A drug taken orally to treat certain cancers is called methotrexate. It is a member of the drug class known as antimetabolites. Cancer cells' ability to grow and reproduce is inhibited by methotrexate. This article can be used by Welzo users as reference material to learn more about methotrexate.

Health Benefits

Breast cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma are just a few of the cancers that methotrexate has been shown to be successful in treating. Other diseases like Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis are occasionally also treated with it.

What adverse effects does methotrexate cause?
The most typical methotrexate side effects include:




stomach cramps or pain

reduced appetite


drowsiness or vertigo


coughing or breathing difficulties

mouth ache

itch or rash

painful or stiff joints

The following are some of the more severe side effects of methotrexate:

liver injury

kidney injury

Pancreatitis (pancreatic inflammation)

low blood counts, which may cause bleeding or infection

the mouth or stomach being infected with ulcers

significant allergic reaction

Dosage and Preparation

Both tablet and injectable forms of methotrexate are offered. Although the precise dosing schedule may change based on the condition being treated, it is typically taken once a week.

Inform your doctor about all other medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins) before beginning methotrexate. Tell your doctor if you currently have, or have ever had, kidney disease, liver disease, or any other form of cancer.

It's critical to follow the medication's instructions precisely and to take each dose as directed. Call your doctor for instructions on how to take the missed dose as soon as possible.

Drinking alcohol while taking methotrexate is not advised. Alcohol can make liver damage more likely.

Use of methotrexate should be cautious.


If you take any other medications, herbs, or vitamins, methotrexate may interact with them. Therefore, it's crucial to inform your doctor about all other medications you're taking before starting methotrexate, including over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and supplements.

The following medicines may interact with methotrexate:

ACE blockers, including lisinopril

NSAIDs, including ibuprofen

water pills or diuretics

methotrexate Sodium (a salt form of methotrexate)

tretinoin, which is found in Retin-A

A, D, or K vitamins

Mechanism of Action

The mechanism by which methotrexate inhibits the growth of cancer cells. It accomplishes this by impeding their capacity to metabolize folic acid, a nutrient required for cell division.

Tetrahydrofolic acid, which is created from folic acid, is then used to create DNA and other critical cellular molecules. Methotrexate prevents the synthesis of DNA and other cellular components by preventing the conversion of folic acid into tetrahydrofolic acid, which ultimately results in cell death.

Dihydrofolate reductase, an enzyme required for the metabolism of folic acid, is also inhibited by methotrexate. As a result, there is less tetrahydrofolic acid available for DNA synthesis, which results in cell death.

Research on Methotrexate

In-depth research has shown that methotrexate is a successful treatment for a number of cancers, including breast cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma.

In one study, it was discovered that methotrexate treated advanced breast cancer more successfully than the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil.

Psoriasis, Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis are a few other conditions for which methotrexate has been investigated as a potential treatment. Methotrexate can help to lessen symptoms and enhance quality of life even though it is not a cure for these diseases.


The body quickly absorbs methotrexate from the gastrointestinal tract and disperses it widely. It is broken down in the liver and eliminated through the urine.

Methotrexate has a half-life of 8 to 12 hours. The amount of methotrexate in your body must be reduced by half within 8 to 12 hours, according to this.

People who have liver disease should use methotrexate cautiously because it can accumulate in the liver and harm it.