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methotrexate side effects (Page 1)

I was prescribed Methotrexate (mthoblastin) and salazaphyrin for my RA 4yrs ago. at first the relief was great. I really thought I was on a winer. some time later I started having some real health issues, tired all the time felt like a washed out rag, memory problems, brain felt like it was always in a fog, coordination problems, dizzy lost of balance. Then it got worse developed the shakes couldn't co ordinate brain and motor skills and mild seizures. I was sent to a range of specialists and no definitive answers maybe this maybe that. A couple of months ago I was in absolute joint pain couldn't walk etc totally wiped out I decided that the drugs were not working so I STOOPED TAKING THEM.
Today I can walk I mowed the lawn first time in 3years have a clear head and I am not tired all the time. I can function. My new RA specialist agreed that the drugs sometimes had that effect but still wanted to increase the dosage.
I have some permanent mild symptoms left over with memory. My question is have other people had similar side effects and where any of them permanent. Doctors do persist in prescribing drug on drugs. Not one of my many doctors even thought to look at my medications as a course.
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First Helper User Profile MandMs
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replied June 25th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Hi!
Feeling of malaise, undue fatigue, chills and fever, dizziness and decreased resistance to infection are frequently reported side effects of methotraxate.
Headaches, drowsiness, blurred vision, transient blindness, speech impairment, convulsions can, also, occur following administration of methotrexate.
Occasionally, its use can be followed with transient subtle cognitive dysfunction (impaired process of being aware, knowing, thinking, learning and judging) and mood alteration.
Salazopyrin in some patients can cause seizures (convulsions) and balance problems (feeling dizzy).

For how long you are meds free?
How do you feel considering your chronic illness?
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replied June 25th, 2008
methotrexate side effects
Thank you M and Ms for your reply. while I was reading it I saw the last miserable 4 years flash by again. I am staying off all RA medication at the moment hoping that the Remission stays awhile although my RH factors are 10 times normal.
I finally feel like I can get my life back I lost my job was but on a disability pension so I have a lot to get back.
what really has me concerned is that none of the doctors or Specialists over the time(all 5) even looked at the possibility that medication could have been responsible. Even know the Doctors are trying to hand out new pills and when I have a say about them they get really annoyed.
Never mind I feel great.
Thank you for your info.
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replied February 9th, 2013
i was diagnosed with RA in November last year and started treatment early Jan, at first i was elated as i thought i had my life back, but since i am on 6 methotrexate a week i feel tired,dizzy,lightheaded and find it hard to cope from day to day, i am going to see my specialist at the end of this month and in the meantime i am going to stop taking medication..
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replied July 1st, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
You are welcome!
I'm happy you are feeling much better.
You can think of using some alternative ways to lessen your pain.
Turmeric, ginger, and botswellia are used for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Acupuncture can be used for pain relief, too.

Best wishes!
Marija
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replied August 25th, 2008
methotrexate
Hello,
I am currently on methotrexate for my arthritis and have been on and off for the last couple years. I have also noticed some of these side effects. Since i've been on this medication I am fatigued all the time, have slight memory problems, stutter more, feel dizzy/lightheaded, and shakey at times. (I am almost 21 yrs old) I haven't felt like myself in a long time. On top of the arthritis I had lyme disease last year from getting bit by a tick and that may have to do with the side affects too.

I stopped taking methotrexate a couple times when my knees were doing good and not swollen at all but it doesn't last long enough and before you know it the arthritis comes back and I had to go back on it Sad

Well I hope you are doing well, I just wanted to reply because I have found myself to have similar reactions to the methotrexate. Very Happy
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replied May 15th, 2009
methotrexate side effects? still coming to terms with RA. .
Hi, I was diagnosed last august 08 with RA..I am 42 and if im honest I have known there was something wrong for a yr or two - just didn't want to admit it, or find out what was wrong. Apparently my cons said ive had it for 5yrs!! what a shock as it means I already have errosions pretty bad in my hands and also in my feet. It got to the stage last July were I couldn't get up and down stairs easy, which then led me in to HAVING to go to see my GP.
I was given steroid shots x 3 and put on Meths, as I call it lol..15 was my dose but now im on 20...I am now getting BAD headaches most days, feel dizzy and memory is terrible at times. Fatigue is a big problem, but how do I know if these are all side effects or my RA AND general health?? BP is up too....my cons reckons its my general health but I feel its the Meths..maybe im wrong? so ive dropped back to 15 to see if symptoms improve.
My RA is liveble I guess, my hands are in splints which is a pain [ A PAIN DOH!] as I use them for my work [I am a glass artist]
Has anyone taken the Laflunomide, I think it's called? as my cons wants me to take that now on top of my meths!!
Ive been healthy all my life so all this is a shock, I hate taking the medication and feel the side effects of it are sometimes worse that the RA! GRRRR

Im a positive person but it does get me down, I feel I need to speak to other people with RA rather than just my GP and consultant.

