Aubagio is the brand name for the medication teriflunomide. It’s used to treat multiple sclerosis, known as MS. It is not a cure for the disease, but it can decrease how often patients have flare-ups as well as slowing down the physical problems that MS patients get. This medication affects the patient’s immune system to help reduce the amount of inflammation and swelling that affect the nervous system. It’s a disease-modifying therapy.

Aubagio is used for adult patients who have forms of MS that are relapsing. These include active secondary progressive disease, relapse-remitting disease, and clinically isolated syndrome. This drug is classified as a pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor. It keeps immune cells from multiplying quickly, one of the causes of inflammation. This medication is available only as an oral tablet that’s taken once a day.

Precautions and Warnings of Aubagio

Taking Aubagio can cause any current infections to get worse and make you more likely to get a new infection. While taking this medication, keep your distance from people who have infectious diseases like the flu, COVID-19, or chickenpox. Before you have any vaccinations, tell the practitioner that you’re taking Aubagio. Stay away from people who have gotten live vaccines recently such as the inhaled flu vaccine. Be careful with sharp items like nail clippers and razors, and avoid contact sports in order to lower your chances of being injured or bruised.

If you’re going to have surgery make sure the doctor knows that you take Aubagio. This is true even for dental surgery. Tell the about everything you take before you have the surgery.

Aubagio does go into breast milk, and it’s possible for it to have an adverse effect on the baby. Mothers should not breastfeed while taking this medication.

After this medication is stopped, you may need another medication, such as cholestyramine, to cause the Aubagio to leave the body faster. This may be needed if you’ve had serious side effects from it or want to have a child. Both women and men need to have this done if they want to get the medication out of their bodies in less than two years.

Aubagio should not be taken during pregnancy, and it should not still be in the body after stopping it. Men and women should use reliable birth control while taking it. Women will be given a pregnancy test before they start this medication. If you become pregnant while taking it, let your doctor know as soon as possible.

It’s possible, though rare, for Aubagio to cause severe liver disease that may even be fatal. You will need to have a liver function test before beginning this medication and may have testing monthly for the first six months or more that you take it. If you experience persistent vomiting or nausea, you have dark urine, pain in your abdomen, yellow skin or eyes, or lose your appetite, tell your doctor right away.

If you are allergic to Aubagio or to leflunomide, or there are other allergies, let your doctor know before you take this medication. Tell your doctor about your full medical history. Let the doctor know if you have or have had a history of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Liver problems
  • Lung disease
  • Blood or bone marrow disorder
  • An immune system disorder such as HIV or cancer
  • An existing infection like tuberculosis

Side Effects of Aubagio

There are common side effects that may be mild, and there are more serious side effects that are much more rare.

Common Side Eff ects

The common side effects often fade after a few weeks of Aubagio use. If any don’t go away or impact your life, let your doctor know. The most common side effects are:

  • Alopecia – hair loss or thinning
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Higher liver enzymes, an indication of liver damage
  • Decreased phosphate level
  • Diarrhea
  • Lower level of white blood cells
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Joint pain
  • Tingling or numbness in the feet or hands

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects need to be reported to your doctor right away. If they feel life-threatening, you should call 911 for emergency medical care. Some of the severe side effects can include:

  • Symptoms of low white blood cell count: chills, fever, body aches, tiredness, vomiting, and nausea
  • Signs of high blood pressure: irregular heartbeat, headache, vision problems, confusion, or fatigue
  • Signs of respiratory problems such as interstitial lung disease: coughing with a fever or without, or shortness of breath
  • Liver damage such as liver failure
  • Severe skin reactions
  • Serious allergic reaction: hives, itching, rash, trouble breathing, or swelling of the mouth, throat, or face

Drug Interactions of Aubagio

There is a wide range of prescription and OTC drugs that can cause interactions with Aubagio. If you take it with warfarin, you will have to be closely monitored. It’s also contraindicated to take it with leflunomide. Some of the other drugs that can cause interactions include:

  • Immunosuppressants such as Mavenclad
  • Hormonal contraception such as ethinyl estradiol
  • Cholesterol-lowering medication such as Lipitor or Crestor
  • Asunaprevir
  • Grazoprevir
  • Pazopanib
  • Topotecan
  • Topical tacrolimus

Strengths and Dosages of Aubagio

This medication is available only in oral tablet form. There are two strengths- 7 mg and 14 mg. The dosage a patient gets depends on the type of MS they have as well as how well the medication works for them and any other medical problems, such as liver damage, that they may have.

Oral tablets:7 mg, 14 mg

Cost of Aubagio in the USA

A month’s supply of Aubagio can cost anywhere from about $9,800 to $11,400, depending on the specific pharmacy used and the strength of the dosage. There are coupon cards that are available in some pharmacies that can help reduce the cost.

Why Is Aubagio So Expensive?

The research and development of this drug was expensive, and high prices help the manufacturer recoup those costs. It’s also a drug that’s in high demand. The price of this drug went up by 78% in between 2013 and 2020.

Aubagio Alternatives

There are other MS drugs that can be used as an alternative for Aubagio in many cases. These include Avonex, Ocrevus, Tecfidera, Gilenya, Copaxone, and Tysabri.

FAQs of Aubagio

What is Aubagio used for?

It’s used to treat multiple sclerosis types that are re-occurring. It’s not a cure for MS, but it is a therapy that can help with the inflammation and swelling that can be caused by the disease. It’s a type of disease-modifying therapy.

Who makes Aubagio?

The manufacturer or Aubagio is Sanofi Genzyme Company.

How long does it take for Aubagio to start working?

It generally starts to work for MS patients after about three months of taking it.

How long does Aubagio stay in your system?

It can stay in your body for about two years after you stop taking it.

How long do Aubagio side effects last?

Some side effects may continue for as long as you take the medication. However, it’s typical for side effects to last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks while your body adjusts to the medication.

Can you take Aubagio while pregnant?

No, this medication is not to be taken during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking it, inform your doctor right away. If you stop this medication in order to get pregnant or father a child, you may need another medication to get the Aubagio out of your system faster.

Can you drink alcohol while taking Aubagio?

It’s best not to drink alcohol while taking this medication or at least keep it to a minimum. The medication can cause the effects of alcohol to be worse.

Who shouldn’t take Aubagio?

People who are pregnant or may father a child or are not using reliable birth control, patients with serious liver problems, and anyone who is allergic to Aubagio or to leflunomide.

What time should I take Aubagio?

If it causes sleepiness or fatigue, it’s generally better to take it at night. Talk to your doctor about the best time for you to take it.

Can Aubagio cause hair loss?

Yes, alopecia is a possible side effect of this medication. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s one of the more common side effects.

What should you do if you get an infection while on Aubagio?

Seek medical treatment right away if you develop an infection while on this medication. It can make it harder for your body to fight an infection, and they may become serious if not treated.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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