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methotrexate (oral)

Pronunciation: meth oh TREX ate

Brand: Trexall, Xatmep

What is the most important information I should know about methotrexate?

Methotrexate may cause injury or death to an unborn baby and should not be used during pregnancy to treat arthritis or psoriasis. Methotrexate is sometimes used to treat cancer during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Do not use methotrexate to treat psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis if you have low blood cell counts, a weak immune system, alcoholism or chronic liver disease, or if you are breastfeeding.

YOU MAY NOT NEED TO TAKE METHOTREXATE EVERY DAY. Some people have died after incorrectly taking methotrexate every day. You must use the correct dose for your condition.

Methotrexate can cause serious or fatal side effects. Tell your doctor if you have diarrhea, mouth sores, cough, shortness of breath, upper stomach pain, dark urine, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, confusion, seizure, or skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

What is methotrexate?

Methotrexate is used to treat leukemia and certain types of cancer of the breast, skin, head and neck, lung, or uterus.

Methotrexate is also used to treat severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis in adults.

Methotrexate is also used to treat active polyarticular-course juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children.

Methotrexate is sometimes given when other medicines have not been effective.

Methotrexate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking methotrexate?

You should not use methotrexate if you are allergic to it. You may not be able to take methotrexate if you have:

Methotrexate is sometimes used to treat cancer in people who have a condition listed above. Your doctor will decide if this treatment is right for you.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Methotrexate may cause injury or death to an unborn baby and should not be used during pregnancy to treat arthritis or psoriasis. However, methotrexate is sometimes used to treat cancer during pregnancy.

Methotrexate can harm an unborn baby if the mother or the father is using this medicine.

This medicine may affect fertility (ability to have children) in both men and women. However, it is important to use birth control to prevent pregnancy because methotrexate may harm the baby if a pregnancy does occur.

Do not breastfeed while using this medicine, and for at least 1 week after your last dose.

Do not give this medicine to a child without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take methotrexate?

YOU MAY NOT NEED TO TAKE METHOTREXATE EVERY DAY. This medicine is sometimes taken only once per week, or 2 to 4 times per week. Some conditions are treated daily for just a few days followed by a rest period of 1 week or longer before taking the medicine again.

You must use the correct dose. Some people have died after incorrectly taking methotrexate every day.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Methotrexate can be toxic to your organs, and may lower your blood cell counts. You will need frequent medical tests, and you may need an occasional liver biopsy or chest X-ray. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.

If you need to be sedated for dental work, tell your dentist you currently use methotrexate.

Store methotrexate at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

You may store Xatmep in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Avoid freezing or high heat. Throw away any unused Xatmep after 60 days if kept at room temperature.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of methotrexate.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of methotrexate can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include bruising or unusual bleeding, mouth sores, vomiting, little or no urination, bloody or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

What should I avoid while taking methotrexate?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using methotrexate, or you could develop a serious infection. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Methotrexate could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What are the possible side effects of methotrexate?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Methotrexate can cause serious or fatal side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect methotrexate?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

Many drugs can affect methotrexate. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about methotrexate.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2022 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.01. Revision date: 7/28/2020.


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