I am 51 and just diagnosed with RA. I think I had this long ago and it went into remission. Symptoms began a few months ago. Finally got in to see a Rheumatologist on Friday. He examined me and by the high RA factor test my other doc did, he confirmed what I already suspected. He prescribed Methotrexate 2.5 mg 6 pills once a week. I'm staring at the bottle, freaking out from the horrible list of side effects. I don't know what to do. Anyone with experience using this drug please respond. Thanks.
Yes I have been on this med for more than a year :( it is strong but it helps me .Take it along with Folic Acid to avoid some of the side effects, I was taking the pills but they wiped me out for a couple of days so doctor switched me to the injectable form and it is a little easier on my body. I hope this helps you and you feel better soon.
I have been on Methotrexate (I write it as Mx) for a long time. This may not be a popular answer but sometimes there is a thing as too much information. You must be aware of side effects, so you can recognize a negative reaction, but keep in mind Mx works. It really , really works. If you take your folic acid, your hair loss can be minimal. I take 8 pills per week. every Sunday. I try to take it as early as possible so by Monday the side effects of nausea are minimal. I get very sleepy by Sunday afternoon and usually sleep a lot until Tuesday. Schedule your doses accordingly.
The relief is not instant, you must have patience and a whole lot of Advil.
The reason that Mx is the go to drug is the cost, it is extremely inexpensive, yet effective. With the new healthcare, insurance companies will not allow for other treatments until Mx has been tried.
Im not saying to just pop any pill your Doc gives you, but be assured that unless you are a heavy drinker, the worst side effects are a bit of nausea and sleepiness... which gets better with time. Not every week will be the same. I am drinking coffee today, normally, that is not possble at all. I have discovered a hot tea combo that has caffeine but does not make me sick and therefore no lack of caffeine headache.
I was at the point of deep despair by the time I finally got on Mx, I was, at times, unable to walk. As you know a flare up can take you out for several days. I pruned my roses one day, 10 bushes, thats it, and I was completely and totally crippled for a week. I went to my regular doc and he was appalled because no tests showed positive for RA, even though my dad has the same disease. Now, its taken awhile, believe me, but this year I am doing my own yard work. A little at a time but never the less I am doing it. I even mowed the lawn!
Good Luck and let us know if you need us.
I take Methotrexate 8 pills once a week. I take it on Monday evenings with my supper. I had a lot of hair loss at the beginning, but it has slowed down to just the normal hair loss. I do have feelings of depression and mood swings. It seems that Mx affects everyone differently. I am so anxious to take care of myself, that I am happy to do what it takes. I have totally quit any alcohol or anything else that I think might compromise my liver. I do take Folic acid. The Rheumatologist had started me on 20 mg. of Prednisone and gradually weaned me down to nothing. This was fine for a month when I started with pain in my hands and joints again. I am now back on 10 mg. of Prednisone and can feel things getting back to something more manageable. I also had a avery high RA factor.
I have been using Methotrexate by way of injection, doing it this way prevents nausea and I have very little side effects. Oh yes, there is hair loss (a bummer), but I am taking 1 mg. of Folic Acid daily, it helps.
When I first began taking these meds for RA, I was as terrified as you, so much so that I froze in fear and could not go forward. My focusing on the side effects was having a far worse effect on me than the meds. So I finally shifted my focus, am now at peace with all of this, taking methotrexate injections and Remicade Infusions. And I am still alive, yes! You can do this, you are not alone, we are faced with your same fears. Just shift your focus.
I too freaked out about the side effects and the fact that it interacts w everything. I agree that you should try it at a lower dose, slowly building up to that many pills per week. If u have side effects discontinue and see ur dr. There are too many other drugs that r effective just to suffer so the ins co can save a buck! I took it when first diagnosed w severe RA in 2/15. I kept having skin infections from using it so after several tries at lower doses im now on sulfasalazine, which is much safer and the drug of choice for RA in Europe. It seems to be working a little as my numbers r down. My next step is to add a biologic in a month or 2 which is qhen my ins will approve it. Just listen to your body. If u have side effects or are a drinker, dont take it. Go back to ur dr and demand another drug. You know urself and if theres one thing ive learned from all this is that you have to be your best advocate.
- Methotrexate Information for Consumers
- Methotrexate Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Methotrexate (detailed)
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