Methotrexate

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Why is this medicine prescribed?
Methotrexate can be used in the treatment of some severe cases of Crohn's disease, in order to improve symptoms and decrease the dose of prednisone required.

How should this medicine be used?
Methotrexate is available as oral tablets or intramuscular injections. Methotrexate is typically given as a weekly injection for the treatment of Crohn's disease.

Take this medication exactly as directed, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Do not change the dose or frequency prescribed by your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking this medication, talk to your doctor and pharmacist about:

Allergies Pregnancy/Breastfeeding
  • if you are allergic to methotrexate or any other drugs
  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, call your doctor
Other medications Medical conditions
  • any prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking (including vitamins and herbal products)
  • any current or past medical conditions such as kidney, or liver disease


What should I do if I forget to take a dose?

Do not take the missed dose, do not double the next dose. Continue the regular dosing schedule and contact your doctor.

What side effects can this medicine cause?

This medication can cause liver problems, therefore keep alcohol intake to a minimum. Methotrexate can rarely cause hair loss but this is very unusual at the doses used to treat Crohn’s disease. If it does occur the hair should return to normal after completing drug treatment.

The following side effects usually go away as your body adjusts to the medicine, however tell your doctor if these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Headache
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness


Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following occur:

  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • Sores or ulcers in the mouth and on lips
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Seizures
  • Cough
  • Fever or chills


What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat, light and moisture (not in the bathroom). Dispose properly of any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab test s to check your response to methotrexate and to monitor for side effects. You should have regular blood testing as long as you are taking methotrexate. Please discuss the precise scheduling with your doctor.

Do not
take this medication if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Both males and females must use adequate birth control while taking this medication to prevent pregnancy.

This medication will temporarily suppress your immune system, so be sure to take appropriate precautions such as:

  • washing your hands before eating, and after using the washroom
  • avoid touching your face (especially eyes, mouth, and inside the nose)
  • avoiding people with infections (as much as possible)
  • maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • practice good oral hygiene (ask your dental hygienist for tips)
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