"Nov. 6, 2012 -- The FDA has approved Pfizer's Xeljanz (tofacitinib), a first-of-its-kind treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
Xeljanz is approved for use by patients not helped by methotrexate, the usual first treatment for RA. It's a "...
ARAVA is indicated in adults for the treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis (RA):
- to reduce signs and symptoms
- to inhibit structural damage as evidenced by X-ray erosions and joint space narrowing
- to improve physical function. (see Clinical Studies)
Aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents and/or low dose corticosteroids may be continued during treatment with ARAVA (see PRECAUTIONS: DRUG INTERACTIONS – NSAIDs). The combined use of ARAVA with antimalarials, intramuscular or oral gold, D penicillamine, azathioprine, or methotrexate has not been adequately studied. (See WARNINGS -Immunosuppression Potential/Bone Marrow Suppression.)
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Due to the long half-life in patients with RA and recommended dosing interval (24 hours), a loading dose is needed to provide steady-state concentrations more rapidly. It is recommended that ARAVA therapy be initiated with a loading dose of one 100 mg tablet per day for 3 days.
Elimination of the loading dose regimen may decrease the risk of adverse events. This could be especially important for patients at increased risk of hematologic or hepatic toxicity, such as those receiving concomitant treatment with methotrexate or other immunosuppressive agents or on such medications in the recent past. (See WARNINGS - Hepatotoxicity).
Daily dosing of 20 mg is recommended for treatment of patients with RA. A small cohort of patients (n=104), treated with 25 mg/day, experienced a greater incidence of side effects; alopecia, weight loss, liver enzyme elevations. Doses higher than 20 mg/day are not recommended. If dosing at 20 mg/day is not well tolerated clinically, the dose may be decreased to 10 mg daily. Due to the prolonged half-life of the active metabolite of leflunomide, patients should be carefully observed after dose reduction, since it may take several weeks for metabolite levels to decline.
ARAVA Tablets in 10 and 20 mg strengths are packaged in bottles. ARAVA Tablets 100 mg strength are packaged in blister packs.
ARAVA® (leflunomide) Tablets
|10 mg||30 count bottle||0088-2160-30||White, round film-coated tablet embossed with “ZBN” on one side.|
|20 mg||30 count bottle||0088-2161-30||Light yellow, triangular film-coated tablet embossed with “ZBO” on one side.|
|100 mg||3 count blister pack||0088-2162-33||White, round film-coated tablet embossed with “ZBP” on one side.|
Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15-30°C (59-86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature]. Protect from light.
Revised: November 2012. sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/30/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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