Leflunomide. & high blood pressure

Hi everyone.not been on here for a while. Has anyone had high blood pressure whilst on leflunomide/Arava. Not been feeling too good lately had bp done this morning at llyods chemist & was 178/108 I presume this is bit high . I've Been on new med 13 weeks & ive not felt any relief from my SERON NEG RA & FMS . Had mtx didn't work so was changed for this and I'm still on hydrox & sulphazine .

Blood glucose was 6.6 so they want to do fasting glucose next week . These are all new Symptoms for me so was wondering if its the leflunomide ? Any info would be much appreciated also keep getting really tender under armpits but can't feel any lumps sometimes groin area is tender as well .

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12 Replies

  • Thanks for that info That's what I thought that blood pressure is supposed to be checked because it can be a symptom I've been on it 13 weeks . I saw a useless rheumy on Tuesday ( not my normal consultant she's fab ) didn't even take my blood pressure so not had it done at all . The lovely girls in chemist was concerned about me because I was in lot pain & had bad headache and suggested taking my bp . I've seen many mention a rheumy nurse I've never seen or been given info on one ?

  • I'm not sure but I have contacted rheumys secatary before , may be if I leave a voicemail asking if they have a nurse ? I've noticed many people on here mention a rheumy nurse . I got to go back to pharmacy for another fasting diabetes check and said thet will check bp again . . Just had a laugh went to hang out the washing for first time this yr and oh what a struggle holding up my arms , defo much harder than last yr . Just shows how things change .

  • Thank you . Take care yourself x

  • Hi have high blood pressure long before I got RA and a few other joys (HA) I have been on plaquenil for about a year plus other meds. I think I'm On a good blood pressure medication so mine seems to be good most of the Time. However, when your in a lot of pain or very upset your blood pressure goes up. It's kind of a nasty circle. Just something to keep in mind. What is your blood pressure better when you were taking the other medication and your pain was under control?

    Blood pressure needs to be taken seriously, and get it under control so you don't have any more problems.

    Wishing you the best! Take care.

  • I've never had high blood pressure , so was quite surprised . Maybe it's a bit of everything the meds , pain , etc . Bit concerned that I've not been monitored since being put on the arava . Think I will make an appointment with my doctor just to be safe . Not slept for 2 nights my hands & knees are so painful & probably unknowingly worrying about everything . I'm a nightmare with anxiety worry about everything . Do you know what is classed has high BP . Was 178/108 bad ? . Glad to hear you've got yours under control . Regards Teresa

  • Hi felicity, I have now been on Leflunomide for 7 weeks. I am having my blood pressure checked every fortnight when I have my bloods done. So far BP only slightly higher, liver is main concern as levels been high, had to come off MTX due to this. I feel as if I am going backwards, every day another joint comes painful and swollen. I also feel very tired and some days my eyes feel weird and I have slightly blurred vision and see dancing dots, I am wondering if this is a side effect of the drug.

  • Oh dear that's not good , hope things improve , at least your being monitored properly I've had liver function problems as well on mtx ? Seems like every med gives different probs just hope we all find one that actually makes a difference to our quality of life . I don't understand why no one hospital or gp has said about checking my Bp and bloods been every 6 weeks for bloods ? My rheumy don't share tests results with gp .

  • Hi Felicity10, your blood pressure is high as the norm is 120/80, obviously we are all different and other things come into the equation. I have had high blood pressure for many years so take medication, but since being on methotrexate it is fluctuating and my heart rate is somewhat erratic. I would definitely make an appointment to see your GP and get it checked with him, you may need meds to lower your BP or a change of RA drugs.

    Hope you get sorted soon, this dreadful disease causes havoc with our bodies and minds.


  • Will do thanks jan , so normal is around that 120/80 probably be normal when I get to see dr u know what it's like lol x

  • The bottom number is important when looking at blood pressure and ideally it should be below 90. Obviously, age is a factor and it does rise slightly the older we get, also as has been mentioned, our blood pressure rises when we are stressed or in pain. You should see your GP ASAP to get started on some medication, don't wait for a rheumatology appointment. Clemmie

  • Its now 185/87 today so much better got à monitor will do it every few days and keep record to showvmy Gp , Thanks for the info

  • Hi felicity10,

    Sorry you are having problems with your blood pressure. Just to confirm what people have been saying, it may a good idea to contact your GP about your blood pressure readings. As others have mentioned, stress can be a factor involved in affecting your blood pressure.

    Some rheumatology departments have a helpline run by the rheumatology nurses so it may be a good idea to find out if this option is available at the hospital where you are seen.

    Good luck with everything and hope you get things sorted soon.



    (NRAS Helpline)

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