Fuad Shaikh, Shaikh Nadeem Ahmed, Shamaila Khalid, Nasim Karim.
Leflunomide in rheumatoid arthritis: effect on laboratory parameters.
J Bahria Uni Med Dental Coll May ;6(2):101-5.

ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate the effect of leflunomide on laboratory parameters in patients of rheumatoid arthritis. Materials and Methods: A 24-week, single-blind study was carried out on 158 consecutive patients, aged 29-70 years, diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. They received tablet leflunomide 20 mg daily, orally. Laboratory tests were recorded at the initial visit and follow-ups. Leflunomide has been known to bring about changes in various blood parameters like hemoglobin, total white cell and platelet counts, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, serum creatinine and serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase levels. All patients were subjected to these laboratory tests. Results: At the end of the study at 24 weeks the hemoglobin was raised to 12.62 grams per deciliter (g/dl) from a baseline of 10.81 g/dl, white cell count fell to 6,728 per cubic mm (cmm) from 8,318 / cmm, the ESR fell to 39.01 millimeters of mercury (mm of Hg) in 1st hour from 82.10 mm of Hg, the platelet count fell to 2,37,419 / cmm from 2, 96,166 / cmm, the SGPT levels were raised to 38.01 international units per litre (IU/l) from 31.84 IU/l and the serum creatinine fell to 0.936 mg/dl from 0.937 mg/dl. All values, except serum creatinine, were found to be highly significant statistically (p<0.001). Conclusion: Leflunomide showed significant effects on the laboratory parameters. These parameters may be utilized in patients follow up to monitor the drug response and as a marker of drug safety of leflunomide Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis, Leflunomide, Laboratory parameters, Drug response, Drug safety

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