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    Old 06-07-2009, 09:27 AM   #1
    louisagerard
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    Methotrexate...

    I was suppose to start taking methotrexate one week ago as I was just diag. with RA. My levels are very high and my Dr. feels that this med is best for me. Ihave not started taking it because I am deathly afraid of the side effects...believe it or not especially the hair loss. I am a young woman and can't imagine losing my hair. My Dr. also prescribed folic acid. Does any one have any advise for me. Maybe another med with not as many side effects?

     
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    Old 06-07-2009, 01:02 PM   #2
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    Re: Methotrexate...

    Hi Louisa,

    Your doctor has recommended methotrexate because it is excellent for certain types of arthritis. There are a lot of people on this board that can give you advice on methotrexate and their experiences. I have a friend who has been on it 15 years and has never had any problems. Whereas I was on it 6 months and ended up in hospital with liver problems. Whilst taking it my hair did fall out at the front, and I was devastated as I was working at the time. As soon as I stopped the drug, the hair slowly came back. I have tried all the dmards, and they all have various side effects. Please do not be put off by the side effects if the drug works for the pain etc, some people swear by it. It did help my arthritis, but my liver didnt like it. Mind you I am 50 you are young you may be absolutely fine. I wish you all the very best with your problem and hope you find a drug that suits you best. Most arthritis sufferers will tell you that you will probably try various dmards and drugs before you find one that suits you. If I can help anymore please ask. I have Psoriatic Arthritis and have been fighting it for 5 years now.

    Regards Ronnie

     
    Old 06-07-2009, 03:40 PM   #3
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    Re: Methotrexate...

    I am 34 Female. I was on methotrexate for several years. Honestly I became very sick when I took the meds. My RA doctor tried giving me several meds to take with the Methotrexate, but I continued to get very sick. I did not loose a lot of my hair. I mostly noticed any hair loss when I took a shower. I am now on Remicade. I just went for my second Infusion. I was just recently told I have Chronic Synovitis in my wrists. This is very painfull. I would suggest you take the Methotrexate. it is a great drug, with great results. Every person is different, and will react differently to the drug. Best of luck!!

     
    Old 06-07-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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    Re: Methotrexate...

    Hi Louisa,
    I take 20mg of methotrexate weekly for ra. I too was reluctant but for other reasons. Meth is a similar drug to 5fu that I was on as colon ca chemotherapy . Folic acid and leucovorin are used to alleviate the side effects of both 5fu and meth. I reacted badly to 5fu but I am still here nearly 12 years after st3c colon ca. I can feel some of the same effects with meth ,slight nausea ,tingling lips and tongue and gritty eyes. On the up side my blood tests show that my inflammatory response has dropped by eighty percent with no liver problems. My doc has split the dose into two 10 mg doses sat nite and wed nite. I take 5 mg folic acid on mon and leucovorin tuesday. I was still in a lot of pain so he put me on lyrica which has cut it by half so it looks like I have poly neuropathy as well. I have not lost any hair(have not got much to lose)and I suspect my tiredness and general malaise stems from the fact that I am on at least six meds that are noted for their side effects. I was on very high doses of prednisone for nearly seven months,now that IS a drug to avoid. After pred taking meth is like taking jelly beans,best wishes.Ron.

     
    Old 06-07-2009, 10:48 PM   #5
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    Re: Methotrexate...

    My husband of 40 years has been on Methotrexate for 10 years. Everyone is different sometimes, in how they react to new medications. My husband has had RA for 15 years. He started out with aspirin, then went to prednisone, and then to Methotrexate injections, and later the pills. He currently goes in every 2 months for a Remicade infusion. They don't give Remicade unless you are taking Methotrexate.
    Remicade slows down the progress of the RA. My husband is doing well. He is on disability, but generally is pain free and he never suffered any hair loss at all. I guess it's a personal decision between you and your doctor and how badly the RA affects you. Does it interfere with your everyday activities? How much pain are you in? Most of all don't give up hope on the RA? There are allot of treatments out there.

     
    Old 06-08-2009, 12:40 AM   #6
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    Re: Methotrexate...

    I was on MTX for many years it never really worked well for me. The side effects (mostly nausea and dizziness) weren't bad once I started taking the rescue drug folic acid and later leucovorin. Now I take Plaquenil instead of MTX, though some folks get hair loss from that too. Some NSAIDs also cause hair loss.

    Keep in mind, besides medications, the chronic inflammation caused by untreated inflammatory disease can cause hair loss all by itself. Iron deficency and thyroid problems, two disorders that often co-exist with autoimmune disease, can make hair loss worse.

    And remember the MTX dosage for autoimmune disease is tiny compared with the dose used to treat some cancers. RA dosage is usually 7.5mg slowly increasing to 20mg a week while an illness like choriocarcinoma is treated with 15mg to 30mg a day. Their side effects, which are listed along side the RA side effects, are of course much more intense.

    Last edited by AuntieLeela; 06-08-2009 at 12:42 AM.

     
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