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Methotrexate

methotrexate

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By Medicover Hospitals / 22 Feb 2021
Home | Medicine | Methotrexate
  • Methotrexate is one of the most effective drugs for the treatment of inflammatory forms of arthritis and is widely used. Despite a popular misconception among many patients that methotrexate is extremely toxic, it's actually one of the best arthritis medications. Methotrexate interferes with the production of certain body cells, especially rapidly reproducing cells, such as cancer cells, bone marrow cells, and skin cells. Methotrexate is used for the treatment of breast, skin, head and neck, lung, or uterine leukemia and some forms of cancer. Methotrexate is also used in the treatment of adults with extreme psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used in children for the treatment of active polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
    1. Methotrexate Uses
    2. Side effects
    3. How to take Methotrexate?
    4. Dosage Forms and Strengths
    5. Warnings
    6. Methotrexate vs Folic Acid
    7. FAQ's

    Methotrexate Uses:

  • Methotrexate is used for the treatment of severe psoriasis which cannot be controlled by other treatments. The medication can also be used along with the rest of physical therapy, and sometimes the medications can be used for the treatment of severe active rheumatoid arthritis which cannot be controlled by certain drugs. Methotrexate is used for the treatment of certain types of cancer which includes cancers that begin in the tissues which will form around a fertilized egg in the uterus, breast cancer, lung cancer and leukemia.
  • Methotrexate Side effects:

  • Minor side effects of Methotrexate are:
    • Dizziness
    • Drowsiness
    • Headache
    • Swollen and tender gums
    • Decreased in appetite
    • Red eyes
    • Hair loss
  • Some of the serious side effects of Methotrexate are:
    • Blurred vision
    • Seizures
    • Weakness or difficulty in moving the body
    • Loss of consciousness
  • Know that this drug has been prescribed by your doctor and he or she has decided that the value is greater than the risk of side effects. There are no significant side effects for many people who take this drug. Talk with your doctor if you are having any serious side effects such as mouth sores, diarrhea, and signs of anemia, signs of liver problems, easy bruising and lymph nodes.
  • How to take Methotrexate?

  • Methotrexate comes in the form of a tablet which should be taken orally. The doctor will tell how often a person must take methotrexate. The schedule depends on the disease you have and how the drug is reacted to by your body. The doctor may tell you to take methotrexate on a rotating schedule that alternates between several days of taking methotrexate and several days or weeks of not taking it. If you are taking methotrexate for treating psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis the doctor may tell you to take the medication once a week.
  • If you are taking methotrexate for treating psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis, the doctor will first start on a low dose of the medication and then it can gradually increase the dose.
  • Missed dose

  • Taking each dose of this medication as scheduled is important. Contact your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule if you miss a dose. To catch up, do not double the dose.
  • Overdose

  • Overdose of a drug can be accidental. If you have taken more than the prescribed Methotrexate tablets there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some medical emergency.
  • Warnings for some Serious Health Conditions

  • Pregnancy
  • Based on the published reports Methotrexate can cause embryo-fetal toxicity and fetal death when the medication is administered in pregnant women.
  • Breastfeeding
  • Methotrexate can pass into breast milk and can cause some serious side effects to the infants
  • Storage
  • Direct contact with heat, air and light may damage your medicines. Exposure to medicine may cause some harmful effects. The medicine must be kept in a safe place and out of children’s reach.
  • Mainly the drug should be kept at room temperature between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC).
  • Methotrexate vs Folic Acid

    Methotrexate
    Folic Acid
    Methotrexate is one of the most effective drugs for the treatment of inflammatory forms of arthritis and is widely used. The synthetic source of folate, which is a naturally occurring B vitamin, is folic acid. Folate assists in the processing of DNA and other genetic material.
    Methotrexate is used for the treatment of severe psoriasis which cannot be controlled by other treatments. Folic acid is used to avoid and treat low folate (folate deficiency) levels in the blood and high homocysteine levels in the blood (hyperhomocysteinemia).
    Minor side effects of Methotrexate are:
    • Dizziness
    • Drowsiness
    • Headache
    • Swollen and tender gums
    • Decreased in appetite
    Some of the common side effects of Folic acid are:
    • Weakness
    • Fatigue
    • Trouble in concentrating
    • Headache
    • Irritability

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Methotrexate is used in the treatment of some forms of breast, skin, head and neck, or lung cancer. Methotrexate is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and extreme psoriasis.
    Methotrexate needs to be taken exactly as instructed by your doctor. Take a dose while standing or sitting upright with a glass of water. On the day you take your methotrexate, drink plenty of water (8 cups or 2,000 mL [2 litres]).
    In a study measuring weight fluctuations in people with rheumatoid arthritis, methotrexate was shown to induce a small amount of weight gain in 6 months. The patients most likely to gain weight after starting methotrexate were patients who had previously lost weight because of rheumatoid arthritis.
    Methotrexate is an antifolate drug, marketed under the brand name Methoblastin, which prevents the activation of folic acid in the body. It is used to treat a variety of conditions once a week. That include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis of the skin condition and inflammation of the inflammatory bowel.
    Some of the common side effects of Methotrexate are:
    • Dizziness
    • Drowsiness
    • Headache
    • Swollen and tender gums
    • Decreased in appetite

    Citations:

  • Mefenamic, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022354915380217
  • Effects of Mefenamic,https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3181/00379727-93-22757