Aubagio (generic) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). This drug can interact with other medications. For example, Aubagio can interact with statins, such as atorvastatin, and certain vaccines.
Aubagio comes as a tablet that you swallow. It contains the active ingredient teriflunomide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
An interaction can occur because one substance causes another substance to have a different effect than expected. Interactions can also occur if you have certain health conditions.
Keep reading to learn about Aubagio’s possible interactions. And for more information about Aubagio, including details about its uses, see this article.
Certain health conditions or other factors could raise your risk of harm if you take Aubagio. In such cases, your doctor may not prescribe Aubagio for you. These are known as contraindications. The list below includes contraindications for Aubagio.
If you’re pregnant. Aubagio has a boxed warning about the risk of problems with fetal development (commonly known as birth defects). It’s not safe to take Aubagio if you’re pregnant. To learn more, see the “Boxed warnings” section just above or talk with your doctor.
If you have severe liver problems. Aubagio has a boxed warning about the risk of serious liver damage. Due to this risk, the drug is not prescribed to people who have a severe liver problem, such as liver cirrhosis. To learn more, see the “Boxed warnings” section just above or talk with your doctor.
If you take the drug leflunomide (Arava). Your body breaks down leflunomide into an active ingredient* called teriflunomide. Aubagio’s active ingredient is also teriflunomide. If you take both drugs, the level of teriflunomide in your body can get too high. This increases your risk of side effects, including liver damage. Because of this, your doctor won’t prescribe both drugs to you at once.
If you’ve had an allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Aubagio, leflunomide (Arava), or any of their ingredients, your doctor likely won’t prescribe Aubagio. This is because taking the drug could cause another allergic reaction. You can ask your doctor about other treatments that may be better options for you.
Before you start taking Aubagio, talk with your doctor if any of the factors above apply to you. Your doctor can determine whether Aubagio is safe for you to take.
* An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.
Aubagio isn’t known to interact with alcohol.
However, excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver damage. And because a rare but serious side effect of Aubagio is liver damage, it may be safest to limit alcohol consumption while taking Aubagio.
If you’d like to learn more about alcohol and Aubagio, talk with your doctor.
Before you start taking Aubagio, tell your doctor and pharmacist about any prescription or over-the-counter drugs you take. Sharing this information with them may help prevent possible interactions. (To learn whether Aubagio interacts with supplements, herbs, and vitamins, see the “Are there other interactions with Aubagio?” section below.)
If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
The table below lists drugs that may interact with Aubagio. Keep in mind that this table doesn’t include all drugs that may interact with Aubagio. For more information about some of these interactions, see the “Drug interactions explained” section below.
|Drug group or drug name||Drug examples||What can happen|
|warfarin||—||warfarin may be less effective|
|birth control pills||• ethinyl estradiol/ levonorgestrel (Altavera, others)|
• ethinyl estradiol/ drospirenone/levomefolate (Beyaz, others)
|increased risk of side effects from birth control pills|
|drugs broken down by CYP2C8*||• pioglitazone (Actos)|
• paclitaxel (Abraxane)
|increased effects and risk of side effects from drugs in this group|
|drugs broken down by CYP1A2*||• duloxetine (Cymbalta)|
• theophylline (Theo-24)
• tizanidine (Zanaflex)
|drugs in this group may be less effective|
|drugs that depend on certain transport proteins† in your body||• statins, including atorvastatin (Lipitor)|
• methotrexate (Otrexup, others)
• furosemide (Lasix)
• ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
|increased effects and risk of side effects from drugs in this group|
|cholestyramine (Prevalite)||—||Aubagio may be less effective or not effective|
* CYP2C8 and CYP1A2 are enzymes (proteins) that help break down certain drugs in your body.
† Transport proteins move drugs in your body. For example, they can move the drug out of your blood and into an organ where the drug works.
Learn more about certain drug interactions that can occur with Aubagio.
Drugs that depend on certain transport proteins in your body
Aubagio interacts with drugs that use certain transport proteins in your body.
Transport proteins help move drugs around inside your body. For example, a transport protein may help a drug get to the kidneys, where it will be broken down and removed from your body.
Examples of medications that depend on transport proteins include:
- statins, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and rosuvastatin (Crestor)
- methotrexate (Otrexup, others)
- rifampin (Rimactane)
What could happen
Aubagio blocks the activity of certain transport proteins. This can cause drugs that depend on these transport proteins to build up in your body.
A higher drug level increases the effects of a drug. It can also raise the risk of side effects. And if you already experience side effects, it can make them worse.
What you can do
If you take Aubagio with a drug affected by this interaction, your doctor may lower your dosage of that drug. They’ll also monitor you closely for side effects from that drug.
Drugs broken down by the enzyme CYP1A2
Aubagio interacts with medications that are broken down by the enzyme CYP1A2. (An enzyme is a type of protein.)
Examples of medications broken down by this enzyme include:
What could happen
Aubagio speeds up the activity of CYP1A2. This can decrease the level of the other drug in your body. This can lower the effect of that drug so that it may not work as well to treat your condition.
