Stopping Methotrexate

Question

Asked by PamelaO

Stopping Methotrexate

I am starting to feel better finally. Is It remission, I don't know, but I would like to stop taking my methotrexate 20mg per week & prednisone 2.5mg daily. I am not having any side effects at all other than weight gain but I am sick of all the pills. Can I stop methotrexate and still battle this RA pain in the ...? I really need a night out to party!

Answer

The short answer is no. The reason you're feeling better is because you are on methotrexate, which is a drug-induced remission. If you stop taking methotrexate, your RA will come back and flare again if that happens, you risk causing damage to joints that will affect your mobility in the future. Unfortunately, at present there is no cure for RA and you can expect to be a medication like methotrexate or one of the other DMARDs (disease modifying antirheumatic drugs) for the rest of your life. There is vast progress being made in RA treatment and it is certainly possible that down the line, there will be medications available that you only have to take e.g., once a year, but for now, that's not the case.

However, I'd still recommend that you take a night off and go out and have some fun - you're feeling better and that's definitely something to celebrate. Just remember that you cannot drink alcohol while on methotrexate, but in my experience, it's entirely possible to have a really good time while sticking to nonalcoholic drinks.

Answered by Lene Andersen, MSW