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    Information about Methotrexate

    Methotrexate uses

    Methotrexate is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

    How methotrexate works

    Methotrexate is an immunosuppressant. In rheumatoid arthritis, it works by decreasing the activity of body's immune system. This decreases swelling, reduces pain and stiffness, and improves function. In psoriasis, it works by slowing down the rapid growth of skin cells.

    Common side effects of methotrexate

    Nausea, Vomiting, Loss of appetite, Dyspepsia, Abdominal pain, Increased liver enzymes, Stomatitis (Inflammation of the mouth)

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    Expert advice for Methotrexate

    • It reduces inflammation in the joints which helps decrease swelling, pain, stiffness & reduces irreversible joint damage.
    • Take it once a week on the same day every week.
    • Always take folic acid as advised by your doctor. This will help lessen the side effects of Methotrexate.
    • It takes 6 to 8 weeks for Methotrexate to work. It is important to keep taking the medication.
    • Have your blood tested every 4 to 8 weeks. This is important to make sure Methotrexate isn’t harming your liver or blood counts.
    • Avoid alcohol when taking Methotrexate.
    • Can be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take it during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Methotrexate.

    Frequently asked questions for Methotrexate


    Q. Is Methotrexate a steroid/ chemotherapy/ disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD)/ non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)?

    Methotrexate is not a steroid or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is a chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of different types of cancer and it is also a disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) used in the treatment of severe rheumatoid arthritis

    Q. Is Methotrexate safe for psoriasis?

    Methotrexate belongs to a class of drugs known as antimetabolites used to treat severe, uncontrolled psoriasis. Methotrexate is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor

    Q. Is Methotrexate safe/ How long can I take Methotrexate for?

    Methotrexate is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor

    Q. Is Methotrexate a narcotic/ biologic drug?

    No. Methotrexate is not a narcotic drug/ biologic drug

    Q. Does Methotrexate cause weight gain/ weight loss/ fatigue/ diarrhea/ acne/ mood swings/ nausea/ infertility?

    Methotrexate may cause side effects such as fatigue, diarrhea, acne, mood swings, nausea, and infertility. But it has no known effect on weight gain/ weight loss

    Q. Does Methotrexate cause cancer?

    Methotrexate belongs to a class of drugs known as antimetabolites. It is used for the treatment of wide range of cancer and tumors. However it may increase the risk of secondary malignancies such as melanoma and other cancers.

    Content on this page was last updated on 06 December, 2018, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)