Taking Methotrexate

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JulieLouise
JulieLouise Member Posts: 9
edited 25. Jul 2014, 15:55 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi

I've been prescribed Methotrexate today by my rheumatologist for my RA. I'm a bit concerned about the side effects. Can anyone tell me how you've managed on it please?

I have a 3 month old baby and a 3 year old son so I'm quite worried I may be 'ill' taking this when the idea is I feel better so looking after our children isn't so difficult!

Thank you :D

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  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    hi welcome to the forum & congratulations on your baby

    there is alot of us on here with RA and other forms of arthritis taking methotrexate and alot without any side effects , been taking it myself for 16 yuears for RA , quick question , what level they starting you on & how much folic acid they giving you

    those of us with autoimmune disease only take a very small dose compared those taking methotrexxate to treat cancer so dont worry to much
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Any list of side effects is scary but they have to be listed so the companies who manufacture these things are in the clear. I've been on injected meth for five years and can truthfully say that I have very little bother from it. I also take two further immuno-suppressing drugs and the same applies. It may take your body some time to adjust (no-one can predict how we will respond to these meds) but, hopefully, you will not be troubled too much and the meth will help matters. It may be worth taking them in the evening so you can sleep through the initial phase but always take them with a biscuit or something. Be conscientious about having your bloods done, the monitoring is important.

    I've been taking medication for far too many years now - I always blithely assume that side-effects won't appear and usually they don't. Good luck, let us know how you get on, yes? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello and welcome from me too. I'm another who has taken methotrexate plus hydroxychloroquine for many years with no problems and they work well for me.

    I do agree that you need to be as well as possible when dealing with young children. Their energy levels alone are scary :roll: My RA was bad when my two were little and I just wish meth had been on offer then. Knowing what I know now, I'd have taken it like a shot.

    Good luck and remember we're here for support :)
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi from me too..
    I take sulphasalazine tablets and am on 20mg methotrexate injections... I can't say that I suffer from side effects, maybe the day after the injection I sometimes feel a little off but nothing major. I suffered horrid nausea when on the tablet form of meth.. that's why they gave me the injections, much easier on the stomach..
    make sure to take the folic acid as directed and as mentioned, blood tests are very important..

    Wishing you the very best of luck, keep us up to date with your progress and gentle hugs for the kids :D
    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • JulieLouise
    JulieLouise Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you for all the advice! I do feel more comfortable with this now. Interestingly I'm also on hydroxychloroquine and have been for nearly 2 years. So it's nice to hear someone is fine on both. We're all different but fingers crossed I'll be ok too. I couldn't take any other drugs with trying for a second child then breastfeeding but I have to say despite my initial concerns I'm looking forward to feeling more like 'me' again (hoping meth does the trick!)

    I'm waiting for the nurse to call me to discuss meth before they'll give it to me so I'm not sure what dosage I'll be on. The rheum also mentioned I need to take folic acid. I should have asked my rheum about the dosage when I saw her yesterday but after waiting for an hour with a screaming baby I was more concerned with seeing her and getting out!!

    I can see the blood nurse is going to be happy to see me each time....I'm notoriously difficult to get blood out of as I have the thinest veins possible! :D

    I'll let you all know more once I've started meth :)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Check with the nurse about the folic acid. The dosage seems to vary enormously between rheumatology departments. Its purpose is to avoid side-effects from the meth. I've always taken two weekly but others take more. The important thing is to stick with whatever you've been told and ring your rheumatology helpline if you have any problems. (Though we'll always be available for support :) )

    The blood tests are important. If you have difficult veins tell them in advance. They have ones that have thinner needles but I think they're more expensive so they don't use them unless they have to. They sometimes have to with me :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • AmandaJones
    AmandaJones Bots Posts: 36
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Julie,
    You mentioned above, you are breastfeeding your baby. Is this plan still on? As per my knowledge, methotrexate is excreted in breast milk and should not be used by nursing mothers. Hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine are compatible with nursing.

    I hope you have already shared this thought with your RE.
    It is important to take methotrexate exactly as directed. Generally, for adults with RA, dose starts with 7.5 mg to 10 mg or 3-4 pills taken all together once a week.

    This medication should be taken on one day a week, but the dose is occasionally split into two doses all in one day per week to avoid side effects. Some side effects do not cause symptoms, so it is important to have routine blood tests performed every 8-12 weeks.

    Hope you get on well with Meth.

    Amanda.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    When I was first on meth tablets my bloods were fortnightly (and remained so for years even though I came off them, due to the other meds I was taking) and as for the FA well, I don't bother with it because I don't need it. As you can probably see our rheumatology departments vary widely in their advice. :wink: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • JulieLouise
    JulieLouise Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Amanda - yes I have. In fact the reason I haven't been on meth earlier is because we wanted a second child and knowing we'd only have one more I was very keen to breastfeed. So I made sure I stopped before this weeks before my rheum appointment as I knew my rheum wanted me to start meth. She'd been struggling to treat me over the last few years because of wanting another child. Hydroxychlooquine was pretty much the only solution along with steroids (I was very well looked after during my pregnancy by the obstetricians because of my RA!). Obviously I'm not on steroids now. Hence why my RA has got worse.

    I have had so many blood tests over the last three years due to being pregnant that I always mention my veins. Some can do it others struggle! But yes I think they use a butterfly needle for cases like me!

    Thanks once again for the advice. Much appreciated :)
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I hope things are going well today.
    Did you lose any weight on the hydroxy? I lost three stone after being on it a while. No appetite at all.. The hydroxy wasn't working for me so I was then switched to sulphasalazine. In the meantime I put weight back on but then lost it again lol. Now I on the sulphasalazine/meth combo my appetite is dreadful. I must admit I'm not bothered by the weight loss lol..
    my rheumy has just ordered a load of bloods checking my vitamin levels etc.
    :roll:

    best wishes
    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • JulieLouise
    JulieLouise Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I did lose weight but I think it had more to do with running around after a toddler and balancing work with home life, rather than the hydroxy! :D
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Lol.. just me then?

    I remember well the struggle with a child... she's 26 now though :o:lol:
    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP