When you use Arava, you are using a type of medication that is known as a disease modifying antiarrhythmic drug. Although it will not remove the rheumatoid arthritis and improve your health in that way, it may help to decrease the amount of joint damage that occurs and the disability that may exist as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. One of the ways in which this medication works is by blocking DNA formation that is an important part of cell replication. In that way, it reduces the effectiveness of your immune system by suppressing it to relieve inflammation and pain caused by that autoimmune disorder.
Dr. Lavery should give you a thorough examination before he prescribes this or any other medication. He will discuss the types of drugs that you are currently taking as well as any that may or may not have worked for you in the past. You also want to discuss the potential for side effects when you take Arava or any other medication. For this particular drug, about one out of every five patients experiences diarrhea but there may be other side effects associated with it as well. These can include nausea, indigestion, hair loss, rash and stomach pain. It can also affect the test results from a liver function test or decrease your platelet and blood cell counts.
It can be very difficult to live with rheumatoid arthritis but you don't need to live with symptoms. Talk to Dr. Lavery about the possibility of using Arava and/or other medications to help give you the relief you need.