Methotrexate: Uses, Side Effects

Methotrexate interferes with the growth of certain cells of the body, especially cells that reproduce quickly, such as cancer cells, bone marrow cells, and skin cells.

Methotrexate is used to treat certain types of the breast, skin, head and neck, or lung. It is also used to treat severe psoriasis and certain forms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Side Effects

Methotrexate can cause serious or life-threatening side effects. Tell your doctor if you have diarrhea, mouth sores, cough, shortness of breath, upper stomach pain, dark urine, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, confusion, seizure, or skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).

Do not use methotrexate if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

Before Taking This Medicine

You should not use methotrexate if you are allergic to it. Methotrexate should not be used to treat psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis if you have:

  • alcoholism, cirrhosis, or chronic liver disease
  • low blood cell counts
  • a weak immune system or bone marrow disorder; or
  • if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Methotrexate is sometimes used to treat cancer even when patients do have one of the conditions listed above. Your doctor will decide if this treatment is right for you.

Keywords:methotrexate; rheumatoid arthritis; cancer; side effects.