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METHOTREXATE (METH oh TREX ate) is a chemotherapy drug used to treat cancer including breast cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma. This medicine can also be used to treat psoriasis and certain kinds of arthritis.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
fluid in the stomach area or lungs
if you often drink alcohol
infection or immune system problems
kidney disease or on hemodialysis
low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
an unusual or allergic reaction to methotrexate, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
If this medicine is used for arthritis or psoriasis, it should be taken weekly, NOT daily.
Talk to your healthcare provider about safe handling and disposal of this medicine. You may need to take special precautions.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
If you miss a dose, talk with your doctor or health care professional. Do not take double or extra doses.
This medicine may interact with the following medication:
aspirin and aspirin-like medicines including salicylates
certain antibiotics like penicillins, tetracycline, and chloramphenicol
live virus vaccines
NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
other cytotoxic agents
retinoids such as isotretinoin and tretinoin
steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
sulfonamides like sulfasalazine and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Check with your doctor or health care professional if you get an attack of severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medicine.
Talk to your doctor about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medicine.
Both men and women must use effective birth control with this medicine. Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or until at least 1 normal menstrual cycle has occurred after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. Men should not father a child while taking this medicine and for 3 months after stopping it. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
breathing problems or shortness of breath
dry, nonproductive cough
low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or trouble passing urine
signs and symptoms of bleeding such as bloody or black, tarry stools; red or dark-brown urine; spitting up blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds; red spots on the skin; unusual bruising or bleeding from the eye, gums, or nose
signs and symptoms of kidney injury like trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
This medicine is for infusion into a vein or for injection into muscle or into the spinal fluid (whichever applies). It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.
In rare cases, you might get this medicine at home. You will be taught how to give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment. If you give yourself the medicine and you miss a dose, talk with your doctor or health care professional. Do not take double or extra doses.
This medicine may interact with the following medications:
aspirin or aspirin-like medicines including salicylates
certain antibiotics like chloramphenicol, penicillin, tetracycline
certain medicines for stomach problems like esomeprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole
In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk of infections and bleeding
signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like
symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
If you are using this medicine at home, you will be instructed on how to store this medicine. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
METHOTREXATE (METH oh TREX ate) is a cytotoxic drug that also suppresses the immune system. It is used to treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
This medicine is for injection under the skin. You will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Refer to the Instructions for Use that come with your medication packaging. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
This medicine should be taken weekly, NOT daily.
It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist of healthcare provider to get one.
If you are not sure if this medicine was injected or if you have a hard time giving the injection, do not inject another dose. Talk with your doctor or health care professional.
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (Report these to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome.):
You will be instructed on how to store this medicine. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label.
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.