The information I have gathered about the scary side effects of Arava is not on your site. Are you behind the knowledge curve or is it untrue that there have been deaths? Or untrue that chelation therapy is desirable to avoid birth defects? (I got worried enough to stop taking it.) I was startled to read your listed side effects did not include sudden liver failure or mention the 2 dozen or so deaths hat have occurred. I believe Arava’s own warnings mention this in some way, as does e-medicine .com. It’s long half-life is a danger if liver failure starts. Also you make no mention of the fact that chelation therapy is recommended for those wanting to conceive within 2 years as the drug stays in your system for up to 2 years.
The cases of liver failure are extremely rare and is not something that is experienced in routine clinical practice. It is difficult to evaluate the case reports of liver failure because information about the patients is often incomplete– such as whether they may have had underlying liver problems, other medical conditions that might cause Arava to accumulate, whether they were monitored correctly, if they used alcohol or if they were taking other medications. Unfortunately, all medications have potential side effects and Arava should be monitored carefully. You should also discuss this with your doctor.
In terms of pregnancy, it is true that you need to take a binding resin called cholestyramine to get rid of Arava before attempting pregnancy. However, cholestyramine is a common oral medication to treat high cholesterol and while some patients complain of GI upset, it is safe. Thus this aspect of Arava therapy is considered manageable.