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  • What is Methotrexate

    Methotrexate is a Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug (DMARD) that is commonly used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and other forms of arthritis. It is also used as a treatment for certain types of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumors.

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    <p><a href="">Rheumatologist,</a> talks about what Methotrexate is typically used for and the standard dosing schedules commonly used.</p>

    Rheumatologist, talks about what Methotrexate is typically used for and the standard dosing schedules commonly used.

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    <p><a href="">Rheumatologist,</a> talks about what Methotrexate and the side effects that some patients may experience and how to mitigate them</p>

    Rheumatologist, talks about what Methotrexate and the side effects that some patients may experience and how to mitigate them

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    <p><a href="">Rheumatologist</a>, talks about how Methotrexate can require regular blood testing to monitor for safety of the liver.</p>

    Rheumatologist, talks about how Methotrexate can require regular blood testing to monitor for safety of the liver.

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    <p><a href="">Rheumatologist,</a> talks about the contraindications and use of Methotrexate in pregnancy.</p>

    Rheumatologist, talks about the contraindications and use of Methotrexate in pregnancy.

  • Methotrexate – Administration, Dose, Frequency

    Methotrexate is commonly used in the treatment of various forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis. It can be taken in oral tablet form or administered as a subcutaneous injection.

    The standard dosage for methotrexate tablets typically ranges from 3 tablets per week (7.5 mg) to 10 tablets per week (25 mg). The tablets can be taken all at once or split into two doses and taken over a 24-hour period on the day of administration.

    For subcutaneous injection, methotrexate is available in liquid injectable form in vials or pre-filled syringes. The standard dosage for injection ranges from 0.3 mL (7.5 mg) to 1.0 mL (25 mg) per week.

    To learn how to administer subcutaneous injections, you can watch instructional videos or consult your healthcare practitioner for guidance. Subcutaneous injections are generally considered easier to perform compared to other types of injections. The needle used for subcutaneous injections is typically small and only goes just below the skin into the fatty tissue to deliver the medication.

    If someone were to experience symptoms after restarting methotrexate, it is recommended to consult their doctor to ensure they should continue with the medication. If you have any questions or concerns about methotrexate or its usage, it is always best to reach out to your healthcare practitioner or specialist for guidance and clarification.

    For specific information regarding local practitioners, such as rheumatologists, it would be helpful to provide your location so that I can assist you better.


  • Taking Methotrexate

    1. Forms of Methotrexate: Methotrexate is available in both oral tablet form and as a liquid injectable for subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. The injected form may have some advantages, such as reduced side effects like nausea and more consistent absorption by the body.

    2. Potential Benefits of Injected Methotrexate: Some studies suggest that injected methotrexate may be more effective in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis compared to the oral form. However, it's important to note that individual responses to medication can vary, and what works for one person may not work the same way for another.

    3. Timeframe for Improvement: Methotrexate usually takes time to show its full effect. Most patients start experiencing improvement after 6 to 8 weeks of treatment. However, it may take 6 to 12 months to reach the maximum effect. It's important to be patient and follow your healthcare practitioner's guidance during this period.

    4. Trial Period and Consultation: If a patient doesn't feel any improvement after a 3-month trial period of methotrexate, it's common to reassess the medication's effectiveness. In such cases, the medication may be stopped, and the patient should consult their doctor to discuss alternative options or further investigation.

    5. Communication with Healthcare Practitioner: If you have any questions or concerns about methotrexate or your treatment, it's crucial to reach out to your healthcare practitioner or rheumatologist. They are the best resource to provide guidance, address your concerns, and ensure that you receive appropriate care.

    Remember, the information provided here is general in nature, and your healthcare practitioner is the most reliable source for personalized advice.


  • Who Should Not Take Methotrexate


    You mentioned several conditions or situations in which patients should not take methotrexate:

    1. Patients taking sulfa antibiotics: Methotrexate and sulfa antibiotics can interact and increase the risk of certain side effects. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking methotrexate if you are already taking sulfa antibiotics.

