August 14, 2018

Methotrexate Side Effects

Doctors will generally prescribe methotrexate to treat cancer. In certain cases, they may prescribe for individuals with immune system disorders like psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis. Since this medication carries a number of side effects, patients should only take it under a doctor’s supervision.

Anyone who is pregnant or may become pregnant should talk to a doctor before taking methotrexate. Studies have shown that methotrexate can cause birth defects or miscarriages in fetuses’ whose mother takes this drug. This medication is also not recommended for anyone who has kidney problems or whose body carries excess water.

Methotrexate Side Effects and Common Symptoms

Individuals who take this medication may experience side effects like dizziness, unusual bleeding, dry cough, vomiting, nausea or abdominal pain. Patients may feel unusually tired or drowsy while on the medication. On rare occasions, patients may experience temporary hair loss, jaundice, chest pain, persistent sore through, rashes or dark urine. Serious side effects include seizures, mood changes, irregular heartbeats, difficulty breathing or a change in the amount of urine released by the body.

Side effects can be worse for individuals that are allergic to similar mediations. Patients who have a history of liver, kidney or lung disease should tell their doctor before taking the medication. In addition, anyone with a history of gastrointestinal problems, bone marrow disorders or folic acid deficiency should alert their physician. This drug can also cause negative side effects if the patient drinks alcohol or uses non-prescribed medications while they are taking methotrexate.

The symptoms commonly associated with using methotrexate include:

– Hair loss
– Dizziness
– Red eyes
methotrexate side effects– Headaches
– Unusual bleeding
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Stomach pain
– Fever
– Fatigue
– Drowsiness
– Jaundice
– Problems breathing
– Seizures
– Swollen gums
– Stomach ulcers
– Problems moving one side of the body
– Changes in appetite
– Blurred vision
– Pulmonary fibrosis
– Loss of consciousness
– Mental confusion or fogginess
– Photosensitivity

Serious side effects like loss of consciousness or seizures should immediately be brought up with a doctor. While using methotrexate, patients should avoid any activity that requires mental alertness until they know how the medication will affect them. This includes activities like using heavy machinery or driving. Since methotrexate can increase photosensitivity, patients should avoid tanning salons or excessive sunlight.

Toxicity of Methotrexate

Methotrexate is technically classified as an extremely teratogenic drug. With its high toxicity, methotrexate carries numerous side effects for the patient. The FDA classifies methotrexate as a pregnancy category X drug. This designation means that it cannot be taken during pregnancy, nursing or if the woman plans on becoming pregnant.

Drug Interactions and Precautions

Taking methotrexate can cause harm to the central nervous system and can be toxic for the cells in the body. Using methotrexate with penicillin can reduce the amount of methotrexate eliminated by the body. Over time, this can cause toxicity for the body and a host of negative side effects like seizures.

Individuals should not take methotrexate with anti-inflammatory drugs known at NSAIDs or aspirin. Both of these medications can cause complications when used at the same time. If patients need to take aspirin to prevent heart attacks or strokes, they should discuss it with their doctor first. When methotrexate is taken at the same time as chemotherapy or radiation, it can increase the chances of bone and tissue damage.

Methotrexate should only be used for serious illnesses. It should never be used without a doctor’s supervision. Patients who take methotrexate should always tell their physician about any medications or supplements that they are on. Women who take methotrexate while pregnant or nursing place their baby at increased risk of disorders and fatalities. Remember to discuss your medical history and current problems with your doctor before taking this medication. If you experience any side effects, discuss them with your doctor. For serious side effects, visit an emergency health care center as soon as possible.