Health Guide
Drug Guide

Teriflunomide (Oral route)

Pronunciation:

ter-i-FLOO-noe-mide

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Warnings:

Oral route(Tablet)

Severe liver injury, including fatal liver failure, has been reported in patients receiving leflunomide, and a similar risk is expected with teriflunomide. Teriflunomide use is contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment. Concomitant use with other hepatotoxic drugs may increase the risk of liver injury. Monitoring is recommended and discontinuation of therapy, including an accelerated elimination procedure, is advised if liver injury is suspected. Teriflunomide may cause major birth defects if used during pregnancy. Pregnancy must be excluded before starting treatment with teriflunomide. Teriflunomide is contraindicated in pregnant women or women of childbearing potential who are not using reliable contraception. Pregnancy must be avoided during teriflunomide treatment or prior to the completion of the drug elimination procedure after treatment .

Classifications:

Therapeutic

Central Nervous System Agent

Pharmacologic

Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibitor

Uses of This Medicine:

Teriflunomide is used to treat the relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). This medicine will not cure MS, but it may slow some disabling effects and decrease the number of relapses of the disease.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of teriflunomide in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of teriflunomide in patients over the age of 65 years. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersXStudies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breast-feeding

Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using this medicine.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not suddenly stop using it, do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. It is very important that you read and understand this information. Be sure to ask your doctor about anything you do not understand.

You may take this with or without food.

Teriflunomide may stay in your blood for up to 2 years after your treatment. Your doctor may want you to use activated charcoal or cholestyramine (Questran®) to help remove this medicine from the body much faster if necessary. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about this.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Teriflunomide may also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. Men taking teriflunomide should use condoms as a form of birth control during sexual intercourse. A man intending to father a child should stop taking this medicine and check with his doctor right away.

Do not use this medicine together with leflunomide (Arava®). Using these medicines together may cause serious unwanted effects.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Teriflunomide can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

You will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis before you start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis test.

While you are being treated with teriflunomide, for at least 6 months you stop using it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Live virus vaccines should not be given while receiving this medicine.

Using this medicine may increase your risk of getting cancers, including blood cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.

Check with your doctor right away if you are having burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition called peripheral neuropathy.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, fever or chills.

Teriflunomide may cause serious allergic reactions affecting multiple body organs (eg, liver or kidneys). Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: a fever, dark urine, headache, rash, stomach pain, swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin, unusual tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin.

Check with your doctor right away if you have a cough with or without a fever or trouble breathing while taking this medicine.

You will need to have your blood pressure measured before starting this medicine and while you are using it. If you notice any change to your recommended blood pressure, call your doctor right away. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Body aches or pain
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
chills
cough
cough producing mucus
diarrhea
difficulty breathing
ear congestion
fever
general feeling of discomfort or illness
headache
joint pain
loss of appetite
loss of voice
muscle aches and pains
nasal congestion
nausea
runny nose
shivering
sneezing
sore throat
sweating
tightness in the chest
trouble sleeping
unusual tiredness or weakness
vomiting
Less common
Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
agitation
black, tarry stools
bloody or cloudy urine
blurred vision
burning, numbness, pain, or tingling in all fingers except smallest finger
clay colored stools
coma
confusion
dark urine
decreased appetite
decreased urine output
depression
diarrhea
difficult, burning, or painful urination
dizziness
fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
frequent urge to urinate
hostility
irritability
itching or skin rash
lethargy
loss of appetite
lower back or side pain
muscle twitching
pale skin
pounding in the ears
rapid weight gain
seizures
slow or fast heartbeat
stupor
swelling of the feet or lower legs
ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
unusual bleeding or bruising
weakness or heaviness of the legs
yellow eyes or skin
Rare
Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
joint pain
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, irritated eyes

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Hair loss or thinning of the hair
Less common
Blemishes on the skin
bone pain
burning, dry, or itching eyes
difficulty with moving
discharge or excessive tearing
full or bloated feeling
muscle cramping or stiffness
pain in the lower back, bottom, or hips
pain in the upper leg
pimples
pressure in the stomach
redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
swollen joints
toothache
weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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