Does anyone else worry about the meds more than the RA as I do...maybe it's just me?

Im feeling okish today just a bit woozy - my mates may say im always woozy lol!!

Anyone else with RA you have my sympathy and I hope it isn't as advanced as mine....god knows how people feel if they have it when there younger than myself..... Rolling Eyes
...it makes me laugh somewhat when old dears complain of arthritis in their left little finger or elbow, little do they realise I have it all over.

I had better go and cut some glass whilst im on a good day. . . .

Debbie Smile
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replied May 15th, 2009
MTX & SIDE EFFECTS
Well Debbie, start eatingup the internet and educating yourself. This disease is life long but we can control it to some extent with drugs. It advances much faster than Osteo and most of my freinds and family and my boss DO NOT GET IT. I went to an RA seminar today, and they provided lots of good info. Have you called the Arthritis Foundation in your area? The latest buzz is that MTX combined with a biologic (is that what Laflunomide is?) are the number one way to go these days. You can inject MTX and it may lesson your symtoms OR you may be allergic to it. Start finding people in your area to talk to. It's a lonely world out there without support. I NEVER thought I'd be one to be purporting drug usage, but let me tell you this - You must stop the progression of this disease. It's plain old nasty and once bone is lost, it's gone forever. So hang in there and keep asking questions - and if you doc is not givingyou the answers, get another one - hopefully in a bigger city. Good luck
AJ in NW Washington State
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replied May 15th, 2009
Leflunomide
Debbie,
It's another DMARD like MTX is. Ask your doc about biologics. and do some research. I was diagonosed in Novemeber 08 and start MTX in December 08 after the "2nd opinion" doctor told me i'd be crippled in 3 years and couldn't work if I didn't do something drug wise now to stop the progression. (oh those were joyous words) So I went on MTX. Now I've reacted at 20 mgs and am back to 15mgs going on Enbrel next week, in combo with the MTX.
Let's hear from you Deb,
AJ in the NW
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replied June 16th, 2009
Methotrexate + Asthma problems
Hi:

I am a 53 year old female who has just been advised that I need to put on methotrexate for Severe Asthma problems. After doing alot of research I see all the side effects this drug can cause.

I have put on so much prednisone over the years that my doctor seems to think I should not take any more because of the side effects also.

I have worries about this drug. Some side effects I have read state that you could breathing problems. Well, that doesn't make sense for me as I am being put on the drug for breathing probolems.

I hesitate to take this drug can someone help me.

Thanks

Frustrated in Canada!
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replied June 19th, 2009
Well I started Enbrel 5 shots ago (about a month) and I'm taking 5 MTX a week also. (12.5) My hair was falling out big time on the 6 MTX and since I didn't have alot to start with it was and is bothering me. I had malaise in the beginning few months on MTX. I'd just go to sleep all day. weird. Now it seems ok. I'm not up to 100% - still a little blah. Since starting Enbrel the swelling is down without taking any IBUs or Prednisone . On MTX alone I was taking 12 - 16 IBUs a day and 5mg of Pred. and bruising all the time. YUCK. They SAY you can go into remission with this MTX/biologic combo. I surely hope so. Anyone else have data about this?
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replied December 20th, 2011
I was on 25 of methotrexate a day, plaquenil, 50 mg of prednisone and bunch of painkillers. I was so bad I had to go in a wheelchair for a couple of months....nothing was working. Doctor finally put me on Remicade (still on methotrexate), and a did a complete 360 and started feeling better the same day after my first injection. I haven't taken prednisone or any painkillers since, plus I stopped taking plaquenil........Within about a month of starting Remicade, I was basically 100 %. It did an amazing thing for me.......Can't say enough positive things about the drug......I can't say that I have any serious side effects on this medication. I still feel tired after my methotrexate every week, but that's it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The only down side to Remicade is the price....over 20 thousand dollars a year (in Canada). Hope this helps.
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replied February 19th, 2012
infusions refluximab and methotrexate
i was put on the remicade infusions but had to come off them a it caused sinisitus infection and thats one of the side effects was put on to refluxinab 2 infusions 2 weeks apart and been really ill since the 2nd one high blood presure larargic feel ill 24/7 headaches so stopping the methotraxate that they started me on at the same time after reading this think it might be a cocktail of symptoms had rq for over 35 years now i am 60 next month and feel 90
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replied February 19th, 2012
infusions refluximab and methotrexate
i was put on the remicade infusions but had to come off them a it caused sinisitus infection and thats one of the side effects was put on to refluxinab 2 infusions 2 weeks apart and been really ill since the 2nd one high blood presure larargic feel ill 24/7 headaches so stopping the methotraxate that they started me on at the same time after reading this think it might be a cocktail of symptoms had rq for over 35 years now i am 60 next month and feel 90
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replied July 3rd, 2009
Methotrexate
So many of you are in the same boat. I thought and feel like I am a milingerer and a bludger at times having an arthritic condtion. Always being very fit and active before this hit me about 10 years ago. I am now on methotrexate, mobic, prednisolone ,colgout and plaquenil. The lethargy is the killer I get up late in the morning and want to sleep again an hour later.Only been on the methotrexate for a month and the 24-48 hours after the dose is hurting me with such joint and muscle soreness I cant even walk. I just hope it will get better and I can rehab myself as I get better.
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replied July 30th, 2009
Methotrexate
Hi, this is Mhel. My daugther got diagnosed with Juvenile RA last January of 2009. She is only seven now. The first three months was the worst.... she got all the pains/swollen/stiffness all over, high grade fever, can't stand looking at her anymore that time. She really cried in pain all night. The Dr. started with ibuprofen in combination with prednisone, it didn't work. Then she was shifted to MTX and started with 2 tabs only once every week for two months. Her body responded positively thus, the DR increased it to 3 then 3 1/2 tablets now. MTX treatment in combination with Naproxen for pain is working well with her. She can now walk and go to school, less fever and stiffness. She is not at 100% remission if i may say but she is extremely better as compared to the first quarter on set of the illness. Physical therapy 3x/week played a major help, too. In terms of side effects, she lost around 4 kilos, from 23 now 19, her appetite got affected w/c according to the DR is expected. We are in close monitoring of her liver, too. Starting this week, she told me that she will only take a tablet of naproxen for pain, not 2, because the pain is almost gone. We Praise the LORD Jesus for keeping her safe and away from side effects until now. We have the faith that she will no longer have to shift to Enbrel...to all of you who has this illness, our GOD is just a prayer away...
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replied January 25th, 2012
Hi, I was diagnosed with JRA when I was around 12-13. I'm now 45. I have tried many drugs and Arava has worked the best for me. I have no more pain with this drug. Swelling is still there in my joints but I don't have the severe pain I used to have. Like most arthritis drugs it has a big list of bad side effects. I have had hair loss and diarrhea, both of which i can live with. Ask you doctor about ARAVA if she is still in pain. Works great for me.
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replied August 19th, 2009
I've been diagnosed with HLA-B27 Reactive Arthritis 2 1/2 years ago and I am now 29. I lost my first pregnancy at 8 weeks and we are unsure if it was b/c of the nasids I was taking specifically indocin (indomethacin). I am now in a severe flare in my knee causing a bakers cyst which is now gravitating to my calf cause edema of the ankle. I am scheduled to see a perinatologist to see if I can take a TNF (anti-tumor necrosis factor agent) during pregnancy my Rheumatologist wants me on enbrel but I want to try to have another baby. I know I don't want to take methotrexate (MTX) at all! You must abort your pregnancy even if the fetus (zygote) was exposed just two days! I have however found some info for ladies who suffer RA and want to conceive or already have. There’s a great article from John Hopkins arthritis center. I also found and article on etanercept (Enbrel) and pregnancy at www.otispregnancy.org
There is one hard thing to come to terms with and that is there is some evidence to suggest that women with RA may already have a higher risk of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage). There is also added risk caused by antirheumatic therapies, including MTX which 3 of the 7 women miscarried in this case study were receiving MTX at the time of conception.
I am not on MTX I refuse to take it! I do have information from www.arthritis.org stating taking Folic Acid or folinic acid to reduce the side effects of methotrexate. Has anyone tried Enbrel, Humria, or Remicide?
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replied March 15th, 2010
Hey everyone. I am 30 and just got put on Methotrexate. They are not really sure what to diagnose me with yet, I have chronice abdominal cramping (like horrible menstral cramps) and and iritis both of which are rapidly getting worse and more frequent. Doc says if I dont prevent the iritis I could lose my vision so that is why they have put me on Metho. I am very nervous to be on this drug especially after i spent 1/2 the day yesterday psyching myself out by reading about it on the internet, I was literally afraid to fall asleep last night for the fear of not waking up again. Its has been 16 hours since I took my fisrt dose ( 4 pills of 2.5mg) and have not noticed any of the side-effects yet. Im just curious If they show up with the 1st dose and if so how long did it take? My pharmisist told me if im gunna have any side-effect they should happen in the 1st 24hours. Is this true? Im just wondering if its at all possible with the run of horrible luck if had over the past year in my life if I could actually be someone who doesnt get affected my the meds, is that even possible? Im still very scared of what will happen to me, but hopefully these work and they figure out whats actually causing all this so they can get me off metho and treat me more spicifically. I appreciate any imput.
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replied December 12th, 2011
Are you using mascara? I changed to Clinique after having had several corneal ulcers and have not had another one since I changed brands. I'm not sure what Iritis is or if it can be associated with allergy to eye makeup, but just in case, I'm mentioning my own experience. I almost had permanent damage to my right eye. I was told that it was caused by inflamation related to RA. Although, I am positive for RA, changing to Clinique certainly made a huge difference.
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replied April 26th, 2010
Methotrexate and memory lose
Hi Everyone,
I was put on Methotrexate(for RA)three years ago just before graduating from college. My GPA was a 3.76, I won numerous awards, etc... My point is I started grad school and that GPA started to dwindel. I knew something was wrong because I could logically reason,I have a hard time processing information, I had a hard time with math,I started getting to the point that I would fumble to just put a sentence together. I could study for hours and then sit before a test and it felt as though I couldn''t even remember studing for the exam. I had no idea as to what was in front of me.
My Doctors took me off of the methotrexate today and they ordered a battery of test to find out if there is any damage to the hippocampus region of my brain. If you feel there is something wrong and you truely know that something has changed in your cognitive abilities talk to your doctor ASAP. I''m hoping that the damage isn''t permanent...I''d rather be crippled then to live my life without my cognitive faculties.
Ve MacKay
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replied May 7th, 2010
Cognitive impairment from methotrexate
I''m so happy to have found this thread! I started on methotrexate (for linear scleroderma) a year into college and went from being a star student and all around go getter to the definition of lethargy. I have difficulty conversing as I often forget what I''m saying or the word for what I want to say. I''ve also noticed that it is taking eons longer to do all my homework involving math. I often can''t understand why I don''t understand material, because I know it''s not that difficult--or wouldn''t be, for the old me. All of my friends have graduated from college and are moving on to bigger and better things. I''m looking at another year or two as I keep failing courses. Every day is just a fight to keep my head above the water.
Now I can tell that it is the Methotrexate and possibly just part of having an autoimmune disease. I went off the Methotrexate for about a year and still had some trouble--though I''ve heard it stays in the system for a while. I''m really hoping this isn''t permanent. I want my brain (and life) back Sad
It''s difficult to weigh the side effects against the benefits. If anyone has any advice or alternative treatments that have been successful (I read that some people were having success with a common acne medication (minocycline) for autoimmune diseases) I would be forever grateful. Does anyone know if there have been any studies on the cognitive effects of methotrexate? or if there are currently any that are going on now? Perhaps my impaired cognition won''t be for naught if someone can learn from it.
(ps. my dose is 25mg once a week, in case that''s helpful to anyone)
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replied November 27th, 2011
High doses of methotrexate
25mg per week sounds like a serious dose. I was on 20mg for RA and I was a complete zombi for 2 days after taking it. I cut back to 6 and that was more tolerable.
But I also had a serious look at my diet. Given up milk and cheese; given up chocolate and the biggest difference was made when I changed over to 'green tea'. I no longer drink any ordinary black tea, always green tea.
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replied July 9th, 2010
Side effects to Methotrexate? Consider the following experience.
About ten years ago I was prescribed Methotrexate tablets for my arthritis. I'm now 40 years old. I suppose I was naive when it came to the side effects. Infertility and miscarriages are possible side effects from this medication. If you are a young woman (like I was back then) talk to your doctor about these side effects and ask the questions: Will it stop me from getting pregnant later in life? Will it cause miscarriages? Will it cause birth defects? I have just heard someone compare Methotrexate to Chemotherapy in that it can cause so may problems with your body. I had no idea how strong it really was. I suppose the alarm bells should have gone off back then when the doctor said I would have to stop breast feeding my 8 and a half month old when I started taking it. I don't know if I will ever be able to have a second child to full term. You put yourself into the doctors hands - you're sick and vulnerable. All I'm saying is be aware and ask your doctor the questions straight up! Is there an alternative? I don't even know - I was never given the chance to even contemplate an alternative.
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replied September 20th, 2010
Hi. I was diag w/RA in Nov 09. Had symptoms for a year before that. Started in feet and went to hands w/in 6 mths. This is after experiencing EXTREME stress due to my husbands adultery. Anyway, I am experiencing memory problems that seems to be getting worse. I take meth (lol not the kind you smoke). I inject .8 weekly. Seems to keep things in check for the most part. Although I had a severe flair up in my shoulder. The pain was almost unbearable. Got a shot of Cort and it cleared up. Dr. is talking about putting me on remicade which I don't want to do. She says "you'll have to watch out for lyphoma" and I'm like what?? Cancer, I don't think so!

