Methotrexate causes interference to the growth of certain cells, especially the ones that reproduce faster like cancer cells, bone marrow cells, and skin cells.
Methotrexate is used for the treatment of certain types of cancer of the breast, skin, head and neck, or lung. It is also used in the treatment of severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Following the dosage instructions of your doctor is the best way to use any medication. If you are unsure or do not remember the instructions then you may read the medicine label for more detailed information.
You may choose to take Methotrexate with a meal to avoid an upset stomach.
Please drink extra fluids during the course of Methotrexate consumption.
It is very important that you complete the dosage schedule and do not interrupt it in between without seeking prior consultation from your doctor.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Methotrexate is classified as an antimetabolite. It helps treating cancer by blocking a certain enzyme needed by the cells to grow. Thus the growth of cancer cells slows down. The exact way this drug helps in treating rheumatoid arthritis is not yet known although it helps to reduce the inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis.
Despite your best attempts at remembering, if you still miss out on a dose skip the missed dose and continue with your normal dosage schedule.
Never try to compensate for the missed dose by taking a double dose together. It may cause adverse effects.
Store Methotrexate at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). You may also store it between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) for a limited time. Always keep it in a cool dark place that is not directly exposed to sources of heat or moisture and sunlight. Protect it from kids and pets.
Doctors advise against using Methotrexate if you are allergic to any ingredient in it or if you have conditions like
undergoing treatment for psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis and you are pregnant or breast-feeding;
undergoing treatment for psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis and also have liver problems, alcohol abuse problems, an immunodeficiency syndrome (e.g., AIDS), bone marrow problems, or blood problems (e.g., anemia, low white blood cell count, low platelet count);
moderate or severe kidney problems;
You are consuming acitretin.
Discuss your past/current medical history in detail with your doctor before beginning treatment with any new medication. If you are using any herbal supplements or over the counter medication, including vitamin pills, then mention it to your doctor.
Methotrexate may increase the risk of getting dizziness or drowsiness. This risk greatly increases if you combine it with alcoholic beverages or certain other medicines. So please avoid them while using Methotrexate. Also, avoid undertaking any tasks which require mental alertness (driving, handling heavy machinery etc).
Doctors may prescribe certain laboratory tests like albumin levels, complete blood counts, and liver, lung, and kidney function to determine how you have responded to treatment and to gauge the severity of the side effects of Methotrexate. Please Keep all lab appointments and do not miss any tests.
Please inform your lab technician or surgeon that you are taking Methotrexate before you undergo any emergency surgical procedure including dental operations.
The use of Methotrexate in children below 2 years is not recommended as its safety when used on children is not determined.
Methotrexate should be used with caution in the elderly people.
Methotrexate can make you more sensitive to the sun rays and you may become sunburned easily.
Men who use methotrexate should use condoms while having sex. The use of condom should be continued 3 months after stopping the use of the drug.
Methotrexate can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Be careful to not get dehydrated if you are vomiting or having diarrhea.
Methotrexate can reduce the number of clot forming cells. So avoid getting injured or bruised.
If you are expecting a child or are planning to have a child in the near future, then consult your doctor before using Methotrexate to discuss any possible threats to the unborn baby.
If you are a nursing mother and breast feed your baby, then too, seek consultation before using Methotrexate as some drugs are excreted in the breast milk and may enter the baby.
Most medications have some kind of side effects associated with them. The commonest of these side effects are temporary and mild and fade away without any special attention.
These include dizziness; headache; loss of appetite; mild hair loss; nausea; stomach pain or upset; tiredness; vomiting.
However, in some cases, these mild side effects may persist or become bothersome. In such cases, seek medical attention.
Also, in some rare cases, it may lead to severe side effects like Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; blood in the urine; calf or leg pain or swelling; change in the amount of urine; chest pain; coma; confusion; coughing up blood; dark urine; diarrhea; difficult or painful urination; dry cough; fever, chills, or sore throat; menstrual changes; mental or mood changes; mouth sores; one-sided weakness; red, swollen, peeling, or blistered skin; seizures; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath; speech changes; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual pain and discoloration of the skin; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision changes or vision loss; yellowing of skin or eyes.
Seek medical attention if you notice any of these side effects.
Side effects that are not listed here may also occur.