Leflunomide blocks the formation of deoxyribonucleic acid (also known as DNA), which is important for developing cells, such as those in the immune system. However, it is not completely clear how this medication works in rheumatoid arthritis.
It is one of the disease-modifying-anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) which can modify the progress of clinical disease by reducing permanent damage to joints caused by continuing inflammation.
It is often a second-line drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis if initial drugs are not helping substantially.
It may be combined with other DMARDs or biologic agents to control the disease.
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