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Methotrexate

Methotrexate

Methotrexate is used for the treatment of psoriasis, certain types of cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis management. It contains Methotrexate as its main ingredient, which works by inhibiting the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, leading to a reduction in DNA synthesis and cell replication. It is available in the form of tablets, liquids, and injections. The tablets are available in strengths of 2.5 mg and 10 mg. Before using such medications, you should always consult your doctor and seek their guidance for storage, dosage, and side effects. 

Product Overview

Methotrexate contains Methotrexate as the main ingredient, which is widely used for its immunosuppressive and anti-metabolic effects. This medication works by inhibiting the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, leading to a reduction in DNA synthesis and cell replication. This mechanism is particularly effective in treating autoimmune diseases and various types of cancer.

Each tablet consists of 2.5 mg of Methotrexate. The medication is typically taken orally, with the dosage and frequency determined by the healthcare provider based on the specific condition being treated. Methotrexate is prescribed for both adults and children and works by slowing down cell growth, targeting cancer cells in oncology, and reducing the speed of skin cell growth in psoriasis, as well as decreasing the immune system’s activity in rheumatoid arthritis.

Common side effects of Methotrexate include vomiting, nausea, and fatigue. Patients should closely follow their doctor’s instructions and report any adverse effects. In case of a missed dose, take it as soon as you remember, but skip it if it’s near the time for the next dose. For overdoses, seek immediate medical attention. Store the methotrexate tablets at room temperature, away from light and moisture, and out of reach of children. You should always consult your healthcare provider for guidance and ensure adherence to the prescribed regimen.

Uses of Methotrexate

Methotrexate is used for:

  • Psoriasis Treatment
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Management
  • Treatment of certain kinds of cancer, such as cancers that originate in tissues around a fertilized egg in the uterus, lung cancer, breast cancer, head and neck cancers, lymphomas, and leukemia.  

[Important Warning: You should only take Methotrexate to treat cancer or certain other severe conditions that cannot be treated with other medications. ]

How to Use Methotrexate?

Dosage

Methotrexate comes in the form of tablets, injections, or liquid. The strength of the methotrexate tablets is:

  • 2.5 mg
  • 10 mg

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients

Recommended Dosage of Methotrexate for Cancer Treatment

The dosage and frequency of Methotrexate are based on your medical condition and how your body responds to the medication. There are many different dosing schedules for Methotrexate. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and take it by mouth as prescribed to you. 

Recommended Dosage of Methotrexate for Psoriasis or Rheumatoid Arthritis

Take this medication by mouth, usually once a week, as instructed by your doctor. It might take several months to get the full benefit of this drug.

[Note: Remember, these recommendations may vary from person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

  • The Methotrexate dose varies for each individual.
  • Always follow your doctor’s prescription or the instructions on the medication label.
  • Do not alter your dose unless advised by your doctor.
  • Avoid using Methotrexate more frequently or for more extended periods than recommended.
  • This medication should not be used daily for non-cancer conditions.
  • Swallow the methotrexate tablet whole without crushing, breaking, or chewing it.
  • If you’re unable to swallow the tablet, do not take it.
  • For people with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and juvenile arthritis, doctors might prescribe folic acid or folic acid supplements to mitigate side effects.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Methotrexate Work?

As part of the antimetabolites drug class, Methotrexate functions by slowing down cell growth. In cancer treatment, it targets and slows the growth of cancer cells. For psoriasis, it reduces the speed of skin cell growth, helping prevent the formation of scaly patches. In rheumatoid arthritis, it decreases the immune system’s activity, thereby reducing joint inflammation and pain.

Important Safety Information

Side Effects

Common side effects of Methotrexate may include: 

  • Reduced appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness 
  • Hair loss

Adverse side effects of Methotrexate may include:

  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin indicates potential liver issues. 
  • Lung inflammation
  • Kidney problems.
  • weakness or difficulty in moving the body
  • Blood disorder
  • Severe infection
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Blurred vision or sudden loss of vision
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness 

[Note: Remember, this list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Warnings

  • You should only take Methotrexate to treat cancer or certain other very severe conditions that cannot be treated with other medications. 
  • Let your doctor know if you have excess fluid in your stomach or lungs or if you have ever had kidney disease. 
  • Let your doctor know if you are taking NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen, magnesium trisalicylate, magnesium salicylate, or salsalate. 
  • Methotrexate may cause damage to the lungs, liver, and the lining of your stomach, mouth, or intestines.
  • Methotrexate may reduce the number of blood cells produced by your bone marrow. 
  • Methotrexate may increase the risk of developing lymphoma. 
  • Tell your doctor if you or your partner is planning to get pregnant. If either of you become pregnant, immediately tell your doctor, as Methotrexate may cause harm or death to the fetus. 
  • Methotrexate may reduce the acting of your immune system, and you may develop serious infections.

