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All about: Auranofin

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Generic name: Auranofin
Brand names: Ridaura

Why is Auranofin prescribed?

Ridaura, a gold preparation, is given to help treat rheumatoid arthritis. Ridaura is taken by mouth, unlike other gold compounds, which are given by injection. It is recommended only for people who have not been helped sufficiently by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Anaprox, Dolobid, Indocin, Motrin, and others). Ridaura should be part of a comprehensive arthritis treatment program that includes non-drug forms of therapy.

You are most likely to benefit from Ridaura if you have active joint inflammation, especially in the early stages.

Most important fact about Auranofin

Unlike anti-inflammatory medications, Ridaura does not take effect immediately. In fact, you may have to wait for 3 to 6 months to get any benefit from Ridaura. Ridaura prevents or suppresses joint swelling, but does not cure rheumatoid arthritis.

How should you take Auranofin?

Read the patient information sheet provided with Ridaura, and take the medication exactly as prescribed.

You should observe good oral hygiene during therapy with Ridaura.

--If you miss a dose...

If you take 1 dose a day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule.

If you take more than 1 dose a day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule.

Do not take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed, light-resistant container.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any side effects develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor immediately. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe for you to continue taking Ridaura. Ridaura causes loose stools or diarrhea in about half of all people who take it; there may also be indigestion, abdominal pain and gas, loss of appetite, vomiting, or nausea.

Why should Auranofin not be prescribed?

Do not take Ridaura if you have ever had any of the following reactions to a medication containing gold:

Anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction)
Blood or bone marrow abnormality
Fibrosis (scar tissue formation) in the lungs
Serious bowel inflammation
Skin peeling off in sheets

Special warnings about Auranofin

You should be monitored especially closely while taking Ridaura if you have any of the following:

History of a bone marrow abnormality
Inflammatory bowel disease
Kidney disease
Liver disease
Skin rash

Your doctor may order periodic blood and urine tests to check for unwanted effects.

Like other medications containing gold, Ridaura may cause serious blood abnormalities. If you start to bruise easily, or develop small red or purplish skin discolorations, see your doctor. He or she will have you stop taking Ridaura and will do some blood tests, including a platelet count.

Ridaura may cause protein or microscopic amounts of blood to spill into your urine. If a urine test shows that this is happening, your doctor will take you off of Ridaura immediately.

Gold compounds may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight, so you may need to limit your exposure to the sun and wear a sunscreen.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Auranofin

If Ridaura is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Ridaura with the following:

Penicillamine (Cuprimine)
Phenytoin (Dilantin)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Because Ridaura may cause birth defects, it should not be taken during pregnancy.

Likewise, you should not take Ridaura while breastfeeding; although there are no data on Ridaura, injected gold appears in breast milk. If you are a new mother, you may have to choose between taking Ridaura and breastfeeding your baby.

Recommended dosage

The usual dosage of Ridaura is 6 milligrams daily in a single dose or divided into 2 smaller doses. After 6 months, your doctor may increase the dose to 9 milligrams, divided into 3 doses. Ridaura is prescribed only for adults.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Ridaura, seek medical attention immediately.

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