Warnings:

Methotrexate has rarely caused serious (sometimes fatal) side effects. Therefore, this medication should be used only to treat cancer or severe diseases caused by an overactive immune system (such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis).

Methotrexate has caused birth defects and death in unborn babies. Women must avoid becoming pregnant while taking this medication. Pregnant women who have psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis must not use methotrexate. (See also Precautions section.)

If you have kidney problems or excess body water (ascites, pleural effusion), you must be closely monitored and your dose may be adjusted or stopped by your doctor.

Methotrexate (usually at high dosages) has rarely caused severe (sometimes fatal) blood/bone marrow problems (decreasing your body's ability to fight infections) and stomach/intestinal disease (such as bleeding) when used at the same time as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as indomethacin, ketoprofen). Therefore, NSAIDs should not be used with high-dose methotrexate. Caution is advised if you also take aspirin. NSAIDs/aspirin may be used with low-dose methotrexate such as for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis if directed by your doctor. If your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details on the safe use of these drugs (such as close monitoring by your doctor, keeping the same doses of NSAIDs).

In rare instances, this drug may also cause liver problems when it is used for long periods of time. If you are using methotrexate long term, a liver biopsy is usually recommended.

Methotrexate use has rarely caused serious (sometimes fatal) side effects, such as lung problems, lung infections (Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia), skin reactions, diarrhea, and mouth sores (ulcerative stomatitis). (See also Side Effects section.)

Lumps (tumors/abnormal growths) may very rarely appear during methotrexate use. The drug must be stopped and treatment may be needed. Tell your doctor right away if new lumps/growths occur.

When used to treat tumors, methotrexate sometimes causes side effects due to the rapid destruction of cancer cells (tumor lysis syndrome). To lower your risk, drink plenty of fluids unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Also, your doctor may prescribe an additional medication. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, low back/side pain, signs of kidney problems (such as pink/bloody urine, change in the amount of urine, painful urination), or muscle spasms/weakness.

When this medication is used with radiation treatment, it may rarely increase the risk of tissue and bone damage. Discuss the risks and benefits of your treatment with your doctor.

Uses

Methotrexate is used to treat certain types of cancer or to control severe psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis that has not responded to other treatments. It may also be used to control juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Methotrexate belongs to a class of drugs known as antimetabolites. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells and suppressing the immune system.Early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with more aggressive therapy such as methotrexate helps to reduce further joint damage and to preserve joint function.

How to use Trexall

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking methotrexate and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Methotrexate is a strong medication. The dosage and how often you take this medication are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. There are many different dosing schedules for this medication (especially for cancer treatment). Taking this medication the wrong way may cause serious side effects, including death. Therefore, it is very important that you follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor.

For the treatment of psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis, take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once a week. It may take up to several months before you get the full benefit of this drug.

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.

Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Doing so helps your kidneys to remove the drug from your body and avoid some of the side effects.

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.