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METOJECT 50MG/ML SOLUTION FOR INJECTION

Active substance(s): METHOTREXATE

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PACKAGE LEAFLET: INFORMATION FOR THE USER
®

Metoject 50 mg/ml solution for injection
(methotrexate)
Your medicine is known as the above but will be referred to as Metoject 50 mg/ml throughout the
remainder of this leaflet.
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start using this medicine because it contains
important information for you.
 Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
 If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
 This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them,
even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
 If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects
not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
What is in this leaflet:
1. What Metoject 50 mg/ml is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you use Metoject 50 mg/ml
3. How to use Metoject 50 mg/ml
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Metoject 50 mg/ml
6. Contents of the pack and other information
1. WHAT METOJECT 50 MG/ML IS AND WHAT IT IS USED FOR

In women of child-bearing age, any existing pregnancy must be excluded with certainty by taking
appropriate measures, e.g. pregnancy test, prior to therapy.
As methotrexate can be genotoxic, all women who wish to become pregnant are advised to consult a
genetic counselling centre, if possible, already prior to therapy, and men should seek advice about the
possibility of sperm preservation before starting therapy.
Breast-feeding should be stopped prior to and during treatment with Metoject 50 mg/ml.
Driving and using machines
Treatment with Metoject 50 mg/ml may cause adverse reactions affecting the central nervous system,
e.g. tiredness and dizziness. Thus the ability to drive a vehicle and/or to operate machines may, in
certain cases, be compromised. If you feel tired or drowsy you should not drive or use machines.
Metoject 50 mg/ml contains sodium
This medicinal product contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, i.e. essentially “sodiumfree”.
3. HOW TO USE METOJECT 50 MG/ML
Your doctor decides on the dosage, which is adjusted individually. Usually it takes 4 – 8 weeks before
there is any effect of the treatment.
Metoject 50 mg/ml is administered by or under the supervision of a physician or healthcare staff as an
injection once a week only. Together with your doctor you decide on a suitable weekday each week on
which you receive your injection. Metoject 50 mg/ml may be injected intramuscularly (in a muscle),
intravenously (in a vein) or subcutaneously (under the skin).

Metoject contains methotrexate as active substance.

As there is very little data about giving the medicine intravenously in children and adolescents, it must
only be injected under the skin or into a muscle.

Methotrexate is a substance with the following properties:
 it interferes with the growth of certain cells in the body that reproduce quickly
 it reduces the activity of the immune system (the body’s own defence mechanism)
 it has anti-inflammatory effects

The doctor decides on the appropriate dose in children and adolescents with polyarthritic forms of
juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Metoject is not recommended in children less than 3 years of age due to
insufficient experience in this age group.

Metoject 50 mg/ml is indicated for the treatment of





active rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients.
polyarthritic forms of severe, active juvenile idiopathic arthritis, when the response to nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been inadequate.
severe recalcitrant disabling psoriasis, which is not adequately responsive to other forms of therapy
such as phototherapy, PUVA, and retinoids, and severe psoriatic arthritis in adult patients.
mild to moderate Crohn’s Disease in adult patients when adequate treatment with other medicines
is not possible.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic collagen disease, characterised by inflammation of the synovial
membranes (joint membranes). These membranes produce a fluid which acts as a lubricant for many
joints. The inflammation causes thickening of the membrane and swelling
of the joint.
Juvenile arthritis concerns children and adolescents less than 16 years. Polyarthritic forms are indicated
if 5 or more joints are affected within the first 6 months of the disease.
Psoriatic arthritis is a kind of arthritis with psoriatic lesions of the skin and nails, especially at the joints
of fingers and toes.
Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disease, characterised by red patches covered by thick, dry, silvery,
adherent scales.
Metoject 50 mg/ml modifies and slows down the progression of the disease.
Crohn’s Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal
tract causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting or weight loss.
2. BEFORE YOU USE METOJECT 50 MG/ML
Do not use Metoject 50 mg/ml if you
 are allergic to methotrexate or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6).
 suffer from severe liver or kidney diseases or blood diseases.
 regularly drink large amounts of alcohol.
 suffer from a severe infection, e.g. tuberculosis, HIV or other immunodeficiency syndromes.
 suffer from ulcers in the mouth, stomach ulcer or intestinal ulcer.
 are pregnant or breast-feeding.
 receive vaccinations with live vaccines at the same time.
Warnings and precautions
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Metoject 50 mg/ml if:
 you are elderly or if you feel generally unwell and weak.
 your liver function is impaired.
 you suffer from dehydration (water loss).
Recommended follow-up examinations and safety measures:
Even when Metoject 50 mg/ml is administered in low doses, severe side effects can occur. In order to
detect them in time, check-ups and laboratory tests have to be carried out by your doctor.
Before therapy:
Before starting the treatment, blood samples will be taken in order to check that you have enough blood
cells, tests to check your liver function, serum albumin (a protein in the blood) and kidney function. Your
doctor will also check if you suffer from tuberculosis (infectious disease in combination with little
nodules in the affected tissue) and a chest X-ray will be taken.
During therapy:
You will have the following tests at least once a month during the first six months and at least every
three months thereafter:






