful. I just hope that it is going to be helpful continuously for me as well!

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1 year 1 month ago #2972 by Melissa
Replied by Melissa on topic I need information on Avara
So well… I just think that you might want to get yourself a second opinion on RA. I would generally try to get as many opinions as possible, but it is always important to have 2 opinions from 2 different medical professionals. i personaIly am suffering and had RA since the age of 9 and I can tell you with certitude that this is not a ‘sudden’ on set disease, it ‘works’ a bit differently. You’ve gotta know that there are some several tests that surely need to be taken in order to properly diagnose including, howeer not limited to: RA factor (approximately 70 to 90% of all people who are suffering from RA are also testing positive for this as well), SED rate, the ANA profile, T cell and so on and so forth. Best wishes to you.

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1 year 1 month ago #2973 by Undone
Replied by Undone on topic I need information on Avara
Hello Perecrishent, I’ve gotta tell you that I am currently using Arava and that I have been on this drug for a good while now. Plus to that, I must say that I have also used methotrexate which has worked very and very well for me for approximately 3 years, but the reason that I have then stopped to take it is that it stopped from working. I am sorry that you couldn’t bear the methotrexate’s side effects. If you wouldn’t have them you would have seen that this is a really good/ helpful stuff. I’m really sorry that it has stopped working for me, I had a good time with it. I also can say that besides Arava and methotrexate, I have also taken Plaquenil, it has been when have been firstly diagnosed with RA and I have been on that drug for a year but for me it was an useless thing. Maybe other people would post here some better reviews about Plaquenil but I did not like it, not at all as it has done nothing for me and those side effects I have had for the eyes have surely scared me to death! So I stopped with that.

Anyhow, I can tell you that I used to think that the Arava was not really working for me either and this is why I have then stopped to use it for like approximately one year or so and after that I have re started to use it once again and that is how I have found out that it does work, at least fairly well, if not amazingly good! I have come to this conclusion because I feel that I am surely feeling a lot much more better on it than when I am not on it so now I know that Arava does indeed make an amazing job. I have to say that in my opinion, you shouldn’t be worried because as I said, I use Arava and it works and plus to that, as you can see, there is another person who uses Arava and also says good things about it. For me it helps very good with pain and also with the energy too as I am having a lot much more energy too. I’ve gotta say that I would really like to try out Enbrel myself as I do read very good reviews about this stuff, however the combination of no insurance as well as no ability to get a regular ride the 45 -47 miles that I would need to travel in order to get the injections it makes it all pretty much near to impossible to do it. If you do have an insurance then maybe you should talk with your doctor about Enbrel as well if you think/ feel that Arava is not enough to do the job and the side effects of methotrexate are indeed impossible to bear as you say it is. I wish you good luck and I hope you’re going to deal with it!

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