Why is this medication prescribed?
Auranofin is used, with rest and nondrug therapy, to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It improves arthritis symptoms including painful or tender and swollen joints and morning stiffness.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Auranofin comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken once or twice a day. It must be taken on a regular schedule, as prescribed by your doctor, to be effective. The full effect of this drug usually is not felt for 3-4 months; in some people, it may take up to 6 months. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take auranofin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Auranofin is also used sometimes for psoriatic arthritis. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking auranofin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to auranofin or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially arthritis medications, phenytoin (Dilantin), and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, kidney, or liver disease; diabetes; bleeding problems; inflammatory bowel disease; colitis; rash; eczema; SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus); or a history of bone marrow depression.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking auranofin, call your doctor. You should not try to become pregnant while taking auranofin or for at least 6 months after discontinuing the drug because it stays in the body for a long time.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking auranofin.
- be aware that you should not drink alcohol while taking this medication.
- plan to avoid unneccessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Auranofin may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Auranofin may cause an upset stomach. Take auranofin after meals or a light snack.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it, and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Auranofin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- metallic taste
- loose stools or diarrhea
- stomach pain
- upset stomach
- hair loss
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- bloody or tarry stools
- skin rash
- sore throat
- mouth sores
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- blood in the urine
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to auranofin.
If you have a tuberculin (TB) skin test, tell the person performing the test that you take auranofin.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.