Arava is brand name for leflunomide. It is used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces damage on bone joints and improves physical functioning. It is also used for other purposes. Arava was manufactured by Aventis Pharmaceuticals. It was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998. Around 1.5 million people have used this drug since its approval.

In rheumatoid arthritis immune system of the body attacks healthy tissues as it fails to recognize them. It starts acting on healthy tissues as well as defective ones. Arava reduces the joint damage. Joint pain and swelling also decreases with use of it. Arava weakens the immune system and prevents it from attacking on healthy tissues. It is also used for other purposes such as prevention of rejection of organ transplant as well. It is an oral medicine and should be taken as prescribed by doctor. Patients should discuss with their doctor about its dosage, side effects and other details.

It was later linked to severe liver damages. The severe side effects of Arava include persistent cough, numbness or tingling of hands or feet and hair loss, chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeat, increased thirst and urination, acute muscle cramp or pain, mental changes or mood changes, vision changes, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual growths or lumps, swollen glands or lymph nodes, unexplained weight loss, unusual tiredness and weak immune system. It can also produce severe allergic reactions such as rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; blisters on the inside of the eyes, nose, or mouth.

In July 2010 FDA added information on severe liver injury through the Boxed Warning on label of Arava. Previously black box warning only indicated contraindication in pregnant women, or women of childbearing age who were not using any contraception. FDA conducted a review on adverse effects of Arava. This review included 14 cases of fatal liver failure, between August 2002 and May 2009. This review revealed that patients using Arava were at greater risk of developing liver diseases compared to those who are not using this medicine.

Who can file an Arava Lawsuit?

Anyone who or whose close ones have suffered fatal side effects due to use of Arava can file an Arava lawsuit against Aventis. These side effects may be severe liver damage, lymphoma, blood disorders, high blood pressure, severe diarrhea, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, elevated level of liver enzymes, or death. Patients or relatives of patients, who died can file a claim against the manufacturer and ask for medical expenses and compensation for pain and sufferings.

How to file a Lawsuit against Arava?

You can file an individual lawsuit or join a class action suit as suggested by your lawyer. To file your suit prefer a lawyer who has experience in such cases. You can choose a law firm, which has experience and expertise in mass torts or product liability lawsuits. Joining a class action can be beneficial, if you have the similar case as the representative case of the class. It will save your time as well as money. You would also be able to avail expertise of many attorneys representing cases in the class. It will also save you from contrary verdicts.
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Author's Bio: 

Jack Taylor Powers Taylor LLP is a boutique litigation firm that represents people injured by unsafe drugs. The attorneys of Powers Taylor founded this firm to focus on client needs. We employ unique and creative litigation strategies to obtain decisive results for our clients.