Leflunomide in dialysis patients with rheumatoid arthritis—a pharmacokinetic study
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Pharmacokinetic data of disease modifying antirheumatic drugs during hemodialysis are limited to sulfasalazine, methotrexate, and cyclosporine. Only respective anecdotal data have been reported on leflunomide. We repeatedly measured teriflunomide (A77-1726), the active metabolite of leflunomide, during standard hemodialysis sessions and calculated teriflunomide clearances in five patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and end-stage renal disease. The calculated teriflunomide clearances during a standardized dialysis session of 3–4.5 h at a blood flow rate of 160–300 ml/min were between 0 and 4.3 ml/min, the mean clearances of the total dialysis ranged between 1.1 and 3.4 ml/min. Total amount of teriflunomide removed was 5.8–8.8 μg per dialysis session. Dialytic removal of the active metabolite of leflunomide, teriflunomide (A77-1726), is negligible. Leflunomide can be used for RA patients on chronic dialysis without any dosage modification.