Investigation into Sanofi-Aventis for its marketing and distribution of Arava.
Arava (leflunomide) is a prescription drug for rheumatoid arthritis which has been linked to severe liver problems and deaths. Since the drug was approved in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration ('FDA') has received reports of at least 130 cases of severe liver toxicity linked to Arava, including 56 serious enough to require hospital care and 12 deaths attributed to the drug. The American College of Rheumatology published a warning to doctors and patients about these liver problems, recommending that physicians who prescribe Arava repeatedly test patients' livers for signs of harm.
In addition, Public Citizen, a US consumer group, said there have been reports of lymphoma, hypertension, a life-threatening autoimmune disorder called Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and skin, blood and gastrointestinal reactions severe enough to cause hospitalization in people treated with Arava.
Approximately 200,000 patients worldwide have been treated with Arava.
Unlike other drugs that can clear the body shortly after patients swallow a dose, Arava can take months to dissipate. Unfortunately, according to the Arizona Heath Sciences Center, this means there is not much doctors can do if a patient shows signs of trouble.
Do not change medications without first consulting your doctor.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Sanofi-Aventis is a large pharmaceutical company.
Aventis Pharmaceuticals (SNY)
Aventis Pharmaceuticals merged and became part of Sanofi-Aventis. It is a large pharmaceutical company.
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