Tuesday, October 07, 2008 ksgrant, Community Member, asks

Q: Can anyone tell me their experience with Methotrexate, side effects, etc.?

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Answers (11)
Angie, Community Member
10/ 7/08 3:48pm

Hello Ange here,

I tried Methotrexate for about 6 months. The experience I had with it was this:  After taking 6 pills once a week, the next day I would feel extremely sick, meaning, nausea, weak, flu like symptoms and heart palpitations.  I tell ya, methotrexate made me like a new women, I felt great, no pain but I had to deal with all these side affects, eventually my doc took me off them, because one day I felt like I was going to die !!!  It made me pale looking and really weak.   This drug affects people in different ways, I would certainly try it, it might work for you ??

 

Good luck

Ange

 

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marilyn Jensen, Community Member
7/21/11 10:49pm

Hi, i have been on methotrexate once a week, two 10mg tablets, for four years.

The only side effect has been thin skin causing a problem with healing when i cut myself on the farm, covering up in the sun, and thinning of eye lashes. A small price to pay.

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cuddles62, Community Member
10/ 7/08 4:37pm

Hi! I have been taking Methotrexate for over 8 years. Combined with my other meds it is working. I have a life back. However, it does have side effects. I was taking 8 pills every Friday night but after 2 or 3 years, my liver started to become too upset with the drugs and I had to quit Methotrexate for a month. After another blood test, 2 weeks later got to start taking it again but 4 at a time. I now take 5 a week since my liver can't handle a higher dose. The only other major side effect is hair loss. Not bald or even close just thinner and I had thin hair to start with. My mom has vasculitis, in the same group as RA, and she cannot take Methotrexate. It made her sick until Tuesday after taking 10 pills on Fridays in 3 different doses. She now gets it through shots which my dad gives her on Fridays. It did not affect her hair since hers is thicker than before she started. You can always try it. If it doesn't work, then your doctor will be able to help you figure out a different drug. Hope this helps and good luck!Smile

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wenegade, Community Member
10/ 9/08 12:02am

Nausea, fatigue, hair loss...

The good news is they all pass eventually (except the fatigue, for me)

 

 

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wenegade, Community Member
10/ 9/08 7:33am

I found when I took the weekly pills that the side-affects were worse than when I switched to the weekly injections. It's easier on the liver as well. I took plaquenil in conjunction with it for about 5 yrs. The folic acid helps as well to alleviate the side-affects. Has your Doctor mentioned injections instead of pills?

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bboop, Community Member
10/10/08 3:59pm

I was on this it pretty much drained all of my energy to where it took every bit of energy for me to just get out of bed. I was tired of being a lab rat when they could not tell me what type of Arthritis I had so I quit cold turkey from the methotrexate and the folic acid and aspirin which has been about close to three years now but the Arthritis pain has been stronger now to where to pain feels as if it is now actually in my bones. Not a smart way to go but I just could not function that way they I was put on pain killers and muscle relaxers and that is also a bad way to do because I took my muscle relaxer one morning and totaled my car, went to jail twice and now am on probation all because of the pain and muscle relaxer medication and pretty much I have made a big mess of my early 41 age and now have probation for one person who was NEVER EVER in TROUBLE WITH THE LAW so beware of taking your medication and really even over the counter medication and driving because I found out the hard way unfortunately this is a combine problem with people dealing with pain. Pray for me and I will surely pray for you as well. God Bless you!!! BBoop

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Donna, Community Member
11/14/08 9:11am

I was diagnosed with RA when I was 30 on several meds and became ill from all.  The last one was the GoldSalts treaments. I quit all meds.  I decided this was not going to take over my life.  I was raising 2 children and had no time to continue thinking of this.  Went into remission and after 20 began to flair up.  I have a great RA dr and after trying a few type meds he put me on methatrexate (Trexall) I started with 1 pill a week 15mg and swelling in my hands and pain subsided.  I now take 1 pill (5mg) a week and takes all the meds I take.  Taking folic acid and omega 3 mutlivitamins and watching your diet.  Positive thinking is also what got me through the 20 yrs of remission.  I"m now 61 and I just don't let RA get in my way of life.