    2. Pregnant or breastfeeding women: Methotrexate is known to be harmful to developing fetuses and can also pass into breast milk. It is crucial for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to avoid methotrexate.

    3. Women of childbearing potential without reliable contraception: Methotrexate can cause birth defects and miscarriages. Therefore, it is important for women of childbearing potential to use reliable contraception while taking methotrexate.

    4. Patients with an infection or fever: Methotrexate can suppress the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections. If a patient has an infection or experiences a fever, it is generally recommended to temporarily stop taking methotrexate and seek advice from a healthcare professional.

    5. Heavy drinkers: Methotrexate can affect the liver, and alcohol consumption can further increase the risk of liver damage. It is generally advised to avoid alcohol altogether while taking methotrexate.

    It is essential to inform your doctor if you become pregnant while taking methotrexate so that appropriate measures can be taken.

    Lastly, if a patient stops taking methotrexate and then decides to restart it but experiences similar symptoms as before, it is advisable to consult with a doctor to determine whether methotrexate should be continued.

    If you have any specific questions or concerns about methotrexate, it is best to reach out to your local pharmacist, healthcare practitioner, or specialist, such as a rheumatologist, for professional advice tailored to your individual circumstances. They will be able to provide the most accurate and personalized information regarding your situation.


  • Important Tests and Risks

    Methotrexate is generally a safe medication that is tolerated by most patients taking the lower dosages used to treat arthritis.

    Blood Tests

    Patients should have their blood tested every 1-3 months so their doctor can monitor for potential side effects on the liver or blood counts.

    Interaction with Sulfa Antibiotics

    Methotrexate should not be taken with sulfa antibiotics such as co-trimoxazole (Septra) or trimethoprim.

    Interaction with Alcohol

    People taking methotrexate should avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol significantly increases the risk for liver damage while taking methotrexate.

    Rare Lung Reaction

    Methotrexate can very rarely cause an unusual lung reaction that is more likely to occur in older patients with underlying lung disease.

    Rheumatologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and bones, such as arthritis and autoimmune diseases. They have expertise in managing medications like methotrexate, which is commonly prescribed for rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and certain types of vasculitis.

    If you have questions or concerns about methotrexate or any other medication, it's best to consult your healthcare practitioner or specialist. They can provide you with personalized advice based on your specific medical history, symptoms, and needs.


  • How Methotrexate Works

    Scientists don’t yet completely understand exactly how methotrexate works inside the body to help arthritis.

    It is known that methotrexate changes how cells inside the body uses folic acid (vitamin B9), which is needed for cell growth. It is not well understood how exactly this effect, or other possible effects of methotrexate, work to help improve arthritis.

    What is known is that the lower doses of methotrexate used in the treatment of arthritis can help patients by:

    • reducing the pain and swelling (inflammation) in arthritic joints
    • improving day to day function
    • In the context of arthritis, low-dose methotrexate is often prescribed to reduce inflammation and slow down the progression of the disease. It helps to alleviate symptoms such as joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Methotrexate works by interfering with the body's use of folic acid, which is essential for cell growth and division. By inhibiting the action of an enzyme involved in folic acid metabolism, methotrexate affects the production of DNA and RNA, thereby suppressing the excessive immune response seen in autoimmune diseases like arthritis.

      In cancer treatment, methotrexate is used at higher doses to target and kill rapidly dividing cancer cells. By disrupting DNA and RNA synthesis, it inhibits the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. Methotrexate may be administered orally, intravenously, or intramuscularly, depending on the specific type of cancer being treated.

      It's worth noting that methotrexate can also be used to treat other conditions, such as ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus), psoriasis, and certain inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The dosages and administration methods may vary depending on the specific condition being treated. As with any medication, it is important to follow the prescribed dosage and consult with a healthcare professional for proper use and monitoring.

      preventing long-term damage caused by joint inflammation


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