Do I take my leflunomide when I have a cold? - NRAS

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Do I take my leflunomide when I have a cold?


I see my rheumy tomorrow, so I'll probably be posting again then, but should I still be taking my dmards when I'm sick? This is my first cold in a year (yay!) and it has hit me like a speeding train (boo, hiss!). I was already told to stop my mtx because of high blood sugars, but I didn't take my leflunomide today just in case. Also, should I be expecting any immediate effects from not taking the mtx? Thank you dearfolk. I will keep my germs safely on this side of the screen.


10 Replies

Hi Bats, too late. You've already given it to me!.

I'm like you, never get colds and never ill with them. This one has floored me. Feel as though got flu (never had flu so can't compare)!

Keep nice and warm.

Babs x

Unless your on antibiotics i have been advised to keep taking my drugs whatever they are.xxxx

I have never stopped taking my medication for a cold. I did stop it once when I had sinusitis that went on for weeks. The nurse suggested I could give it a try to stop the medication but I didn't bother and got better anyway.

Have you tried the new product out called First Defence that you can get in Boots and is not expensive. It is a nose spray. It is best used with the very first symptom of a cold or if one has been around anyone who has a cold or been in a crowd [like a plane] where a virus may be about. The spray lines the nose to prevent the virus being absorbed and has been clinically proven to work and is also OK to give to children. I always keep some in the house and it has certainly stopped a cold getting hold and may have prevented one as well.

I was told by my GP there was no point stopping it as it stays in your system for up to two months after stopping. When you think it takes time to start working its logical. I am on a biological so I stop that when I have an infection. Hope your cold gets better soon, good luck.

I'm afraid I'm not sure about LEF as I've not taken it but I've not stopped any of my meds for a cold. My Rheumy nurse has also recently said not to bother stopping MTX if I take antibiotics, even penicillin based ones unless I'm prone in bed but still think I will even so next time I need them! You've either been fortunate or clever avoiding a cold til now & hope it doesn't hang around too long so be kind to yourself. I certainly don't need one just now thanks as my h has his repair op today & will be taken to CITU from theatre til he's stable.

When I've stopped my MTX in the past it's been about 2-3 weeks when I start noticing not taking it. It does seem to vary though, I have read others say 4 weeks plus. Hope this helps. x


I'm on leflunomide have been for years, have had lots of colds and chest infections over the years but have only ever stored taking it when my white blood cells drop to an abnormal level, but only on the instruction of doctor or RA nurses. It takes a while to get out of the syston so a few days won't make much .

One thing I have noticed is that as it's a dmard it changes symptoms, i have noticed I can be ill but have no temperature but feel dreadful, go to gp if you're concerned always best to get seen sooner rather than later I can have a chest infection with no temperature, my Gp is used to this now, she used to take some convincing.

Hope you feel better soon.


It wasn't even suggested that I stop my MTX when I had pneumonia last year. In fact, my rheumy has never suggested I ever take a break from my meds.

Thanks, I'll take it this morning, then. Rheumy appointment soon :)


Some medications do need to stopped, usually it's the once weekly/fortnightly ones like MTX and anti TNFs. However, leflunomide remains in your system for months and months, so missing a dose or two would be pointless. This is because leflunomide has a very long half life.

Hope this helps. :)

Hi. I was told by a most trusted Dr. Got a Cold? .... Take RA meds is fine. Flu w Antibiotics? Check in w ur Dr.

I had a cold last month. I kept up w Embrel n purchased over the counter cold meds. 2 boxes because now things seem to take longer to heal. But Heal it does.

No problem! This was freeing n gave me confidence that I would not perish from cold meds taken w Embrel.

Haw'n Gal

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