Methotrexate is a medication used to treat a number of cancers. This medication is usually taken only when other treatments for cancer prove to be unsuccessful. Therefore, only use this medication as a last resort.
How It Works
This medication belongs to a group of drugs known as antimetabolites. These drugs work by reducing the formation of particular cells, mainly cells that are more susceptible to reproduce quickly. These include skin cells and bone marrow cells. Methotrexate can also reduce the growth of cancer cells by suppressing the immune system of an individual.
The main use of this medication is its ability to treat cancer. It is useful in preventing and treating a number of cancers that can occur in the blood, skin, lungs, breast, neck and head. The medication can also treat conditions such as severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Methotrexate helps to treat joint damage amongst individuals suffering from arthritis.
Since this medication is very strong, the dosage varies from one individual to another. Your dosage will depend on your personal health condition and response to the treatment. Changing the dosage, even by a small degree, can affect your condition negatively. Thus, it is highly important for you to follow the prescription of the physician at all times. If you making any changes to the dosage or your schedule, make sure to inform the physician first.
In order to benefit from this medication, you need to take it regularly. If you keep forgetting your doses, take it at the same time at every day. This way, you will not miss it.
Although you might not experience the following side effects, it is best to keep an eye out for them at all times.
Rapid weight gain
Blood in stools
Shortness of breath
If you do experience any of the above, contact your health care provider immediately in order to reverse the effects of these symptoms.
Adhering to the following guidelines will reduce the risk of these side effects to a great extent.
This medication can easily get into body fluids such as urine and sweat. Thus, make sure to wash your clothes separately.
Do not consume this medication along with alcohol. This can increase the risk of side effects.
This medication can increase your sensitivity to sunlight, especially if you have psoriasis. So, make sure to wear sunscreen when going out.
If you miss a dose, do not double the next one. Simply follow your usual schedule.
Inform your pharmacist about your current medications in order to avoid a negative reaction to methotrexate.
Due to the strength of this medication, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are advised to refrain from the treatment. Using this medication can affect the health of your baby to a great extent. Therefore, make sure to stay away from it during this period.
Increasing the dosage of the drug will not accelerate the effectiveness of it. Instead, it can only result in a higher risk of side effects. Moreover, this can lead to overdoses too. So, you must not increase your dosage without your physician’s knowledge.