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very scared am i having a reaction to avara

About an hour ago i started getting the shakes and started having a chesty cough, i am freezing cold and feel nauseous. I can't stop shaking. All day i have had a heaviness in my shoulders and neck. I have been on avara for 2 weeks and this has come on real sudden. Or am i over reacting and it is just the start of a bug

9 Replies

nearly an hour later i have got myself warmed up and the nausea has subsided, still have a very sharp chesty cough and my neck and shoulders are so stiff. thankfully have stopped shaking but i wonder what that was all about


Hi Mads, I take Leflunomide(Arava) and never experienced the side effects you describe (I do get headaches and nausea).

Could you be getting flu? those symptoms are associated with flu especially if it's settled down abit in the last hour. It could also be you were worrying/stressing and now you've written it down it's eased your mind a little.

If in any doubt and think it's the meds either ring NHS direct 0845 46 47 tonight for advice or ring your GP/Rhumi monitoring dept tomorrow morning.

Hope it settles down soon. xx


Hi - I was on Arava for a few months and didn't have what you have, but did really feel the cold (used to battle to get warm most of the time).

However yours sounds more serious - I would get it checked out just for peace of mind! You never know with these things and better safe than sorry....


hello Mads, that doesn't sound good, hope you are okay now? ringing NHS direct was the best advice as Beth suggested :) x


Dear Mads

Hope you are feeling better now. Might be worth looking at the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) for this to get an idea of whether these were side-effects. Just had a quick look and can't see anything that specifically matches, but might be worth you looking through it:

NHS Direct can be useful, especially when you have problems in the evening/night. Hopefully you didn't need them but may be worth ringing your rheumatology nurse today to make her aware of what happened and see what she wanted you to do, especially as we are now heading into the weekend, so this may give you some peace of mind.

Kind regards


Helpline & Information Coordinator


My husband was Avara.. I don't want to scare anyone, but are you all getting chest x-rays?? This medication has a side effect that can cause interstitial lung inflammation in men. If you are having a chest cough, get a chest x-ray!!


Hello all thank you for your help.

Unfortunately we can't access NHS Direct from Northern Ireland.

I decided to come into work today cos i would be just sitting at home getting myself in a state whereas here i am distracted. i was really scared last night more with the shakes than anything else, I just couldn't stop shaking. It came on so sudden, i suppose i could have got myself in a state but i don't think i did, i think the symptons started so suddenly i didn't have time to worry until later.

But there are so many little bugs going around that it could be something like that. I did ring the rheummy nurse but they have set up a new system and are only available on the phone Monday and Thursday. I rang my Gp but he was caught up in an emergency and by the time i had talked it through with the receptionist we decided that it was a bug.

Today I feel exhausted, really stiff neck and shoulders (not usually where the ra pain is, why would you get that with a cold?) and a back pain around where my kidneys are but i also feel as though i am getting a head cold that tickly feeling behind eyes etc. (so thats good) And am still feeling nauseous.

You know what it prob is a bug - husband has cold, little daughter had that hand foot and mouth thing but was also complaining of tiredness and being cold, working with people who have low immunity so this place is probably a haven for infections.

SOrry sorry sorry for going on so - i think i am trying to convince myself there is little wrong with me...- if i could drive 25 miles and do a reasonable mornings work well i couldn't be too bad!

I have a wake to go to tonight and a funeral tomorrow so rest is out of the question for a while.


I think you possibly have a bug but you can never be too sure (also anxiety?), the drugs we all take are pretty scary..!

I would still contact your gp or rhuem team monday.. Your medication can make you more vunerable to infection and rare cases sometimes the infections can become much more serious!, the link to emc that Vicky provided is good we use it all the time at work.

Try to have some early nights , keep warm and drink plenty of fluids

Alison x


thanks summer - got a good nights sleep last night - really don't feel too well at all its the age old question - is it ra, is it the drugs or is it something new entirely. Getting my bloods done on Monday so i will say to the nurse.


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