Saturday, September 26, 2009 Kathi, Community Member, asks

Q: Cold remadies I can use while on Methotrexate?

I am new to RA. In the past I have used Echinacea when I felt like I had a cold coming on. I read on the information pamphlet that I recieved with my RX for Methotrexate that I should not use it. Now I have a cold and wonder what OTC remadies I could maybe use. I used to use elkaseltzer plus also and wonder if I could use that.  I'm pretty frustated as I haven't had a cold in a very long time. I am also on prednisone, hopefully for the short term only.

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Answers (2)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
10/ 7/09 7:31pm

It's important that you not use echinacea if you have RA or another autoimmune disease - research has shown that immune system boosters such as echinacea can cause a flare in people who live with autoimmune illnesses. Such diseases mean the immune system is attacking itself and if you increase the immune response to combat the cold, you can also expect the attack on itself to become more severe.


I would suggest you speak to your pharmacist or better yet, your doctor regarding what other cold remedies you can take. In the meantime, drink lots of fluids, make sure you get plenty of vitamin C and get as much rest as you can manage.  You should also speak to your doctor about possibly skipping your methotrexate a while you are have a cold - suppressing your immune system while you are sick can mean you will have a hard time fighting it or may get sicker than you have to be.

Ish, Community Member
9/26/09 8:08pm

Hi Kathi,


I'm new to RA as well. You could always call the pharmacy and ask what OTC cold medicines are okay to use with the MTX. My pharmacist at Walgreens has been very helpful to me.



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By Kathi, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/19/12, First Published: 09/26/09