View Full Version : Methotrexate...why??

03-25-2008, 01:10 PM
The doctor wants to maybe put me on Methrotrexate... why??? isnt that a horrible medicine?? I have looked it up.. and I'm totally aganist it, just by reading the side effects..
I've been on prednisone for a little over a year (7.5mg) doing very WELL. I, Myself have decided to wean off to a smaller dosage, with the okay of my doctor, as i have now decreased to 5mg, and doing horrible (stiff joints, swelling, back pain) I feel maybe I'm not ready to decrease my dosage, so now i want to go back to 7.5.. doctor feels maybe not and to try methotrexate. what should i do?

03-25-2008, 04:22 PM
Hi Butterfly;
Methotrexate is one of the immunosuppressant, cytoxic drugs used for the treatment of Lupus. It is often used in conjunction with Prednisone (or other corticosteroids) so that you can keep your dosage of Prednisone low (it is also called a "steroid-sparing" drug). Low dosages of Methotrexate (Rheumatrex), such as 7.5 mg given orally once per week, are extremely effective in the treatment of lupus, especially when used with low dosages of Prednisone.
Another commonly used steroid-sparing drug is Imuran. Now, Both medications have been around for a long time. Methotrexate is most often used for rheumatoid arthritis and arthritic-like pain in Lupus, while Imuran was used extensively in patients with kidney transplants but is now found to be effective in patients with Lupus. Both are generally well tolerated and their side effects are similar. Both drugs can affect the liver and blood counts and must be monitored with regular bloodwork.
Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues as though they were foreign substances. Immunosuppressive medications, including cytotoxics, reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. The dosage of Methotrexate that is used for Lupus is much lower than the dosage used to treat certain forms of cancer. Because its dosage is much lower, the side-effects are not as toxic. We cannot tell you what you should do, but hopefully, if you have a better understanding of why the medication is used, you may be able to make an informed decision.
I wish you the very best!

Peace and Blessings

07-25-2008, 08:18 AM
Well I am new to this site and was just reading your post...I am on methotrexate and seem to be doing fine.. I have had no noted side effects and I take a small dose daily that ends up totaling 17.5 when my week is done...I asked lupus foundation and anything under 25 would be considered an okay dose... I hope you have found the information you were looking for as this seems to be quite a confusing disease...

08-27-2008, 08:31 AM
I had the same concerns and asked a lot of questions.

After nine months, I am now ramped up to 20 mg/week of methotrexate with no side issues other than a little fatigue on the day of dosing (I take it all at once.) My doc also Rx'd 1 mg/day of folic acid which keeps my hair and nails very happy and growing nicely. Plaquenil twice daily rounds out my routine.

Once each month I am required to have blood drawn to monitor my progress on methotrexate, in addition to a once yearly eye exam to watch for any problems with the plaquenil.

Best of luck to you in your journey. After all is said and done, I'm grateful for the relief I get from my meds.