Generic Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Launched by Sanofi

Arava can reduce RA symptoms and slow down associated structural damage.

Arava can reduce RA symptoms and slow down associated structural damage.

Sanofi has launched a generic version of the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug leflunomide (Arava).

Arava works by blocking the autoimmune antibodies that reduce inflammation in the body, allowing for more mobility in RA patients. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as Arava can reduce RA signs and symptoms, as well as slow down associated structural damage.

"More than 1.5 million Americans live with RA…(which) can cause swelling, pain, and deformity in your joints, making simple tasks like getting out of a car or buttoning a shirt difficult," stated Sanofi global chief medical officer Paul Chew in a press release. "We want to lessen that burden for people living with RA."

Adverse effects of Arava include cloudy urine, cough, painful breathing, fever, and dizziness. Less common adverse effects include joint pain, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Arava was first approved by the FDA in 1998.