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Drug interactions between kava and leflunomide

Results for the following 2 drugs:

Interactions between your drugs


leflunomide kava

Applies to: leflunomide and kava

MONITOR CLOSELY: The recent, concomitant, or subsequent use (without the recommended leflunomide washout period or procedure) of other agents known to induce hepatotoxicity may potentiate the risk of liver injury associated with leflunomide. The risk is thought to extend to teriflunomide, its principal active metabolite, because recommended dosages of both result in a similar range of plasma concentrations of teriflunomide. Elevated liver transaminases, hepatitis, jaundice/cholestasis, hepatic failure, and acute hepatic necrosis have been reported with the use of leflunomide. Liver enzyme elevations were generally mild (2 times the upper limit of normal or less) and resolved while continuing treatment. Marked elevations (greater than 3-fold ULN) occurred infrequently and reversed with dose reduction or discontinuation of treatment in most cases. However, fatalities associated with severe liver injury have also been reported rarely. A 2009 review of leflunomide adverse event reports by the FDA identified 49 cases of severe liver injury, including 14 cases of fatal liver failure, between August 2002 and May 2009. An additional five patients required a liver transplant and nine patients experienced a life-threatening event. In this review, concomitant use of other hepatotoxic drugs and preexisting liver disease were associated with the greatest risk for liver injury during leflunomide treatment. Specifically, 46 of the 49 patients were also taking other medications that have been associated with liver injury including methotrexate, TNF-alfa blockers, hydroxychloroquine, acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and statins, and 14 patients had preexisting liver disease such as active or chronic hepatitis and/or a history of alcohol abuse. The estimated duration of leflunomide exposure before onset of severe liver injury ranged from 9 days to 6 years, with the majority occurring within the first 6 to 12 months of treatment.

MANAGEMENT: Caution is advised if leflunomide or teriflunomide must be used in patients who are currently receiving or have recently received treatment with other hepatotoxic agents (e.g., acetaminophen; alcohol; androgens and anabolic steroids; antituberculous agents; azole antifungal agents; ACE inhibitors; cyclosporine (high dosages); disulfiram; endothelin receptor antagonists; interferons; ketolide and macrolide antibiotics; kinase inhibitors; minocycline; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents; nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors; proteasome inhibitors; retinoids; thiazolidinediones; tolvaptan; vincristine; zileuton; anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine, hydantoins, felbamate, and valproic acid; lipid-lowering medications such as fenofibrate, lomitapide, mipomersen, niacin, and statins; herbals and nutritional supplements such as black cohosh, chaparral, comfrey, DHEA, kava, pennyroyal oil, and red yeast rice), and vice versa. Liver enzymes and bilirubin should be measured prior to initiation of leflunomide/teriflunomide therapy and at least monthly for the first six months of treatment and every 6 to 8 weeks thereafter. Patients with preexisting liver disease or elevated baseline liver enzymes (i.e., ALT greater than two times ULN) should not receive leflunomide or teriflunomide. Patients who develop elevated serum ALT greater than three times ULN while receiving these medications should discontinue treatment and be given washout procedures with cholestyramine or activated charcoal to accelerate elimination of leflunomide's active metabolite from plasma, which otherwise may take up to two years. Follow-up monitoring should be conducted at least weekly until the ALT value is within normal range, and washout procedures repeated as necessary. All patients treated with leflunomide or teriflunomide should be advised to seek medical attention if they experience potential signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity such as fever, rash, itching, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, malaise, right upper quadrant pain, dark urine, pale stools, and jaundice.


  1. EMEA "EMEA public statement on leflunomide (ARAVA) - severe and serious hepatic reactions. Available from URL:" ([1999 Sept 2]):
  2. "Product Information. Arava (leflunomide)." Hoechst Marion-Roussel Inc, Kansas City, MO.
  3. Canadian Pharmacists Association "e-CPS. Available from: URL:"

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Drug and food interactions


leflunomide food

Applies to: leflunomide

GENERALLY AVOID: The consumption of alcohol during therapy with leflunomide may potentiate the risk of liver injury. Leflunomide has been associated with hepatotoxicity, including elevated liver transaminases, hepatitis, jaundice/cholestasis, hepatic failure, and acute hepatic necrosis,

MANAGEMENT: Patients should be advised to avoid excessive alcohol use during leflunomide treatment.


  1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
  2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
  3. Canadian Pharmacists Association "e-CPS. Available from: URL:"

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Therapeutic duplication warnings

No warnings were found for your selected drugs.

Therapeutic duplication warnings are only returned when drugs within the same group exceed the recommended therapeutic duplication maximum.

Drug Interaction Classification

The classifications below are a guideline only. The relevance of a particular drug interaction to a specific patient is difficult to determine using this tool alone given the large number of variables that may apply.
Major Highly clinically significant. Avoid combinations; the risk of the interaction outweighs the benefit.
Moderate Moderately clinically significant. Usually avoid combinations; use it only under special circumstances.
Minor Minimally clinically significant. Minimize risk; assess risk and consider an alternative drug, take steps to circumvent the interaction risk and/or institute a monitoring plan.
Unknown No information available.

Do not stop taking any medications without consulting your healthcare provider.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.