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steph, Community Member
2/ 5/09 5:35pm

hi I have been taking mtx for 5 months with 2mg folic acid so far so good no side effects except sleepy the day after. feel amazing no pain most days. It still scares me to take a drug with such bad possible side effects, but how do you live in constant pain??? Hope i help

 

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Mee Mah, Community Member
7/20/11 8:10am
Hi. What kind of RA do you have ? How long have you been on MTX now ? I am really scared of the side effects Reply
steph, Community Member
7/21/11 9:38pm

Hi, I have moderate to severe R A, I have been on the MTX 2 years now. I was terrified when I posted the last time, but since have had no problems with MTX. I worry of course but have talked with people who have RA and found out that MTX has been used for a long time about 50 years for different things. The good thing about that is they know all the side effects, reaction, and how to test to make sure you are ok. I also was told that MTX is used as a type of chemo for some patient and is given and MUCH larger doses than we get. The side effects have to list any possible side effect with the maxium dose. So it is rarer for use to suffer from them ( however no drug is completely safe-or with out a chance for side effects, even tylenol can cause serious injury). Also as long as you take it as prescribed, get your blood work, and have a good open relationship with your rheummy. You can reduce you chance of major side effects. I did have some mild hair loss, no one but me noticed, and I am a little more tired the day after I take my MTX but I feel alot better when i do take it. Hope I helped...

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Catherine, Community Member
4/16/09 10:57pm

I have been taking methotrexate for the most part of 25 years.  It has enabled me to keep working, for the most part, until the last 2 years.  I am now 49 years old, am on methotrexate, remicade, naproxen, pain meds, etc. etc. for psoriatic arthritis.  I think that methotrexate has some serious side effects but without it I would not be able to walk from either the joint erosion/pain and/or the skin cracking and coming off the bottoms of me feet--Life was pretty miserable before I gained partial control this way.  It certainly stops joint erosion, at least for me.  Yes, there are terrible liver side effects but I've had to consider quality of life is not measured by length of life.  I hope you find out what works for you.  Some people go into remission and other people don't.  But either way do what YOU need to work your life out so that it works for you. 

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ksgrant, Community Member
4/17/09 10:27am

Thank you all for your help!!  I have been taking the MTX since October and have had good luck.  No side effects, etc.  My biggest problem with it right now is the not drinking as much.  I don't have a problem but I do like to drink socially with my friends.  Oh well, what can you do, right?  At least I don't wake up in pain everyday anymore...

Thanks again to all who took the time to answer my question!

Laughing

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Crow, Community Member
6/ 9/09 2:15pm

Hi, you mentioned that you drink with friends... we play cards every weekend and drink. Im not one to quit the drinking completely...so my stupid question is, how much can we who take this mtx, drink??  I drink much, but there are weekends where we have a little too much. I was so embarrassed to ask the Dr, but he said its diff for everyone.

 

Thanks,

 

living with AID

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Crow, Community Member
6/ 9/09 2:17pm

Oops... I meant, "I DONT drink much"....lol....not an alcoholic...seriously....

 

 

 

 

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ksgrant, Community Member
6/ 9/09 3:26pm

Well my Dr told me no more than 4 drinks per week.  No more than 2 at a time.  I have not been real good about following this.  Besides my 1 drink is probabaly not the same as their 1 drink.  Don't be embarassed to ask your Dr.  That is what they are there for!  I told my Dr it was getting old not drinking as much (I, also, am not an alcoholic but like to partake).  He said he didn't think the insurance co would go for changing my medication just because I wanted to drink more (funny huh?).

