Methotrexate is used in instances where active metabolism of the cells needs to be inhibited. It has been useful in treating diseases that are associated with rapid and abnormal cell growth such as psoriasis and some forms of cancer. It has also proved to be effective in inducing abortion in women with ectopic pregnancies. The drug has been approved by the FDA in 1953 and is used in instances where other treatments are not effective in controlling cell growth.
It acts either by decreasing the growth of cells to avoid malignancies and decrease the activity of the immune system and is used in auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
How to use Methotrexate:
Methotrexate is available in the form of tablet for oral consumption. The dosage and schedule depends on the underlying disease condition and the body’s response to treatment. It may be required to use the drug on a rotating schedule and should be clearly explained by the physician to the clients. It is important to follow the schedule of the drug to avoid its serious side effects including death.
Treatment for psoriasis or arthritis may start off with a low dose with gradual increase in the dosage. It is important to take the medicine even if one feels well. It is not advisable to stop medicating oneself without permission from the doctor. Periodic blood tests may be indicated with the treatment.
Precautions and contraindications of Methotrexate:
People with allergies towards methotrexate of other components in the prescription should intimate the doctor of their impending allergy. It is important to inform all current medications to the doctor which includes vitamin supplements, herbal substitutes and nutritional supplements. Antibiotics such as penicillin, tetracycline, Chloromycetin, and drugs such as phenytoin, co-trimoxazole and theophylline could interact with methotrexate.
People with low folate levels in the blood and with tendencies of blood clotting should inform their doctor before being prescribed with Methotrexate. It is not indicated to breast feed the baby while on treatment and is not safe to be used in pregnancy. Unnecessary and prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV light should be avoided.
Top benefits of Methotrexate:
• Methotrexate is used in the treatment of severe and uncontrolled psoriasis that does not respond to other treatment.
• It is used to treat some forms of cancer and to induce miscarriage in ectopic pregnancy.
• Sometimes it is used in the treatment of Crohn’s disease, where the immune system attacks the gut and in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
• Many autoimmune disorders respond well to methotrexate.
• System lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis in children respond pretty well to the drug.