Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Leflunomide and liver failure

The FDA just expanded the black box warning on leflunomide( ARAVA), a drug that is sometimes used to treat BK Nephritis in Transplant patients. A recent report showed 49 cases of severe liver toxicity from 2002-2009. Usually the reactions were noted in the first 12 months post use of the drug.  The greatest risk occurred in patients taking other drugs that may cause liver damage while taking leflunomide and in patients with preexisting liver disease. 

This comes as a shock to some of us in the transplant community as we do use this medication for treatment of BK Nephritis. There is so little in the form of treatment available for BK, this black box warning might make leflunomide not a very user friendly drug anymore. 

1 comment:

  1. I have never thought of leflunomide as "user friendly". Also, I was not aware of much data to support the use of leflunamide. I do, however, see it used quite a lot. Seems like a difficult drug to dose as well. What are your thoughts.


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