Generic Name: auranofin, Oral capsule

Ridaura

All Brands

  • Ridaura
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Highlights for auranofin

Oral capsule
1

Auranofin is an oral medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It’s used when other drugs don’t work or cause too many side effects.

2

Blood tests and urine tests will need to be done every month while you take this medication to monitor for side effects of gold toxicity.

3

It can take up to 6 months for this drug to reach its full effect.

4

Auranofin contains gold and can cause gold toxicity. Contact your doctor right away if you notice itching, rash, persistent diarrhea, swelling and irritation of your mouth and lips, or blood in your urine.

5

This medication is used along with non-drug treatments, such as physical/occupational therapy, patient education, diet, and nutrition.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

May cause gold toxicity. Auranofin contains gold and can cause gold toxicity. Signs of gold toxicity include:

  • itching
  • rash
  • persistent diarrhea
  • swelling of your mouth and lips, mouth irritation, canker sores, and blisters (stomatitis)
  • blood in your urine
  • protein in your urine, which can be seen as bubbles in your urine

Doctors who prescribe auranofin should be experienced with prescribing it, know the signs and symptoms of gold toxicity, and know the benefits of using auranofin for their patients.

Drug Features

Auranofin is a prescription medication. It’s available as an oral capsule.

It’s used with non-drug treatments, such as physical/occupational therapy, patient education, diet, and nutrition.

Why It's Used

Auranofin is used to treat active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when other treatment options don’t work or cause severe side effects.

More Details

How It Works

It isn’t clearly understood how auranofin works. In people with rheumatoid arthritis, it can decrease joint swelling and associated symptoms.

More Details

Why It's Used

Auranofin is used to treat active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when other treatment options don’t work or cause severe side effects.

The purpose of this drug is to help control your rheumatoid arthritis. This includes improvements in joint pain and swelling, as well as slowed progression of RA.

How It Works

It isn’t clearly understood how auranofin works. In people with rheumatoid arthritis, it can decrease joint swelling and associated symptoms.

Auranofin belongs to a class of drugs called a disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Auranofin is a gold-containing salt. There is no significant evidence that proves that use of gold-containing products will result in your RA going into remission.

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auranofin Side Effects

Oral capsule

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with auranofin include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

  • hair loss

  • loss of appetite

  • stomach cramps, gas, or pain

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • allergic reactions, such as:

    • skin rash
    • itching or hives
    • swelling of your face, lips, or tongue
  • black, tarry stools

  • breathing problems

  • change in eyesight

  • dark urine

  • eye infection

  • fever

  • metallic taste

  • mouth sores

  • numbness and tingling

  • trouble with urinating or changes in amount of urine

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • feeling unusually weak or tired

  • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Auranofin does not cause drowsiness.

Side effects occur most often within the first 6 months of starting this medication. However, you may still have side effects after being on the medication for many months.

Mild side effects may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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auranofin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Auranofin may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce the chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Penicillamine

Penicillamine may be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Wilson’s disease, and kidney stones. Don’t take this medication while taking auranofin. If you do, you might have severe kidney and blood reactions.

Dimercaprol

This medication is used to treat poisoning by gold, arsenic, lead, and mercury. Don’t take it while taking auranofin. Dimercaprol is used to treat gold toxicity, so it works to remove gold from your body. That means it may work to remove auranofin. If you take these medications together, auranofin may not be effective in treating your rheumatoid arthritis.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with disorders caused by taking gold

If you’ve had any disorders caused by taking gold you shouldn’t take this medication. These include:

  • severe allergic reaction
  • scaling/peeling of your skin
  • severe blood problems
  • damage to your intestinal tract
  • damaged or scarred lung tissue
  • problems with your immune system

People with kidney and liver damage

Use this drug with caution if you have kidney and liver damage. Your doctor may give you a lower dose or decide this medication isn’t right for you.

Pregnant women

Auranofin is a pregnancy category C drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Auranofin should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

It isn’t recommended to breastfeed while taking auranofin. Gold passes through breast milk and may cause side effects to a breastfeeding child.

For Children

The effectiveness and safety of auranofin hasn’t been determined in children under the age of 18 years.

Allergies

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

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How to Take auranofin (Dosage)

Oral capsule

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Rheumatoid arthritis

Brand: Ridaura

Form: Oral capsule
Strength: 3 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The dose is 6 mg per day either taken as 3 mg twice per day or 6 mg once per day.
  • If you don’t respond to this dose after 6 months, your doctor might increase your dose to 9 mg per day taken as 3 mg three times per day.
  • After 3 additional months, if you still haven’t had a good response, your doctor may stop this medication.
Child Dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special Considerations

Kidney Disease: Your doctor may give you a lower dose or decide this medication isn’t right for you if you have decreased kidney function.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Auranofin comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If You Stop Taking It, Miss Doses, or Don’t Take It on Schedule

If you stop taking this medication, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, your arthritis symptoms may get worse.

If You Take Too Much

Contact a poison control center or emergency room at once. Taking too much of this drug could result in gold toxicity. Symptoms may include:

  • changes in blood cell counts
  • blood or protein in your urine
  • rash
  • itching
  • persistent diarrhea
  • swelling of your mouth or lips
  • mouth sores of blisters

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal schedule.

Don’t take two doses at the same time or any extra doses.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

Auranofin doesn’t usually have an immediate effect. It can take up to 6 months to reach its full effect. Signs that the drug is working include decreases in joint pain and swelling, as well as improvements in morning joint stiffness.

Auranofin is a long-term drug treatment.

If the medication doesn’t work for you after a certain number of months, your doctor may stop it.

Take with food to decrease upset stomach

Make sure to take this medication with a full glass of water.

Take at the right time for best effects

If you’re taking the medication once per day, take it at the same time every day. If you’re taking it twice per day, take it approximately 12 hours apart. If you’re taking it 3 times per day, take it every 8 hours.

Store in temperatures from 59–86°F (15–30°C)

Protect the drug from light and keep it in a tightly closed container.

Note: Be careful of moist environments, including bathrooms. To keep drugs away from moisture, store them somewhere other than your bathroom and any other damp location.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Airport X-ray machines can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original prescription-labeled bottle with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

You’ll need to have some lab tests done before starting this medication. They include:

  • kidney function test
  • liver function test
  • urine test
  • blood test

Once you start this medication, you’ll need monthly blood and urine tests.

Sun Sensitivity

Auranofin can make you more sensitive to the sun. It’s recommended to keep out of the sun while taking this medication. If you need to be in the sun, wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and use sunscreen. Don’t use sun lamps or tanning beds.

Hidden Costs

You’ll need to have lab work done every month while you’re on this medication. This includes blood counts and urine tests. These are done to monitor for changes in blood cell counts and signs of gold toxicity.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for auranofin.

What does the pill look like?

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Are There Any Alternatives?

There are several medications that can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 4, 2015

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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