Rheumatoid arthritis. Methotrexate may be used alone or with other medicines to
control the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Methotrexate is
safe and effective for children with JIA. It is generally used for children who
do not respond to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is also used to
treat resistant chronic
in children with JIA.
Methotrexate slows the rapid growth of skin cells in
Sjögren's syndrome. Methotrexate is
generally used for people who do not respond to other medicine for Sjögren's
Ectopic pregnancy. Methotrexate is used
with leucovorin to end an ectopic pregnancy or to prevent the growth of any
fetal cells that are left behind after surgery to end an ectopic
Medical abortion. Methotrexate is used with misoprostol
in early pregnancy for medical abortion.
How Well It Works
Methotrexate effectively treats many conditions and diseases,
Cancer. The type and extent of a cancer will
determine whether methotrexate is used. It is commonly used in combination with
other chemotherapy medicines.
Autoimmune diseases. Methotrexate
is used to relieve joint pain and other symptoms. It is given to help control diseases such as
rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriasis, and Sjögren's
Ectopic pregnancy. Methotrexate is used to end an
ectopic pregnancy in early pregnancy. It is not used to treat a ruptured
Side effects from methotrexate are usually temporary and occur more
often with long-term use. Side effects may include:
Nausea, vomiting, and loss of
Fatigue and sleep disturbances.
Less common side effects include:
Sun sensitivity and easy
Diarrhea or blood in the stool.
Easy bruising and bleeding.
Skin rash or
Long-term side effects may include:
Liver damage. The risk of liver damage is
increased in people who have other problems, such as diabetes, liver disease,
or a history of alcohol abuse.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Methotrexate can cause birth defects. Do not use this drug if you
are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or father a child while you are taking
Many antibiotics can increase the level of methotrexate in your
blood. Make sure your doctor knows that you are taking methotrexate if you need
to take an antibiotic for another problem.
You will have your blood drawn often while you are taking
Do not drink alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, while
you are being treated with methotrexate.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.