Methotrexate is a medication used to treat severe psoriasis, which is a skin disease where red, scaly patches form on certain areas of the body, when it is unable to be controlled by other treatments. Methotrexate is also used in conjunction with physical therapy, rest and other medications as a treatment for severe active rheumatoid arthritis (a condition where the body basically attacks its joints, resulting in pain, loss of function and swelling) unable to be controlled by other medications. Methotrexate is also used as a treatment for specific types of cancer, including lung and breast cancer. It is also sometimes used as a treatment for Crohn's disease. Some precautions to take before taking Methotrexate include:
• Inform your doctor/pharmacist if you have an allergy to Methotrexate or any of the ingredients in the tablets. If you are not sure what the ingredients are, ask for a list.
• Inform your doctor/pharmacist of any other prescription or nonprescription medications you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products and nutritional supplements. Certain antibiotics could require an adjustment in dosage and may require monitoring for side effects.
• Inform your doctor if you have had any of the conditions referenced in the "important warning" section or have had a low level of folate in your blood.
• Women should not breast-feed when using Methotrexate.
• If having surgery (including dental) inform your doctor/dentist if you are currently taking Methotrexate.
• Avoid prolonged exposure to UV light (tanning beds, etc.) or sunlight while on Methotrexate.
You can continue your normal diet while on Methotrexate, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Take your medication as directed, if a dose is missed take it once you remember or if it is close to the next dose, skip it. Never take a double dose. Some side effects of Methotrexate may include:
• swollen/tender gums
• decrease in appetite
• redness in the eyes
• hair loss
• blurred vision/sudden loss of vision*
• loss of consciousness*
• weakness/difficulty moving one/both sides of your body*
* If you have these symptoms contact your doctor immediately, as it could indicate something serious
It is important to inform your doctor if you or your partner is pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. Methotrexate may be harmful to the fetus and treatment may need to be discontinued during pregnancy.
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