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Teriflunomide Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Teriflunomide has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking teriflunomide were documented and then compared to the side effects that occurred in a similar group of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they occurred, and how they compared to the placebo.
In these studies, the most common teriflunomide side effects included:
  • Headache -- in up to 22 percent of people
  • Diarrhea -- up to 18 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 14 percent
  • An increase in certain liver enzymes (found using standard blood tests) -- up to 14 percent
  • Hair loss -- up to 13 percent
  • Flu-like symptoms -- up to 12 percent
  • Sensations of tingling, burning, pricking, or numbness of the skin -- up to 10 percent.
Other common side effects of teriflunomide, occurring in 2 percent to 9 percent of people, included:
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Upper abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Bladder infection
  • Stomach flu
  • Cold sores
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Toothache
  • Itching
  • Seasonal allergy
  • Acne
  • Weight loss
  • Sciatica (pain or numbness that begins in the lower back and radiates down one or both legs)
  • General burning sensations
  • Pain, weakness, or numbness in the hands or wrists (carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Blurred vision
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Feelings of a pounding or racing heartbeat
  • Abnormally low levels of white blood cells
  • Abdominal distention (stomach bloating).

Final Thoughts

You may experience some or none of the side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have problems with a medicine that you have never tried.
Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any adverse reactions while using the drug or if something "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect of teriflunomide, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
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