Anyway, I got off on venting in general. My problem is memory and it seems it is other's problem too. I don't see getting off Meth as I don't want to take these other drugs. Seems the side affects are much more severe that Meth.
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replied January 19th, 2011
I've been on methotrexate for a year now and must say that it's worked on my RA. A year ago I was in so much pain that i couldn't dress myself and as for turning over in bed...
However the side effects are such that I'm seriously wondering if it's worht it. I take 30mg on Friday nights and the weekend is a dead loss as I feel so nauseous and downright shabby. Not only the nausea but a horrible sensation all through my middle - a clawing kind of nausea that is temporarily alleviated by eating something. Then it comes back even worse.
It's got to the point that I have to force myself to take the pills, knowing how they're going to make me feel.
In a way it's my fault because I refused steroids becuase I don't want to put on weight not just for vanity but so my poor feet don't have to carry too much person around.
Wondering if mobic alone will work.
I like and respect my rheumatologist, who gave me choices although a bit taken aback at my refusal of some meds. He suggested 5mg of folic acide Monday to Thursday as a means of alleviating some of the symptoms - haven't noticed much improvement if any.
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replied February 4th, 2012
Life with RA
My Rhuemi has prescribed me Calcium folinate 15mg to take 12 hours after my weekly 20mg of methotrexate. I haven't been taking it because I haven't felt the need- til this morning. Will try it next week and see how I go. - side effects being nausea and general stomach upset, causing a lack of appetite and , feeling very tired too. Also, I got my period late Friday... I am always worse (RA symptom wise when I am premenstral & for first 2-3 days of period! )