Boxed Warning

  • Methotrexate may cause harm or death to the unborn baby. Do not use the medication while pregnant or breastfeeding. 
  • Closely monitor for symptoms of adverse infections and severe reactions of the bone marrow, liver, kidneys, nervous system, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and skin. 

Precautions

  • Let your doctor know if you have hypersensitivity to Methotrexate or any of its ingredients. 
  • Tell your doctor about all the prescription and non-prescription medications, over-the-counter products, supplements, herbal products, or vitamins you take. 
  • If you are planning to have surgery, let your doctor know that you are taking Methotrexate. 
  • Avoid prolonged or unnecessary exposure to ultraviolet light or sunlight. Wear protective clothes, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect yourself. 
  • Do not take any vaccination while receiving treatment with Methotrexate without consulting your doctor. 

Methotrexate Contraindications

Methotrexate is contraindicated for use in people who have:

  • Hypersensitivity to Methotrexate or any of its inactive ingredients
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Certain conditions like bone marrow hypoplasia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, or significant anemia.
  • Chronic liver disease, alcoholism, alcoholic hepatitis, or liver cirrhosis. 
  • HIV/AIDS, renal dysfunction, blood dyscrasias, or radiotherapy. 

Missed Dose [in bullets]

Take the missed dose of methotrexate as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time to take the next dose of Methotrexate 2.5 mg, you may skip the missed dose of the tablet and take the next dose according to your dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose of the same medication to make up for a missed one. 

[Note: If you have missed a dose of your medication and are unsure about when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Overdose 

If you have taken Methotrexate more than prescribed, immediately call your doctor. If someone has overdosed on the medication and is having seizures, collapsed or has difficulty breathing, or if they can’t be awakened, call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room. 

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose, get medical help right away or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Storage

  • Keep the methotrexate tablet in its original container at normal room temperature, protected from being exposed to excess heat, direct sunlight, or moisture.
  • Do not freeze the medicine. 
  • Keep it out of sight and reach of children.
  • Get rid of the medicine that is expired or no longer needed. Your healthcare provider may guide you on how to dispose of it safely. 
  • Do not flush this medication unless instructed to do so. You can dispose of the medication through a medicine-take-back program. 

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional about the proper disposal of any unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Methotrexate Interactions

  • Antibiotics that contain co-trimoxazole, trimethoprim, ciprofloxacin, tetracyclines, and penicillin.
  • Certain asthma medications, including theophylline
  • Some epilepsy drugs, such as levetiracetam and phenytoin
  • Certain medicines used to treat indigestions, like omeprazole
  • Diuretics such as bendroflumethiazide and indapamide
  • Some over-the-counter preparations or herbal remedies.

[Note: This isn’t the complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Methotrexate. Make sure to tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products you’re taking.]

Methotrexate Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.]

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does 2.5 mg of Methotrexate stay in your system?

Methotrexate generally gets cleared out of a non-pregnant adult’s system within a week after you’ve taken your last dose. If we’re talking about low doses, it typically takes around 16 to 55 hours to get rid of it completely. However, for higher doses, it may take longer, ranging from 44 to 83 hours.

Can you get Methotrexate over the counter?

Methotrexate is a type of medication classified as an antineoplastic, which is commonly used in cancer treatment. The medication works by blocking a specific enzyme that cells require to survive, thereby inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, leading to their eventual destruction by the body. This medication is not available over the counter; you need a prescription from your doctor to obtain it.

What foods should you avoid while taking Methotrexate?

When you’re taking Methotrexate, there aren’t any particular foods that you absolutely have to steer clear of. However, since Methotrexate can lower your immune system’s ability to tackle infections, it’s wise to stay away from unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses. Also, try to limit your caffeine intake, which you can find in things like coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate. Just keep these tips in mind for your well-being.

What painkillers can I take with Methotrexate?

It’s generally safe to use painkillers like paracetamol when you need them unless your doctor has given you different advice. However, you should be cautious with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin or ibuprofen, or any medicines that contain NSAIDs, including common cold remedies available over the counter. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor before using these.

Our Guarantee

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