Rheumatrex is a prescription medicine used to treat certain cancers and severe rheumatoid arthritis, including polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It belongs to a class of drugs known as antimetabolites and works by slowing or stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells and decreasing the pain and swelling associated with arthritis.
Rheumatrex may also be used to treat severe skin diseases such as severe psoriasis. Methotrexate is the active ingredient in Rheumatrex.
Use and Dosage
Rheumatrex (methotrexate) comes in the form of tablets to take by mouth once a week. The dosage may be all at once or divided into three doses throughout the day depending on the patient’s condition and individual response to the medication. The exact dosage and administration instructions should be provided by the physician prescribing the medication.
Patients should take the tablets with water and may take them with or without food. For patients to also follow any other instructions provided by their physician and to attend all follow-up appointments to monitor their response to the medication and for any potential side effects. If a dose is missed, patients should follow their physician’s instructions on when to take the missed dose.
Common Side Effects of Rheumatrex (Methotrexate):
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding of your gums
- Blurred vision
- Inflammation of the lips and mouth,
- Low number of white cells in blood
- Tired feeling
- Upset stomach
Serious Side Effects of Rheumatrex (Methotrexate):
- Blood in your urine or stools
- Clay-colored stools
- Dark urine
- Dry cough
- Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
- White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
Forms and Strength
Rheumatrex (Methotrexate) is available in the following forms and strength:
- Methotrexate should only be used by physicians who are experienced in its use and understand its risks.
- Rheumatrex may cause serious or life-threatening side effects, including liver damage, lung problems, and low white blood cell count.
- Patients should be closely monitored for any signs or symptoms of these side effects, and their dosages may need to be adjusted accordingly.
- Rheumatrex may interact with other medications, including antibiotics, anticonvulsants, and NSAIDs.
- Methotrexate should not be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding due to the risk of harm to the fetus or baby.
- Patients with alcoholism, liver disease, or kidney disease may be at increased risk of side effects and should be monitored more closely.
- Patients who have recently received vaccinations or are planning to receive vaccinations may need to delay or avoid treatment with methotrexate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Rheumatrex be taken with other medications?
Rheumatrex may interact with other medications, including antibiotics, anticonvulsants, and NSAIDs. Patients should inform their physician of all medications they are taking before starting treatment with Rheumatrex.
How long does it take for Rheumatrex to work?
The amount of time it takes for Rheumatrex to work can vary depending on the condition being treated. Patients should follow their physician’s instructions and give the medication time to take effect.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Rheumatrex?
If a dose of Rheumatrex is missed, patients should take it as soon as they remember. If it is close to the time for the next dose, they should skip the missed dose and resume their regular dosing schedule.
Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Rheumatrex?
Patients taking Rheumatrex should avoid alcohol, as alcohol may increase the risk of liver damage.
Can Rheumatrex be taken with food?
Patients may take Rheumatrex with or without food. However, taking it with food may help reduce gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and diarrhea.