I haven't noticed too many bad side effects from taking methotrexate... (Every week since March 2011. ) I was diagnosed in 2005 and have been struggling with the diagnosis until I "gave up" in March - saw a new Rheumi and have resigned myself to a life on medication! ( and side effects!)

For me, being able to dress myself, and appear to live a normal life, take precedence over my fatigue and all the possible long term side effects of taking : methotrexate, plaquenil, sulfasalazine, and folic acid. I also haven't had a flare up since mid 2011!

I force myself to work out every second day - cant do it daily due to fatigue. I watch what I eat and know which certain foods make my symptoms worse. This is it! What else can I do ? Li

Wishing everone out there with RA - the ability to find what works best for you! Good luck, Regards, Michelle.
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replied December 30th, 2012
Hi i am on metotroxate ing and have been feeling sick so now i inject every 2 weeks but not happy i feel that no one is checking if i still need to keep taking all the med i am given need to talk to people who are taking this stuff
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replied January 23rd, 2011
Rheumatoid Arthritis & Methotrexate
I was diagnosed with R/A at 27 years of age. I am now 75 and still struggle with meds. I have been on so many, but Methotrexate was my worse. I took it 7 years by injection once a week. (it is easier than pills as you don't experience the nausea). After monthly testing of my blood for those 7 years, I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. I thought the lab work would detect any problems such as this, but it didn't. I have been on other drugs and after a bad reaction while on Remicade I am now taking Imuran. I have done fairly well and have almost eliminated my prednisone over the last 3 years. I am seeing a rheumatologist still.
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