What is methotrexate?
Methotrexate is an oral or injected drug used in the treatment of nearly every form of vasculitis. In fact, methotrexate is used in the treatment of most diseases seen by rheumatologists.
How does methotrexate work?
Methotrexate works by interfering with the replication of immune cells.
How is methotrexate given?
Methotrexate is always given once per week. It can be administered two ways: as pills taken by mouth, or as liquid that is injected subcutaneously. Patients who take methotrexate always need to take 1 mg folic acid by mouth every day to prevent side effects.
The side effects of methotrexate can be reduced by taking folic acid. Typical side effects can include hair thinning, oral ulcers, fatigue, nausea or diarrhea. We pay particular attention to liver function tests, renal function, and blood counts while using methotrexate. Patients taking methotrexate should not drink alcohol while using this medication.
All immunosuppressants require regular monitoring in the form of blood tests, in-person assessments, and prompt attention to any signs or symptoms of infection.