Leflunomide side effects

Jaynie67 Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis


I have only just found this community, and am so glad because I feel dreadful. I started taking Leflunomide just 2 weeks ago. I have RA and other health problems for which I take a whole list of strong medications.

I have been feeling nauseous, dizzy, losing my balance and now my tinnitus is so loud I want to cry. I’ve had tinnitus for some years, but it’s never been as loud as it is now. Is this normal? My hubby has told me to ring my nurse, but I keep hoping that when I get up the next day I won’t be as bad. I would really appreciate some advice 😔


  • Louisa77
    Louisa77 Administrator Posts: 245

    Hi @Jaynie67

    Welcome to the community, pleased you have found us at a time you need us. We are a supportive group so please do read posts and have a look around.

    Sorry to hear you are feeling dreadful.

    We have some info on Leflunomide | Side-effects, uses, time to work (versusarthritis.org) and this has side effects and suggestions. It does mention speaking to your rheumatology nurse if you encounter any symptoms. I think the important thing to remember too is that there are other options for you if this treatment doesn't suit you after giving it sufficient time.

    Here is some info on all the DMARDs available Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) | Side-effects (versusarthritis.org).

    I hope after reading this it will allow you to have an informed discussion with your health team and get some support.

    All the best and hope the symptoms ease - please keep posting and let us know how you get on.


    Need more help? Call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Lou1234
    Lou1234 Member Posts: 9

    Hi there,

    I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing side effects from your RA drugs. I'm also relieved I read your post. I am feeling the same as you, and yes, my tinnitus has never been as loud! I've tried Methotrexate which gave me overwhelming brain fog and loud tinnitus. I've just tried taking Sulfasalazine and after 3 weeks, I had to stop. I've never been so dizzy and off-balance and again my tinnitus was so loud, I could hear it constantly, when normally it doesn't bother me. As soon as i stop taking the DMARDs the volume goes back to normal. I'm now waiting to speak to the arthritis nurse to see what the next step/medication will be. I am hoping it's going to be third time lucky.

    I hope you start to feel better soon and I'd like to know how you get on.