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Is alcohol advisable while on Leflunomide for PMR?

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Posted on Thu, 12 May 2016
Question: One doctor says not to drink any alcohol while taking Leflunomide, and another says it is OK. Who do I believe...20mg. daily......trying to reduce the amount of Prednisone I am taking for PMR.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (18 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Leflunomide and alcohol together causes liver problem

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Please find my observations below.

1. Leflunomide and alcohol should not be taken together. Leflunomide has a tendency to cause liver problems and with alcohol the risk of liver condition increases. Therefore please avoid alcohol consumption when you are taking leflunomide treatment as recommended. You can decrease prednisone slowly.

Hope your query is answered.
Please do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Vivek Chail (1 hour later)
I am planning a 2 week trip out of the country. How long before I leave on that trip must I quit taking Leflunomide in order to be safe in consuming alcohol while on vacation?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
If liver function is good then stopping ten days before is fine

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for writing back with an update.

1. Leflunomide is converted to active metabolite teriflunomide in our system and has a half life of 18 to 19 days. It means that the medicine can take 3 months to get most if it out of your system. There are ways to accelerate the excretion of this medicine which is only under medical supervision.


2. Talking about the guidelines of leflunomide and alcohol, some doctors say to completely stop alcohol and some permit alcohol 2 to 3 times in a week and not more than one unit at once.

3. The main objective of avoiding alcohol is to protect the liver. Most people are recommended liver function test every month when on leflunomide.

4. Coming to your situation, it is important to know your latest liver function test and if AST and ALT are in normal limit and I hope it is.

5. If you were to be my patient and if your liver function test is normal then I would recommend stopping leflunomide ten days before going on your trip and drinking alcohol within normal safe limits of social drinking during vacation. This is to be followed by a liver function test after you get back.

Hope your query is answered.
Please do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Vivek Chail (14 hours later)
Thank you!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (9 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Welcome and thanks for sending in your query

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome and thanks for sending in your query.

Wishing you good health

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6820 Questions

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Is alcohol advisable while on Leflunomide for PMR?

Brief Answer: Leflunomide and alcohol together causes liver problem Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for writing in to us. I have read through your query in detail. Please find my observations below. 1. Leflunomide and alcohol should not be taken together. Leflunomide has a tendency to cause liver problems and with alcohol the risk of liver condition increases. Therefore please avoid alcohol consumption when you are taking leflunomide treatment as recommended. You can decrease prednisone slowly. Hope your query is answered. Please do write back if you have any doubts. Regards,