methotrexate, Rheumatrex, Trexall (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

PRESCRIBED FOR: Methotrexate is used for cancer treatment at higher doses than for other uses and is often administered intravenously or intramuscularly. Methotrexate is used to treat psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease, as well as the arthritis that occurs in 10 percent of these patients (psoriatic arthritis). It also is used to treat active rheumatoid arthritis in adults and children and other rheumatic diseases, including polymyositis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Methotrexate has been used to induce miscarriage in patients with ectopic pregnancies.

SIDE EFFECTS: Methotrexate can cause severe toxicity which usually is related to the dose taken. The most frequent reactions include:

  • mouth sores,
  • stomach upset;
  • low white blood counts;
  • severe toxicity of the liver, kidneys and bone marrow, which require regular monitoring with blood tests;
  • headache
  • drowsiness

Methotrexate can cause itching, skin rash, dizziness, and hair loss. A dry, non-productive cough can be a result of rare lung toxicity.



PREPARATIONS: Injectable: 25 mg/ml. Powder for injection: 1 g. Tablet: 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10 and 15 mg

STORAGE: Methotrexate should be stored at room temperature 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F), avoiding light.

DOSING: Methotrexate may be taken with or without food. For rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, the dose of methotrexate is given weekly, by injection or orally. The oral dose is 7.5 to 20 mg once weekly. For psoriasis, the starting oral dose is a single 7.5 mg dose weekly or 2.5 mg every 12 hours for three doses, once weekly. The final dose ranges between 10 and 25 mg weekly orally or by injection.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2015

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