What you can do
If you take Aubagio with a drug affected by this interaction, your doctor may monitor you closely to make sure that the other drug is still working to treat your condition. If it isn’t, they may increase your dosage of that drug.
Drugs broken down by the enzyme CYP2C8
Aubagio interacts with drugs that are broken down by the enzyme CYP2C8. Examples of these drugs include:
- pioglitazone (Actos)
- paclitaxel (Abraxane)
What could happen
By blocking the CYP2C8 enzyme, Aubagio increases the level of the other drug in your body. This can increase the effect of that drug. It can also raise the risk of side effects from that drug. And if you already experience side effects from that drug, it can make them worse.
What you can do
If you take Aubagio with a drug affected by this interaction, your doctor may lower your dosage of the other drug. They’ll also monitor you closely for side effects from that drug.
Aubagio may have other interactions. They could occur with supplements, foods, vaccines, or even lab tests. See below for details. Note that the information below does not include all other possible interactions with Aubagio.
Does Aubagio interact with supplements?
Before you start taking Aubagio, talk with your doctor and pharmacist about any supplements, herbs, and vitamins you take. Sharing this information with them may help you avoid possible interactions.
If you have questions about interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Aubagio and herbs
There are currently no reports of Aubagio interacting with herbs. But this doesn’t mean that interactions with herbs won’t be recognized in the future.
For this reason, it’s still important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any of these products while taking Aubagio.
Aubagio and vitamins
There are currently no reports of Aubagio interacting with vitamins. But this doesn’t mean that vitamin interactions won’t be recognized in the future.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any vitamins while taking Aubagio.
Aubagio interactions with dietary supplements
Aubagio interacts with dietary supplements that contain activated charcoal, such as Charco-Caps. Activated charcoal causes Aubagio to be cleared from your body more quickly than usual. This makes Aubagio less effective or not effective.
In fact, your doctor may have you take activated charcoal to help clear Aubagio from your body after you stop taking Aubagio. You should not take activated charcoal products during Aubagio treatment unless your doctor recommends it.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any dietary supplements while taking Aubagio.
Does Aubagio interact with food?
There are currently no reports of Aubagio interacting with food. If you have questions about eating certain foods during your treatment with Aubagio, talk with your doctor.
Does Aubagio interact with vaccines?
It’s recommended that you avoid receiving live vaccines while taking Aubagio. Live vaccines contain a weakened but live version of the germ they protect against.
You cannot get sick from most vaccines. But taking Aubagio weakens your immune system. And if you have a weak immune system, it’s possible to get sick from a live vaccine.
Examples of live vaccines include:
- measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine
nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV or FluMist)
- yellow fever vaccine
Before you begin taking Aubagio, talk with your doctor about any vaccines you may need. If they recommend one of the live vaccines, they may give you the vaccine before you start treatment.
Does Aubagio interact with lab tests?
Aubagio isn’t known to interact with lab tests.
Does Aubagio interact with cannabis or CBD?
There are currently no reports of Aubagio interacting with cannabis (commonly called marijuana) or cannabis products such as cannabidiol (CBD). But as with any drug or supplement, talk with your doctor before using cannabis with Aubagio.
Note: Cannabis is illegal at a federal level but is legal in many states to varying degrees.
Certain medical conditions or other health factors may raise the risk of interactions with Aubagio. Before taking Aubagio, talk with your doctor about your health history. They’ll determine whether Aubagio is right for you.
Health conditions or other factors that might interact with Aubagio include:
Diabetes. Adults older than age 60 years who have diabetes may have a higher risk of nerve damage from Aubagio. This rare but serious side effect may affect adults in this age group with diabetes because they may already have nerve damage from high blood sugar. If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor to learn more about the risk of nerve damage from Aubagio and what symptoms to watch for.
High blood pressure. Aubagio can raise your blood pressure. You have a higher risk of this happening if you already have high blood pressure. Your doctor may need to adjust your blood pressure medications while you’re taking Aubagio. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure during your treatment.
Pregnancy. You should not take Aubagio while pregnant. See the “Boxed Warnings” section to learn more.
Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding while taking Aubagio is not recommended. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor about your options.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Aubagio or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Aubagio. This is because taking the drug could cause another allergic reaction. You can ask your doctor about other treatments that may be better choices for you.
Taking certain steps can help you avoid interactions with Aubagio. Before starting treatment, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Things to discuss with them include:
- Whether you drink alcohol or use cannabis.
- Other medications you take, including any supplements, herbs, and vitamins. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you fill out a
- What to do if you start taking a new drug during your Aubagio treatment.
It’s also important to understand Aubagio’s
If you have trouble reading or understanding this information, your doctor or pharmacist can help.
Taking Aubagio exactly as prescribed can also help prevent interactions.
If you still have questions about Aubagio and its possible interactions, talk with your doctor.
Questions you may want to ask your doctor include:
- Can I still take Aubagio even if it interacts with a medication I take?
- Do any of my health conditions require me to be monitored more closely during treatment with Aubagio?
- What should I do if I’m prescribed a new medication that interacts with Aubagio?
- Do I need to let you know if I change my diet while taking Aubagio?
To learn more about Aubagio, see these articles:
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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 another 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.