Methotrexate (MTX), formerly known as amethopterin, is a chemotherapy drug and immune system suppressant. Methotrexate interferes with the growth of certain cells in the body, especially rapidly growing cells such as cancer cells, bone marrow cells, and skin cells.
Methotrexate is used to treat leukemia [ Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the body's ability to make healthy blood cells. It starts with the bone marrow, the soft centers of various bones ], and certain cancers of the breast, skin, head and neck, lungs, or uterus.
Methotrexate is also used to treat severe psoriasis [ Psoriasis is a long-standing skin condition in which skin cells grow faster than normal. Cells accumulate on the surface of the skin, forming red patches. The cause of psoriasis is unknown. If you have immune system problems or a family history of psoriasis, your risk may increase. Psoriasis is not contagious. Psoriasis cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated. ] and rheumatoid arthritis [ Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and damage to the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis triggers the body's immune system to attack the synovium (lining) of the joints. RA can also affect other organs such as the eyes, heart, and lungs. It may also increase the risk of osteoporosis (weak bones) ] and arthritis in adults.It is also used to treat active polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children.
Methotrexate is sometimes given when other drugs have failed.
Methotrexate is available as an oral tablet. Your doctor will tell you how often you should take methotrexate. The schedule will depend on your condition and how your body responds to the medication. You may be instructed to take methotrexate. Follow these directions carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure when to take your medicine.
If you are taking methotrexate to treat psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may tell you to take the drug once a week. Pay close attention to your doctor's instructions. Some people who mistakenly took methotrexate once a day instead of once a week experienced very serious side effects or even died.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to clarify any areas you do not understand. Take methotrexate as directed. Do not take more or less, or more often than directed by your doctor.
Common side effects include nausea, fatigue, fever, increased risk of infection, low white blood cell count, and breakdown of skin in the mouth. Other side effects include liver disease, lung disease, lymphoma, and severe skin rashes. People on long-term treatment should be monitored regularly for side effects. Not safe while breastfeeding. Patients with kidney problems may need lower doses.
Please consult your doctor/physician/specialist before taking any healthcare products. In case of allergic reaction to the medicines/substance, please take immediate medical help.