Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September 1998, Arava is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It is known as a disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) and is intended to stop or slow damage to the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps control pain and inflammation.
In March 2002, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen petitioned the FDA to recall Arava because of the health risks it poses to patients. Arava has been associated with more than 130 severe cases of liver toxicity, including twelve deaths. There had also been reports of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a severe allergic skin reaction), hypertension, high blood pressure, and stroke among some Arava patients. Arava also has the potential to cause serious birth defects if taken by pregnant women.
While Arava is still on the market, the FDA is taking Public Citizen's petition under advisement. If you, or a loved one, have been injured by Arava, we can help, please contact us today.