Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Birth defects: Medications similar to teriflunomide can cause major birth defects in children whose fathers or mothers were using it at the time of conception. For men or women taking teriflunomide, pregnancy must be avoided during and for up to two years after you stop taking teriflunomide. Talk to your doctor about when it is safe to get pregnant or father a child.
If either partner is taking teriflunomide, a reliable method of birth control should always be used throughout the course of treatment with teriflunomide.
Infection: Teriflunomide works on the immune system to help reduce the damage that parts of the immune system cause to the body. It can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). As a result, teriflunomide may reduce the body's ability to fight severe infections.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness. Your doctor will do regular blood tests to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells in your blood.
Avoid immunizations without your doctor's approval.
Liver function: Teriflunomide can cause severe damage to the liver, including fatal liver failure. People with reduced liver function or liver disease may be more likely to experience additional liver problems. If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
Lung inflammation: Lung inflammation (interstitial lung disease), causing difficulty breathing has occurred rarely in some people taking teriflunomide. This complication can be serious and sometimes fatal. If you experience new or worsening shortness of breath or cough (with or without fever) at any time while you are taking teriflunomide contact your doctor immediately.
Pregnancy: This medication is likely to cause serious harm and birth defects to the unborn baby if it is taken by a pregnant mother. It is important that teriflunomide is not used during pregnancy or by women who may become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if teriflunomide passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: Seniors who use teriflunomide may be more likely to experience side effects. Discuss with your doctor whether this medication is right for you.