Leflunomide reactions?

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OK, so I broke down and got the Rx for the Leflunomide since my Rheumatologist refused to prescribe anything non-pharma (I may look for a new doctor) and I start a new job soon. My question is, I took my first pill last night and today has been the worst day of pain I've had in months. I don't feel sick or anything but the pain is brutal. I rarely see side effects from drugs, but has anyone else felt worse when starting this drug? I understand it could be coincidence, but I thought I'd ask if anyone has ever had an opposite reaction the first time taking this med?

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Haven't heard of that. More than likely you're just flaring and the drug has to build up in your system, so I seriously doubt it's the drug.

    Or it could be that you're dead set against using an RX drug that your mind is playing tricks.

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    • Posted

      If I was dead set against this drug I wouldn't have started taking it. It could be a flare up. I was just asking if anyone had ever dealt with having a reverse reaction.
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    l don't think the pain you're experiencing get is the Leflunomide. In all probability it is coincidence and you're having a flare. Persevere for a few more days, I'm sure you'll find things will get better. I would expect any side effects to be feeling nauseous or having a rash. I once had sulphasalazine, it made me feel sick and I lost my sense of taste and smell for a while. Odd reactions I know, but never had more pain as a reaction.

    good luck

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    • Posted

      Thanks Linda. I kind of figured it was a coincidental flare up. I'm currently up at 3am, awoken from the extreme pain in my hands and wrists. I'm exhausted. Lying down exacerbates the pain and tingling. I'm already tired of this damned illnes.
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  • Posted

    Sue, it can take up to twelve weeks for these drugs to start working. If the pain is unbearable ask your rheumatologist which pain relief they would recommend while you're waiting for it to kick in. Don't try to be brave, you need sleep to be able to cope.

     

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    • Posted

      Yes, my doctor told me it may take 2-3 months to take effect. The pain is so bad today that nothing is helping. I've tried ice, heat, pain meds, ibuprofen...nothing is making much of a difference. And I'm exhausted but if I lay down the pain gets worse in my wrist and hand. sad
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  • Posted

    Just as an FYI to anyone that starts taking the Leflunomide and deals with bad flare ups initially, I asked my Rheumatologist about something completely different, but mentioned a brutal flare up the night after taking the medication and he said, "...some individuals have worsening of their arthritis w/ the addition of a new medication." So it definitely IS a possible side effect. 
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  • Posted

    That may be....but here's the thing:  there wasn't enough time [overnight] for the drug to get into the system and cause those symptoms.

    When people are resistent to take a med, as you apparently were [as noted by your desire to get a non-pharm treatment], they will "experience" all sorts of reactions. It's a psychological thing. I'll bet that if and when you realize that this is a chronic, serious disease that requires REAL meds, and you're in enough pain, you won't experience the overnight reactions. It's a mind game.

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