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Anyone on Methotrexate?

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Old 10-03-2007, 04:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7
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Anyone on Methotrexate?

Hi all, Spent my afternoon at the Rheumatologist going over the results of my x-ray, blood work and bone density test. Even though I knew chances were I had RA it was still hard to swallow hearing it come out of my doctors mouth. Anyway, I wanted to ask if anyone was taking Methotrexate. My doctor said that the most common side effect is hair loss? (Does this mean I don't have to shave anymore? lol) He also put me on Folic Acid, Relafen and I'm to continue the Prednisone.

Just wanted to see if anyone has had any experience with the medication and whether or not it has helped. I have been having severe pain in my hands and ankles. The prednisone has helped a little with my walking but has done nothing for my hands at this point.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it ~Mark Twain

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:00 PM   #2
S Park
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: South central US
Posts: 19
S Park HB User
Thumbs up Re: Anyone on Methotrexate?

Sorry, I'm not on Methotrexate yet but my rheumy also just spent time w/me going over test results. I have arthritis but not officially rheumatoid. Instead, I'm in kind've a limbo as to which type. Nonetheless I have a lot of inflammation and some bone degeneration with plenty of pain in the joints. Sometimes my bones just seem to ache.

My rheumy insisted I have to go on treatment to slow down/stop/reverse the damage and gave me a list of drugs. I chose Methotrexate and like you want to hear from others who have been on it.

Per my rheumy, I should load up on a prescription form of folic acid (think it was 1 mg a day) for 4 days before I actually start Methotrexate. That's because there's something about Meth that limits or destroys the body's ability to absorb or make use of folic acid. With folic acid the side effects are greatly reduced. The other point she made was that I had to come back 4 weeks after I start Meth - guess for more tests including liver function.

Methotrexate does have a lot of side effects but she said that the hair loss would not be that noticeable - just some extra hair on the hairbrush. Because it's given in very low doses for arthritis and folic acid is given with it, the severe side effects (lymphoma, liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea) are greatly reduced or non existent. In some mild cases the side effects can go away. I personally won't put up with any digestive upsets! Unfortunately, Methotrexate is also known for causing lung damage and since I already have lung disease I have to wait to talk to my pulmo about it before I can start. Again, from what I've read, the chances are reduced w/such a low dose. The other issue is increased fatigue.

Hope you hear from some posters - I'm curious too!

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