There are definitely times that I go over the amounts but I really have been trying to keep it to 2 nights a week, at least.  They have tested my liver function a couple of times and so far so good.

What is the doage you are taking?  I am taking 10mg per week.  I'm sure that matters too.

Good luck!

KG

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Crow, Community Member
6/ 9/09 5:24pm

My Dr gave me a prescription at  2.5 mg, (3 pills, taken all at once, once a week)  I came home and cried after reading all the side affects and have scared myself to death!  I cannot bring myself to take them, and there they sit on my counter :(   I mean, seriously!  Hair falling out, skin rashes, and extreme fatigue, ALL of which I already have!  Starting my search all over again for a Homeopathic Dr.!  The drinking is not what scares me, its the combo of probs that goes along with it.....oh my....

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ksgrant, Community Member
6/ 9/09 9:26pm

Well I will tell you this.  I have been taking 4 2.5mg pills per week since October.  I have been extremely lucky.  No real side effects.  I do get tired the day after I take it sometimes.  But the good thing is, no pain!  It is amazing that way.  I was taking prednisone and am tapering off of that now.  I don't want to be on that anymore.

I was totally freaked out by the side effects too!!  I spoke with my aunt, who is a pharmacist.  She was very helpful and pretty much told me that it will work, and it did.  The thing I like about the MTX is that it slows the progression of the disease.  I am only 42, I was scared of having mangled joints and stuff!!

Anyway, I hope my ranting helps a little!

KG

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Crow, Community Member
6/10/09 1:57am

how long did the mtx take, before you noticed any real relief? 

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ksgrant, Community Member
6/10/09 9:48am

I was taking 5mg prednisone first but honestly the relief came right away.  I have had almost no problems since.

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Mee Mah, Community Member
7/20/11 8:05am
Hi. Did you ever start the MTX ? Reply
Mee Mah, Community Member
7/20/11 8:07am
Hi. Did you ever start the MTX ? Reply
Mee Mah, Community Member
7/20/11 8:11am
Hi. Did you ever start the MTX ? Reply
Evie, Community Member
11/ 4/09 8:31am

I started this same dose & took my 5th dose this past Sunday night.  My doctor hasnt been able to figure out what type of arthritis I actually have but she is leaning towards RA because of it being on both sides of my body.  She told me to take the 3 pills which are 2.5 mg. each, right before going to bed so that is literally what I do.  It keeps away the stomach upset. She said the low dose is considered 10 mg a week & that what she prescribed for me is less than that so I shouldn't have any side effects.  I have other medication that I take at bedtime so on Sunday I put the prescription bottle with the other meds & I don't forget.  I have a stomach that gets upset with a lot of different meds but not this one.  I personally haven't had any side effects, knock on wood.  She does have me on frolic acid too.  I have to go back to her in January.  I will get a blood test done right before going to make sure it isn't effecting my liver or anything.  I am sorry to hear that you are afraid to try it because it is working for me.  With each passing week, I am feeling better & better.  I read that it can take up to like 12 weeks to feel the full effect.

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Emma, Community Member
11/ 4/11 1:51pm

Hi Evie, Your arthritis sounds similar to mine.  My doc doesn't know what type of arthritis i have as the blood tests don't show up RA, but i have arthritis in so many of my joints and ive shown some inflammation when they did an ultrasound.  I went to my doc today and she wants me to go on to methotrexate. She's put me on the 10mg tablet once a week and then folic acid afterwards.  When do u take the folic acid after taking your tablet?  I too get a very upset stomach with different meds, i had to stop taking the NSAIDS like Naproxen because my stomach was so badly affected! I want to try these tablets to get rid of the pain im in, but i am also nervous about the side effects!!!

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Charliesangel, Community Member
12/30/09 10:00am

Hello...I have also struggled with RA for over 2 years.  I went the homeopathic way as well...I didn't want to become a lab rat.  Let me tell you what worked for me!  It is so simple and so cost effective no wonder Dr.s don't go with it!