Examination of the mouth and throat for alterations of the mucosa
Blood tests
Check of liver function
Check of kidney function
Check of respiratory system and if necessary lung function test

Methotrexate may affect your immune system and vaccination results. It may also affect the result of
immunological tests. Inactive, chronic infections (e.g. herpes zoster [shingles], tuberculosis, hepatitis B
or C) may flare up. During therapy with Metoject 50 mg/ml you must not be vaccinated with live
vaccines.
Radiation induced dermatitis and sun-burn can reappear under methotrexate therapy (recall-reaction).
Psoriatic lesions can exacerbate during UV-irradiation and simultaneous administration of
methotrexate. Enlarged lymph nodes (lymphoma) may occur and therapy must then be stopped.
Diarrhoea can be a toxic effect of Metoject 50 mg/ml and requires an interruption of therapy. If you
suffer from diarrhoea please speak to your doctor.
Encephalopathy (a brain disorder) / leukoencephalopathy (a special disorder of the white brain
substance) have been reported in cancer patients receiving methotrexate therapy and cannot be
excluded for methotrexate therapy in other diseases.
Other medicines and Metoject 50 mg/ml
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.
The effect of the treatment may be affected if Metoject 50 mg/ml is administered at the same time as
certain other drugs:














Medicines harming the liver or the blood count, e.g. leflunomide
Antibiotics (medicines to prevent/fight certain infections) such as: tetracyclines, chloramphenicol,
and non-absorbable broadspectrum antibiotics, penicillines, glycopeptides, sulphonamides (sulphur
containing medicines that prevent/fight certain infections), ciprofloxacin and cefalotin
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or salicylates (medicines against pain and/or inflammation)
Probenecid (medicine against gout)
Weak organic acids like loop diuretics (“water tablets”) or some medicines used for treatment of
pain and inflammatory diseases (e.g. acetylsalicylic acid, diclofenac and ibuprofen) and pyrazole
(e.g. metamizol for treating pain)
Medicinal products, which may have adverse effects on the bone marrow, e.g. trimethoprimsulphamethoxazole (an antibiotic) and pyrimethamine
Sulphasalazine (antirheumatic medicine)
Azathioprine (an immunosuppressive agent sometimes used in severe forms of rheumatoid
arthritis)
Mercaptopurine (a cytostatic agent)
Retinoids (medicine against psoriasis and other dermatological diseases)
Theophylline (medicine against bronchial asthma and other lung diseases)
Proton-pump inhibitors (medicines against stomach trouble)
Hypoglycaemics (medicines that are used to lower the blood sugar)

Vitamins containing folic acid may impair the effect of your treatment and should only be taken when
advised by your doctor.
Vaccination with live vaccine should be avoided.
Metoject 50 mg/ml with food, drink and alcohol
Alcohol as well as large amounts of coffee, caffeine-containing soft drinks and black tea should be
avoided during treatment with Metoject 50 mg/ml.
Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask
your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.
You must not take Metoject 50 mg/ml during pregnancy. There is a risk of harm to the foetus and
miscarriage. Men and women should use an effective method of birth control during treatment and for a
further six months after treatment with Metoject 50 mg/ml has been discontinued.

