Methotrexate: Pros and Cons
So on Friday I saw my rheumy again and the day I knew would eventually come has now arrived. She said it's time to consider taking methotrexate.
I've been reading a ton in the archives this weekend, about your experiences with it...what reactions you have and how you schedule your doses. That has all been incredibly helpful. But here's the one thing I am stuck on: I know that MTX can bring on lymphoma/leukemia. I have Sjogren's Syndrome, along with SLE and the rest. In fact, the Sjogren's is so active that one doctor called it "Advanced Sjogren's". Three times over the last three years, blood work has indicated possible lymphoma, and I went off to the specialist. Each time, thank God, I was fine. But because it seems I have a tendency to go in the direction of lymphoma, or lymphoma-like symptoms, I'm terrified that I will get lymphoma. It feels like it's just a matter of time, and MTX will make it happen sooner. Yet I also know that the type of lymphoma that comes with MTX is usually treatable. However, that doesn't do much to reduce the fears of trading lupus, which is awful but somewhat liveable, for lymphoma, which could be much worse, and kill me.
The rheumy said that most of the patients she's had that get lymphoma have two things in common: they have had lupus for a long time and the lupus has been out of control. I'm not sure where I fit. I believe I had lupus for about 10 years before I was diagnosed, and it's been active more than not since I was diagnosed, although I did have a period of remission from May - October.
So for those of you who are on MTX, how did you weigh the risks and benefits? How do you deal with the fear? Or, for those of you not on it who had the choice, why did you decide not to do it? Also, for those of you on it, do you feel it's worth it? Are you feeling so good with MTX that in your case the benefits truly outweigh the risks? Any thoughts would be really appreciated! I have until my next appt March 12th to decide, but it's driving me crazy in the meantime...
Lupus, you have no chance!
Love and hugs,
(mom to my little Chihuahua, Brandi)
Diagnosed with SLE, Sjogren's, Reynaud's, Celiac, and arthritis November 2006.