All posts filed under: Methotrexate

I thought I was going bald, it was just the MTX

About six weeks ago, I started noticing my hair thinning. I thought it was odd because my dad had thick hair in his older years. I expected my hair would do the same. My hairdresser also noticed the thinning. It was real. Next, I started noticing bunches of hair on my comb. “My hair is falling out,” I thought. Right again. I quickly realized that it was the methotrexate (MTX). Hair loss only occurs in 1-3% of those on MTX. I have been on it for five years and the last three years I have been giving myself 25mg injections. It works for me. I am also on hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). Plaquenil can also cause hair loss. I started taking MTX every eight days instead of every seven. Every nine days starts an RA flare. I stick with the eight days. I also cut the Plaquenil to 200 mg daily from 400 mg daily. My hair is no longer falling out. However, my hair hasn’t grown since my last haircut. Unfortunately, it was the second worst …

Methotrexate NSAID or DMARD ?

I can now count myself  as one of the few who has read the package insert for methotrexate. I am researching RA drugs for my book.  I give myself injections of 25mg methotrexate weekly. I was opening a new box and preparing to give myself an injection.  Impulsively, I decided to read the insert. Methotrexate has become the gold  standard for RA treatment. It has been one of the few drugs to help relieve my symptoms. Imagine my surprise when I read the following. Medication guide insert with boxed  methotrexate; “Although methotrexate clearly ameliorates symptoms of inflammation (pain, swelling, stiffness), there is no evidence that it induces remission of rheumatoid arthritis nor has a beneficial effect been demonstrated on bone erosions and other radiologic changes which result in impaired joint use, functional disability, and deformity.” So since it doesn’t stop RA progression how can it be classified as a DMARD, Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drug?  Shouldn’t it be a NSAID,  Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug?

Methotrexate Injection

Why injection?                                                                                                                                            To avoid side effects or to have more of the medication absorbed by the body. There is 25 mg/ml of medication The syringe is either tuberculin or insulin Both have a one ml capacity Both have very thin needles Have all your supplies ready Vial of methotrexate, syringe, alcohol swab. Also access to your upper belly or outer thigh. It’s easy as this Wipe off top of vial with alcohol Remove covers on syringe Draw back on the syringe to add about .5 ml of air Insert needle of syringe into vial Push in the air(avoids med leaks) withdraw the correct dose of your medication( …

RA Drugs-Methotrexate

I take my 10 little pills of methotrexate on Sunday afternoon.  I put the ten 2.5 mg tablets in a little white bowl.  I take them over a 4-5 hour period.  My little ritual makes a major difference.  I have no nausea from the medication. My first dose was 2/17/2013.  It was 10 mg.  My dose was increased gradually to 25 mg on 4/28/2013.  Nausea is the most common side effect.  I did have some initially  but as long as I followed my ritual,  I was fine.  Additionally,  for the first year I was  tired on the day following the dose. Low dose methotrexate has been the drug of choice for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis for 30 years.  It is safe and generally well tolerated.   It is a DMARD, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug.  It helps with pain and swelling.  It slows the progression of RA over time. Methotrexate was one of the first products of ” intelligent drug design”.  It was introduced as a treatment for cancer in the 40’s.  It was introduced to treat …