Method and duration of administration
Metoject is injected once weekly!
The duration of the treatment is determined by the treating physician. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis,
juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriasis vulgaris, psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease with Metoject is a
long term treatment.
At the start of your therapy, Metoject may be injected by medical staff. In certain cases your doctor may
decide to instruct you how to inject Metoject under the skin yourself. You will then receive appropriate
training. Under no circumstances should you try to inject Metoject yourself before you have received
such training. Please refer to the instructions for use at the end of the leaflet.
The manner of handling and disposal must be consistent with that of other cytostatic preparations in
accordance with local requirements. Pregnant health care personnel should not handle and/or
administer Metoject 50 mg/ml.
Methotrexate should not come into contact with the surface of the skin or mucosa. In the event of
contamination, the affected area must be rinsed immediately with plenty of water.
If you have the impression that the effect of Metoject 50 mg/ml is too strong or too weak, you should
talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
4. POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
The frequency as well as the degree of severity of the side effects depends on the dosage level and the
frequency of administration. As severe side effects may occur even at low dosage, it is important that
you are monitored regularly by your doctor. Your doctor will do tests to check for abnormalities
developing in the blood (such as low white blood cells, low platelets, lymphoma) and changes in the
kidneys and the liver.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms, as these may indicate a
serious, potentially life-threatening side effect, which require urgent specific treatment:
 persistent dry, non-productive cough, shortness of breath and fever; these may be signs of an
inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia) [common — may affect up to 1 in 10 people]
 symptoms of liver damage such as yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes; methotrexate
can cause chronic liver damage (liver cirrhosis), formation of scar tissue of the liver (liver fibrosis),
fatty degeneration of the liver [all uncommon — may affect up to 1 in 100 people], inflammation of
the liver (acute hepatitis) [rare — may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people] and liver failure [very rare —
may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people]
 allergy symptoms such as skin rash including red itchy skin, swelling of the hands, feet,
ankles, face, lips, mouth or throat (which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing)
and feeling you are going to faint; these may be signs of severe allergic reactions or an
anaphylactic shock [rare — may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people]
 symptoms of kidney damage such as swelling of the hands, ankles or feet or changes in
frequency of urination or decrease or absence of urine; these may be signs of kidney failure
[rare — may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people]
 symptoms of infections, e.g. fever, chills, achiness, sore throat; methotrexate can make you
more susceptible to infections. Rarely [may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people] severe infections like a
certain type of pneumonia (Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) or blood poisoning (sepsis) may occur
 severe diarrhoea, vomiting blood and black or tarry stools; these symptoms may indicate a
rare [may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people] severe complication of the gastrointestinal system caused
by methotrexate e.g. gastrointestinal ulcers
 symptoms associated with the blockage (occlusion) of a blood vessel by a dislodged blood
clot (thromboembolic event) such as weakness of one side of the body (stroke) or pain,
swelling, redness and unusual warmth in one of your legs (deep vein thrombosis);
methotrexate can cause hromboembolic events [rare - may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people]
 fever and serious deterioration of your general condition, or sudden fever accompanied by a
sore throat or mouth, or urinary problems; methotrexate can very rarely [may affect up to 1 in
10,000 people] cause a sharp fall in white blood cells (agranulocytosis) and severe bone marrow
suppression
 unexpected bleeding, e.g. bleeding gums, blood in the urine, vomiting blood or bruising,
these can be signs of a severely reduced number of blood platelets caused by severe courses of
bone marrow depression [very rare — may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people]
 severe skin rash or blistering of the skin (this can also affect your mouth, eyes and
genitals); these may be signs of the very rare [may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people] conditions
called Stevens Johnson syndrome or burned skin syndrome (toxic epidermal necrolysis)
In the following, please find the other side effects that may occur:
Very common: may affect more than 1 in 10 people
 Mouth inflammation, indigestion, nausea (feeling sick), loss of appetite
 Increase in liver enzymes
Common: may affect up to 1 in 10 people
 Mouth ulcers, diarrhoea
 Rash, reddening of the skin, itching
 Headache, tiredness, drowsiness
 Reduced blood cell formation with decrease in white and/or red blood cells and/or platelets
(leukopenia, anaemia, thrombocytopenia)
Uncommon: may affect up to 1 in 100 people
 Throat inflammation, inflammation of the bowels, vomiting
 Increased sensitivity to light, loss of hair, increased number of rheumatic nodules, shingles,
inflammation of blood vessels, herpes-like skin rash, hive
 Onset of diabetes mellitus
 Dizziness, confusion, depression
 Decrease in serum albumin
 Decrease in the number of blood cells and platelets
 Inflammation and ulcer of the urinary bladder or vagina, reduced kidney function, disturbed
urination
 Joint pain, muscle pain, osteoporosis (reduction of bone mass)
Rare: may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people
 Increased skin pigmentation, acne, blue spots due to vessel bleeding