During my search a friend told me about a book called the New Arthritis Breakthrough by Henry Scammell.  It has medically proven to produce long-term improvement and remission with out side effects!  (it's for any strain of RA)  I went to the website "The Roadback Foundation" and read so many testimonials, read the book to see what it was all about and then found someone that would actually do the IV drip.  The treatment is an antiotic called tetracycline.  Tetracycline is different from all other antibiotics.  It affects the core of the germ not the outer...so it goes directly to the root of the problem! I did a drip for 3 days for 30 mins each and then was put on minocycline (oral antibiotic) which was only 10.00 a month for me to take.  The Drs. don't make money on this method so they don't even consider it!  Anyway...after the first drip I felt great.  Energy and pain started to subside.  After the third day...even better.  I was on the therapy for about 2 months and found out I had gastritis and this was aggravated by the therapy...I had no pain, damage or tiredness for 6 months even after I got off the treatment!  I am preparing my stomach with bifidous this time and look forward to getting the treatment again.   I hope you will look into this because it may help you tremendously!  God Bless  "charliesangel"

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herbs are beat, Community Member
11/ 6/11 9:55pm

My Doctor gave me a perscription a few days ago - I did no get it filled either - I chose to go to a Chinese herbalist and he gave me some herb capsules 2 days ago - I feel wonderful - in just 2 days - incredible - these are natural - thus - few, if any, side effects - he also gave me some follow up herbal capsules as well as some "Ultra strength Joint Health" which contains glucosamine and chondroitin and supports cartliage and joint function - 

 

 

 

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Charliesangel, Community Member
12/30/09 9:40am

Hello...I have struggled with RA for over 2 years now.  I have refused to be a ginny pig for the Drs.  During my search for the "more natural" way of healing, a friend told me about a book and technique that is working for SO MANY.  It is so easy you would be surprised!  The book is "The New Arthritis Breakthrough by Henry Scammell.  It says that this is the only medical therapy clinacally proven to produce longterm improvement and remission.  Go to the website, "The Roadback Foundation" and read about it and all the testimonials.  The website also gives a list of Drs that provide this service. The treatment is an anitbiotic called tetracycline.  After reading the book (I seem to research everything before doing anything), I looked for a Dr. that would admisnister the drip.  It was roughly 30 mins. a day, for 3 days.  Afterwards, they had me on oral minocycline.  After the first infusion I felt so much better and had so much energy!  I didn't have pain, swelling or damage for over 6 months!  The only reason I got off of it was because I found out I had gastritis and the antibiotic would aggravate it.  I have now gotten this under control and look forward to getting back on it and did no specific diet.  I know how hard minocycline is on the stomach (through friends and testamonies).  Drs will tell you how hard antibiotics can be on the stomach as well.  Well...you don't have side effects and you feel great!  Drs. also don't make any money on this therapy because it's so cheap!  I paid 10.00 a bottle for the antibiotics! I choose all of that!  Diet also helps...get off sweets, bread and red meat..this only acidifies your blood and the virus loves to swim around in that and cause deterioration.  I hope this gives someone, anyone, hope out there....it does work.  God Bless and I pray for all who are going through this to receive a breakthrough!  Cclark

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suzzy, Community Member
7/22/11 10:11am

HI KS i know all the side effects you read an told about scraces you to death, it does me too . my rhuemy is just now treating me for RA which i have had for many years an the tests he was running on me scraced me to death. RA can and well do alot of damage to your body an it has done to mine over the years of not doing anything, so i say this from my heart please do as your doctor tells you to , i was on mtx for only 2 weeks the side efects was bad  . my doctor told me he has to start some where and thats with mtx so we did. hope you can start your an be on your way to start feeling bettte again it might take awhile to see what meds you can handle an that isnt fun but you got to give it a try i hope you the best an GOD BLESS you

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By ksgrant, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/20/14, First Published: 10/07/08