Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Aubagio

Descriptions


Teriflunomide is used to treat the relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). This medicine will not cure MS, but it may slow some disabling effects and decrease the number of relapses of the disease.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of teriflunomide in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of teriflunomide have not been performed in the geriatric population, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, heart, or nerve problems, which may require caution in patients receiving teriflunomide.

Pregnancy

Information about this teriflunomide-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters X Studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Clozapine
  • Measles Virus Vaccine, Live
  • Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live
  • Rotavirus Vaccine, Live
  • Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live
  • Smallpox Vaccine
  • Varicella Virus Vaccine
  • Warfarin

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Eltrombopag
  • Repaglinide

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bone marrow problems or
  • Hyperkalemia (high potassium in the blood) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Liver disease or
  • Lung disease (e.g., interstitial lung disease) or
  • Peripheral neuropathy (nerve problem) or
  • Tuberculosis, history of or
  • Weak immune system—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Diabetes—May increase risk of having nerve problems.
  • Infection, active—Should be treated first before starting this medicine.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Liver disease, severe—Should not be used in patients with this condition.

Proper Use

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not suddenly stop using it, do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

You may take this with or without food.

Teriflunomide may stay in your blood for up to 2 years after your treatment. Your doctor may want you to use activated charcoal or cholestyramine (Questran®) to help remove this medicine from the body much faster if necessary. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about this.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. It is very important that you read and understand this information. Be sure to ask your doctor about anything you do not understand.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For multiple sclerosis:
      • Adults—7 or 14 milligrams (mg) once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Teriflunomide may also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. Men taking teriflunomide should use condoms as a form of birth control during sexual intercourse. A man intending to father a child should stop taking this medicine and check with his doctor right away.

Do not use this medicine together with leflunomide (Arava®). Using these medicines together may cause serious unwanted effects.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Teriflunomide can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

You will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis before you start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis test.

While you are being treated with teriflunomide, and after you stop using it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Live virus vaccines should not be given while receiving this medicine.

Using this medicine may increase your risk of getting cancers, including blood cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.

Check with your doctor right away if you are having burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition called peripheral neuropathy.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, fever or chills.

Check with your doctor right away if you have a cough with or without a fever or trouble breathing while taking this medicine.

You will need to have your blood pressure measured before starting this medicine and while you are using it. If you notice any change to your recommended blood pressure, call your doctor right away. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Body aches or pain
  2. burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  3. chills
  4. cough
  5. cough producing mucus
  6. diarrhea
  7. difficulty breathing
  8. ear congestion
  9. fever
  10. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  11. headache
  12. joint pain
  13. loss of appetite
  14. loss of voice
  15. muscle aches and pains
  16. nasal congestion
  17. nausea
  18. runny nose
  19. shivering
  20. sneezing
  21. sore throat
  22. sweating
  23. tightness in the chest
  24. trouble sleeping
  25. unusual tiredness or weakness
  26. vomiting

Less common

  1. Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
  2. agitation
  3. black, tarry stools
  4. bloody or cloudy urine
  5. blurred vision
  6. burning, numbness, pain, or tingling in all fingers except smallest finger
  7. clay colored stools
  8. coma
  9. confusion
  10. dark urine
  11. decreased appetite
  12. decreased urine output
  13. depression
  14. diarrhea
  15. difficult, burning, or painful urination
  16. dizziness
  17. fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  18. frequent urge to urinate
  19. hostility
  20. irritability
  21. itching
  22. lethargy
  23. loss of appetite
  24. lower back or side pain
  25. muscle twitching
  26. pale skin
  27. pounding in the ears
  28. rapid weight gain
  29. seizures
  30. skin rash
  31. slow or fast heartbeat
  32. stupor
  33. swelling of the feet or lower legs
  34. ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  35. unusual bleeding or bruising
  36. weakness or heaviness of the legs
  37. yellow eyes or skin

Rare

  1. Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  2. joint pain
  3. red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  4. red, irritated eyes

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Hair loss or thinning of the hair

Less common

  1. Blemishes on the skin
  2. bone pain
  3. burning, dry, or itching eyes
  4. difficulty with moving
  5. discharge or excessive tearing
  6. full or bloated feeling
  7. muscle cramping or stiffness
  8. pain in the lower back, bottom, or hips
  9. pain in the upper leg
  10. pimples
  11. pressure in the stomach
  12. redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  13. swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
  14. swollen joints
  15. toothache
  16. weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.