Allergic inflammation of blood vessels, fever, red eyes, infection, wound healing impairment,
decreased number of anti-bodies in the blood
 Visual disturbances
 Inflammation of the sac around the heart, accumulation of fluid in the sac around the heart
 Low blood pressure
 Lung fibrosis, shortness of breath and bronchial asthma, accumulation of fluid in the sac around the
lung
 Electrolyte disturbances
Very rare: may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people
 Profuse bleeding, toxic megacolon (acute toxic dilatation of the gut)
 Increased pigmentation of the nails, inflammation of the cuticles, furunculosis (deep infection of hair
follicles), visible enlargement of small blood vessels
 Local damage (formation of sterile abscess, changes in the fatty tissue) of injection site following
administration into a muscle or under the skin
 Impaired vision, pain, loss of strength or sensation of numbness or tingling in arms and legs,
changes in taste (metallic taste), convulsions, paralysis, severe headache with fever
 Retinopathy (noninflammatory eye disorder)
 Loss of sexual drive, impotence, male breast enlargement (gynaecomastia), defective sperm
formation, menstrual disorder, vaginal discharge
 Enlargement of lymphatic nodes (lymphoma)
Not known: frequency cannot be estimated from the available data
 Leukoencephalopathy (a disease of the white brain substance)
When methotrexate is given by the intramuscular route, local undesirable effects (burning sensation) or
damage (formation of sterile abscess, destruction of fatty tissue) at the site of injection can occur
commonly. Subcutaneous application of methotrexate is locally well tolerated. Only mild local skin
reactions were observed, decreasing during therapy.

Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not
listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By
reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
5. HOW TO STORE METOJECT 50 MG/ML






Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
Do not store above 25 °C.
Keep container in the outer carton in order to protect from light.
Do not use this medicine after the expiry date stated on the packaging. The expiry date refers to the
last day of that month.
Medicines should not be disposed via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to
dispose of medicines no longer required. The measures will help to protect the environment.

6. CONTENTS OF THE PACK AND OTHER INFORMATION
What Metoject 50 mg/ml contains
 1 syringe (0.2ml) contains: methotrexate disodium equivalent to 10mg methotrexate.
 Also contains Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide and water for injection
What Metoject 50 mg/ml looks like and contents of the pack
A graduated pre-filled glass syringe with a 1ml capacity embedded injection needle. Green plunger
stopper and rod inserted on the stopper to form the syringe plunger. The pre-filled syringe contains
0.20ml of solution and is available in a pack of 1. The syringe is embedded with a s.c. injection needle
(covered with a grey protection cap) and comes with (X2) alcohol pads.
Manufacturer
Manufactured by Medac, Theaterstr 6, 2280 Wedel, Germany.
Procured from within the EU and repackaged by the Product Licence holder: G Pharma Ltd., Salford
M50 2PU.
POM

PL 16369/1585

Leaflet Revision: 06/10/2015
Instructions for use
Carefully read the instructions below before starting your injection, and always use the injection
technique advised by your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
For any problem or question, contact your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
Preparation
Select a clean, well-lit and flat working surface.
Collect necessary items before you begin:
 1 Metoject 50 mg/ml pre-filled syringe
 1 alcohol pad (provided in the packaging)
Wash your hands carefully. Before use, check the Metoject 50 mg/ml syringe for visual defects (or
cracks).
Injection site
Areas for subcutaneous injection

The best sites for injection are:
 upper thighs,
 abdomen except around the navel.




If someone is helping you with the injection, he/she may
also give the injection into the back of your arms, just below
the shoulder.
Change the injection site with each injection. This may
reduce the risk of developing irritations at the
injection site.
Never inject into skin that is tender, bruised, red, hard,
scarred or where you have stretch marks. If you have
psoriasis, you should try not to inject directly into any
raised, thick, red or scaly skin patches or lesions.

Injecting the solution
1. Unpack the methotrexate pre-filled syringe and read the package leaflet carefully. Remove the prefilled syringe from the packaging at room temperature.

2. Disinfection
Choose an injection site and disinfect it with a swab soaked in
disinfectant.
Allow at least 60 seconds for the disinfectant to dry.

3. Remove the protective plastic cap
Carefully remove the grey protective plastic cap by pulling it straight off
the syringe. If the cap is very stiff, turn it slightly with a pulling
movement. Important: Do not touch the needle of the pre-filled syringe!

4. Inserting the cannula
Using two fingers, pinch up a fold of skin and quickly insert the needle
into the skin at a 90-degree angle.

5. Injection
Insert the needle fully into the fold of skin.
Push the plunger down slowly and inject the liquid underneath your
skin. Hold the skin securely until the injection is completed.
Carefully pull the needle straight out.

Methotrexate should not come into contact with the surface of the skin or mucosa. In the event of
contamination, the affected area must be rinsed immediately with plenty of water.
If you or someone around you is injured by the needle, consult your doctor immediately and do not use
this pre-filled syringe.
Disposal and other handling
The manner of handling and throwing away of the medicine and pre-filled syringe must be in
accordance with local requirements. Pregnant healthcare personnel should not handle and/or
administer Metoject 50 mg/ml.

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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