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
drowsiness or vertigo
coughing or breathing difficulties
itch or rash
painful or stiff joints
The following are some of the more severe side effects of methotrexate:
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.