Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Leflunomide & alcohol

Postby Lewisjam on Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:17 pm

Hi I have RA and take regular leflunomide with sulphalazine, is there a safe level of alcohol you can consume while taking this medication.

It says on the presciption to avoid altogether. Information as expected on the internet greatly varies. Taken in reasonable amounts it appears to ease my stress and pain caused by RA, but in the long rum am I making things worse??

My monthly liver function checks are all fine.

I guess I drink 8-10 units a week.

Thanks for creating the clinic what a great idea!
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Re: Leflunomide & alcohol

Postby Arthritis Action on Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:01 am

Most of the information leaflets for disease modifying drugs suggest that alcohol should be avoided completely but this informtion is not up to date with current thinking and evidence. Most experts would agree that drinking alcohol to excess would not be sensible but sticking to 10 units weekly should be fine. The liver is very sensitive to certain medications and both NSAIDS and antibiotics can also commonly affect the liver function tests. Provided you continue to have your monthly blood tests to check your liver function, 10 units a week should be safe.

Dr Wendy Holden
Medical Advisor to Arthritis Action and Consultant Rheumatologist

Arthritis Action
56 Buckingham Gate
London SW1E 6AE

020 3781 7120
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