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Side Effects
Serious

Severe abdominal pain, widespread rash, neurological disturbances causing confusion or seizures.
Common

Itching, hives, sores or spots in mouth or throat, poor appetite, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, rashes, fever, stomach pains, indigestion, heartburn, constipation.
Less Common

Coughing, hoarseness, breathing difficulty, or wheezing; dark urine or reduced urine output; impaired vision; difficulty swallowing; sore throat; fever and chills; hair loss; hallucinations; painful urination; low back pain or flank pain; red, painful, itching eyes; unusual bleeding or bruising; red, thickened, or scaly patches on skin; swelling of face, legs, or feet; swollen or painful glands; excessive fatigue or weakness; yellow discoloration of the eyes or skin (jaundice).
Auranofin


Drug Class:
Antirheumatic

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Generic 3 mg
(SmithKline Beecham)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions



Available In
Capsules

Why Prescribed
To treat rheumatoid arthritis. Because of the risk of highly unpleasant side effects, auranofin is generally prescribed for patients who have not responded adequately to other more conservative arthritis treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and aspirin. (Auranofin is not appropriate for the treatment of osteoarthritis, which is much more common.)

How It Works
Auranofin contains gold. It is not precisely known how gold compounds work, but evidently they reduce some of the painful joint inflammation associated with arthritis. Auranofin can halt the progress of severe rheumatoid arthritis, preventing further joint damage, and in some cases it may bring about a remission from the disease.

Range and Frequency
Adults: 6 mg once a day, or 3 mg twice a day. After 6 months of therapy, your doctor may increase the dose to 3 mg, 3 times a day. Children: Consult your pediatrician for proper dosage.

Onset of Effect
Within 3 to 4 months.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
Maintain your usual food and fluid intake.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you are within 2 hours of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next scheduled dose at the proper time, then resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
This medication should be taken as prescribed for the full treatment period. Do not stop taking it on your own if you are feeling better before the scheduled end of drug therapy unless you are experiencing a serious side effect.

Prolonged Use
Several months of therapy may be necessary to determine whether this medication is helping you. Prolonged use of auranofin may increase the risk of side effects.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
The use of auranofin may impair your ability to perform such tasks safely.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol while taking this drug.

Pregnancy
Do not use this drug during pregnancy.

Breast Feeding
Auranofin passes into breast milk; avoid or discontinue use while nursing.

Infants and Children
Not recommended.

Special Concerns
Gold compounds may have many adverse effects resulting from gold toxicity. Your doctor will order periodic blood tests to determine if you are having any undesirable reactions to auranofin, such as anemia or low white blood cell count. Always contact your doctor if you have any concerns about the way you feel while taking auranofin. Auranofin may cause heightened sensitivity to sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight during peak hours, and wear protective clothing. Use sunscreens if possible.

Overdose Symptoms
No cases of overdose have been reported.

What to Do
If you are concerned about the possibility of an overdose, contact your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking penicillamine.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have anemia or any other blood disease, skin disease, colitis or any other intestinal disease, ulcers or heartburn, kidney disease, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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