arava / Leflunomide

Hi can anyone tell me why after Being on MTX with not much benefit I was given Arava / Leflunomide but the chemist couldn't give me a repeat from my gp surgery this morning and said only the hospital can prescribe this drug , was only given a months and next rheumy appointment is end march can't get reply from my consultants secretary . Why can't gp prescribe this drug would of thought mtx would of been the same . Is it dangerous or something . Also only given 3 blood test forms for every 2 weeks for 6 weeks . Any info would be appreciated Thanks Teresa x

13 Replies

  • Hi, I could be wrong but I have a feeling if the hospital prescribes something it has to continue...and visa versa with GP but as I said I could be very I.d keep ringing department...can you get hold of rheumy nurses? They should be able to help you, hope you sort it out soon. Maryx

  • These medications, DMARD (s) are immuno suppressants that are used in the treatments of cancer.

    RA condition causes your immune system to overwork so DMARD will slow it down, .

    Under those circumstances the medication is CYTONIC, think that is the word, so needs a hospital Consultant to prescribe it, hence home delivery


  • DMARDS are not normally on home delivery and the word you are looking for is cytotoxic

  • When I was given the methotrexate via consultant I got my repeats from gp , so thought this would just be the same , I've never seen a rheumy nurse or been given any access to one will have to ask at my next appointment , will just have to keep calling and leaving messages still waiting for a reply to my email sent 2 weeks ago . Thanks for the info regards Teresa

  • When I was on leflun. I had it on repeat, from my dr. The hosp originally prescribed it, informed my doc, and it was just added to my repeat meds

  • My GP writes my prescriptions for me. My rheumy wrote to them that I was supposed to have it, and they've given me the prescription ever since. And yes, it is dangerous, it is cytotoxic. At least as dangerous as metho. It can affect your liver, your kidneys and it also lowers you immunity (white blood cells). I have a blood test every 8 weeks. keep trying your rheumy's secretary and let them know you need some more, or to ask if they will write to your GP to inform them you are to have it on a regular basis.

  • As I understand from my consultant.......the specialist, ie the rheum. Consultant prescribes the specific drug for RA, whether that be DMARDS or biologics. However he will have told your GP so I would try your GP and your rheum. Nurse. It may well be that you will not get on repeat prescription however all you will need to do is contact your GP


  • Thank you everyone just got a call from rheumys secretary and she said I can only get it from the hospital at the moment whilst being monitored for 6 -9 months then if no problems they could hand over the monitoring to my gp . Should of been given 3 months not 1 , and enough blood test forms for every 2 weeks for 12 weeks . Seems to vary in different areas , was confused because I was given mtx straightaway by my gp . I've felt quite poorly this 2 weeks since starting it bit dizzy and feeling sick and tired but going to persevere see how it goes . Hope you are all not in too much pain and managing your RA .

  • HOORAY, success. All the best.

    Kath xx

  • Yeah thanks kath , she said she hadn't received my email ?. All sorted for now . You are all so informative on here I'm very grateful learnt so much through this site , so big pat on the back for everyone .x

  • Good stuff, glad it got sorted relatively quickly for you xc

  • DMARDs are usually only prescribed by GPs when they have a "shared care" agreement for you with the rheumatologist. Its a kind of contract for individual patient care that sets out what the GP is responsible for and when they are to refer back to the rheumatologist. It may be that in your case, there wasn't a proper agreement in place for this, so you can't be given that med in primary care right now. Ask your GP or rheum nurse to try and sort it out for you if you can't get onto the consultant.

  • Thanks will find out more on my next appointment regards Teresa

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