Methotrexate for RA

Methotrexate is a medication commonly prescribed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It is classified as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD)

Methotrexate can be taken by mouth or by injection and results in rapid improvement (it usually takes 3-6 weeks to begin working). It appears to be very effective, especially in combination with infliximab or etanercept.

In general, it produces more favorable long-term responses compared with other DMARDs such as sulfasalazine, gold sodium thiomalate, and hydroxychloroquine.  

Side effects may include abdominal discomfort, chest pain, chills, nausea, mouth sores, painful urination, sore throat, unusual tiredness or weakness. 

Doctor monitoring is important, particularly if you have an abnormal blood count, liver or lung disease, alcoholism, immune-system deficiency, or active infection.

Methotrexate must not be taken during pregnancy because it may cause birth defects in humans.

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Last updated: 1/9/2019