Aubagio is a medicine licensed for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). This prescription drug comes as a tablet that is taken once daily. Although it is not exactly clear how this medicine works, it is thought to prevent MS relapses by reducing the number of certain white blood cells in the body. Side effects may include headaches, diarrhea, and nausea.
What Is Aubagio?
Aubagio® (teriflunomide) is a prescription medication approved to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). People with relapsing forms of MS have attacks when their symptoms worsen. These attacks are called relapses or flare-ups. Aubagio can help reduce the number of MS relapses.
It is not entirely clear how Aubagio works to treat multiple sclerosis. What is known is that the drug blocks an enzyme in the body that is needed to make molecules known as pyrimidines. Lymphocytes (a white blood cell type involved in inflammation and active in MS) need pyrimidines to divide and reproduce. By preventing the body from making pyrimidines, Aubagio reduces the number of lymphocytes in the body, which may be the reason it works to prevent MS relapses.
Clinical studies have shown that Aubagio can reduce the number of relapses in people with relapsing types of MS. All of the people included in the studies had at least one relapse in the year prior to entering the study, or two relapses in the two years prior to entering the study.
In these studies, an average of 53.7 percent of people taking 7 mg of Aubagio and 56.5 percent people taking 14 mg of Aubagio remained relapse-free after 108 weeks of treatment. In comparison, 45.6 percent of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredient) remained relapse-free.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 15, 2013.
Teriflunomide. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2013. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed April 16, 2013.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed April 16, 2013.
Arava [package insert]. Bridgewater, NJ: sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC.;2012 November.
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