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Generic name: auranofin [ aw-RAN-oh-fin ]
Brand name: Ridaura
Dosage form: oral capsule (3 mg)
Drug class: Antirheumatics

Medically reviewed by on Nov 7, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is auranofin?

Auranofin is a form of gold that reduces some of the effects of the inflammatory process in the body.

Auranofin is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults.

Auranofin is usually given only to people unable to use other RA medications, or when other treatments did not work or have stopped working.

Auranofin will not reverse any cartilage or joint damage that has already occurred in your body.

Auranofin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Auranofin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Auranofin may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), purple or red spots under your skin;

  • unusual tiredness, feeling short of breath;

  • severe skin rash or itching;

  • sudden chest pain, wheezing, dry cough, feeling short of breath;

  • severe or ongoing diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite;

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools; or

  • kidney problems--puffy eyes, swelling in your ankles or feet, blood in your urine, urine that looks foamy.

Auranofin may cause more side effects on the stomach than gold injections cause. If you were switched from gold injections to auranofin capsules, tell your doctor if you have concerns about these side effects. You may need to use auranofin for a few months before your symptoms improve.

Common side effects of auranofin may include:

  • diarrhea, loose stools;

  • rash, itching; or

  • blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


You should not use auranofin if you have ever had a severe reaction to gold therapy that affected your skin, lungs, bone marrow, blood cells, or your stomach or intestines.

Auranofin contains gold, which may be toxic and can cause symptoms such as rash, itching, mouth sores, or blood in your urine, or severe diarrhea.

Call your doctor at once if you have a severe skin rash or itching, mouth sores, severe diarrhea, pale skin, unusual tiredness, easy bruising or bleeding, blood in your urine or stools, or if you cough up blood.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use auranofin if you are allergic to it, or if you have ever had medical problems caused by using gold therapy, such as:

  • an allergic skin reaction;

  • stomach or intestinal problems;

  • a breathing disorder;

  • a bone marrow disorder; or

  • a severe blood cell disorder.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether auranofin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breastfeed while using auranofin.

Auranofin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take auranofin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

It may take up to 6 months of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 3 or 4 months of treatment.

Auranofin can increase your risk of bleeding or infection. You will need frequent medical tests.

Your liver and kidney function may also need to be checked.

Store auranofin at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Auranofin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

3 mg orally 2 times a day OR 6 mg orally once a day; if response is inadequate after 6 months, increase to 3 mg orally 3 times a day; discontinue therapy if response is inadequate after 3 months at 9 mg/day

-Therapy should not be initiated at doses exceeding 6 mg daily because it is associated with an increased incidence of diarrhea.
-This drug should be added to a comprehensive program, including nondrug therapies.
-This drug does not produce an immediate response. Therapeutic effects may be seen after 3 to 4 months, although improvement has not been seen in some patients before 6 months.
-Gold cannot reverse structural damage to joints caused by previous disease. The greatest potential benefit occurs in patients with active synovitis, particularly in its early stage.

Use: For active classical or definite rheumatoid arthritis patients who have had an insufficient therapeutic response to, or are intolerant of, an adequate trial of full doses of one or more nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking auranofin?

Auranofin could make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and you may develop a rash or itching. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What other drugs will affect auranofin?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect auranofin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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