Do not take Leflunomide medac if you have ever had an allergic reaction to leflunomide especially a serious skin reaction, often accompanied by fever, joint pain, red skin stains, or blisters e.g. Steven-Johnson syndrome, peanut or soya or to any of the other ingredients of Leflunomide medac, if you have any liver problems, if you have moderate to severe kidney problems, if you have severely low numbers of proteins in your blood hypoproteinaemia, if you suffer from any problem which affects your immune system e.g. AIDS, if you have any problem with your bone marrow, or if you have low numbers of red or white cells in your blood or a reduced number of blood platelets, if you are suffering from a serious infection, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Take special care with Leflunomide medac
- if you have ever suffered from tuberculosis (a lung disease),
- if you are male and wish to father a child, as Leflunomide medac can cause birth defects in new born infants. To minimise any possible risk, men wishing to father a child should contact their doctor who may advise you to stop taking Leflunomide medac and take certain medicines to speed up the removal of Leflunomide medac from your body. You will then need a blood test to make sure that Leflunomide medac has been sufficiently removed from your body, and you should then wait for at least another 3 months.
Leflunomide medac can occasionally cause some problems with your blood, liver or lungs. It may also cause some serious allergic reactions, or increase the chance of a severe infection. For more information on these, please read section 4 (Possible Side Effects).
Your doctor will carry out blood tests at regular intervals, before and during treatment with Leflunomide medac, to monitor your blood cells and liver. Your doctor will also check your blood pressure regularly as Leflunomide medac can cause an increase in blood pressure.
Use in children
Leflunomide medac is not recommended for use in children and adolescents below 18 years of age.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.
This is especially important if you are taking:
- other medicines for rheumatoid arthritis such as antimalarials (e.g. chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine), intramuscular or oral gold, D-penicillamine, azathioprine and other immunosuppressive drugs (e.g. methotrexate) as these combinations are not advisable,
a medicine called colestyramine used to reduce high cholesterol or activated charcoal as these medicines can reduce the amount of Leflunomide medac which is absorbed by the body,
phenytonin used to treat epilepsy, Warfarin or phenprocoumon used to thin the blood or tolbutamide used to treat type 2 diabetes as these medicines may increase the risk of side effects.
If you are already taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and/or corticosteroids, you may continue to take them after starting Leflunomide medac.
If you have to be vaccinated, ask your doctor for advice. Certain vaccinations should not be given while taking Leflunomide medac, and for a certain amount of time after stopping treatment.
Taking Leflunomide medac with food and drink
Leflunomide medac may be taken with or without food.
It is not recommended to drink alcohol during treatment with Leflunomide medac. Drinking alcohol while taking Leflunomide medac may increase the chance of liver damage.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not take Leflunomide medac if you are, or think you may be pregnant. Women of childbearing potential must not take Leflunomide medac without using reliable contraceptive measures.
Tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant after stopping treatment with Leflunomide medac, as you need to ensure that all traces of Leflunomide medac have left your body before trying to become pregnant. This may take up to 2 years. This may be reduced to a few weeks by taking certain medicines which speed up removal of Leflunomide medac from your body.
In either case it should be confirmed by a blood test that Leflunomide medac has been sufficiently removed from your body and you should then wait for at least another month before you become pregnant.
For further information on the laboratory testing please contact your doctor.
If you suspect that you are pregnant while taking Leflunomide medac or in the two years after you have stopped treatment, you must contact your doctor immediately for a pregnancy test. If the test confirms that you are pregnant, your doctor may suggest treatment with certain medicines to speed up the removal of Leflunomide medac from the body, as this may decrease the risk to your baby.
Do not take Leflunomide medac when you are breast-feeding, as leflunomide passes into the breast milk.
Driving and using machines
Leflunomide medac can make you feel dizzy which may impair your ability to concentrate and react. If you are affected, do not drive or use machines.
Important information about some of the ingredients of Leflunomide medac
Leflunomide medac contains lactose. If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.
Leflunomide medac contains soya lecithin. If you are allergic to peanut or soya, do not use this medicinal product.