Methotrexate and Alcohol Consumption

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OldHouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/8/2011 6:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I started my 7.5mg of mtx last Saturday, Rheumtologist knows I drink some but never said I couldn't.  The warning on the bottle of mtx says do not drink alcohol.  So I like to have a few drinks (wine or beer) a week, it is relaxing and tastes good to me.  I have read all sorts of variations on wether or not you can safely drink while on low dose mtx, from nothing at all, 2 drinks a month, 2 drinks a week to Europeans being much more liberal and a drink a day.  My question is what have different people here been told or found out as a result of experience?  I want to know if I need to stop all drinking to not screw up my liver or if some is okay and generally not harmful.
 
Thanks,
 
Chris

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8265
   Posted 9/8/2011 8:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey there Chris,
wow this is kinda a heated topic, and there are older posts which you might want to read.
I don't drink except for maybe a little champaign on new years. The warnings about the mtx and alcohol
are because the combination can produce Ulcers and also damage the liver, but getting bloodwork
done, will help keep these in tact....so make sure your doctor is doing your bloodwork to check your liver
will help should it start getting damage...
I personally think the drinking is your choice, but would recommend drinking in moderation....
the European's grow up with alcohol in their lives from very young ages so they might have a built
tolerance for it.
However, I do think you should bring it up with your doctor at your next visit.
Hope this helps and I don't mean to offend anyone. (let's keep this a nice, as it is a heated topic)
well wishes to you Chris and keep us posted on how your doing
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

OldHouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/12/2011 6:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the response Charteux.  Didn't realize it was such a devisive topic, I'll talk to the doc in a few weeks when I see him.  Until this past Saturday I have been so tired that all a drink has done is make me more exhausted.  So pretty much stopped anyways.
 
Thanks,
 
Chris

golitho
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 9/12/2011 8:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Chris, I am in Australia and here it is reccommended we drink only 2 glasses a week. I tend to drink if its a birthday or celebration of some kind and not bother the rest of the time. My liver function tests have stayed ok over the last 5 years or so. My rheumy reckons its ok as long as you don't binge drnk to just drink occassionally.
I know in America they are much more worried about alcohol and mtx but as long as you have regular blood tests I wouldn't panic too much.
Talk to weary shes had to come off mtx because her doctorwouldn't let her drink and take it!
I don't drink much as I find alcohol itself can make my symptoms worse, I think its the acid in it or something. I know when I've had champagne, the next morning I hurt all over.
But some times its nice to feel normal and pay the price the next day.
Well I'm not a doctor but thats my advice, golitho

wearyRAsufferer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1547
   Posted 9/13/2011 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Weary here  :)
 
You have a valid concern old house and people's opinions are just that- you should not worry about asking this question here.
 
Yes- my doctor is very against alcohol consumption and taking MTX.
Prior to RA I had a martini nightly and probably 2 on the weekend days and maybe some wine too. That's me and I don't care who likes it or not.
 
I cut out my week day drinks and curtailed the usual for the weekends but continued to drink then and was upfront and honest with my dr. This infuriated him but I think he against alcohol period for anyone. he has said he never had a drink til he was in his 30's and only sips a little wine if anything. So be it- I don't judge him- that's his business but boy oh boy don't judge me!
 
Anyway- for 3 years my liver functions were always in the normal range regardless. We did a test with taking me off of MTX for a few weeks to see if it was what was causing my fatigue.  It was during that time that my liver function elevated SLIGHTLY. They were in the 40 range. Well he threw a fit. He said stay off and we will test again. Few weeks later they were down but not normal. Few weeks later they were normal.
 
HOWEVER he decided since my blood work (crp, esr) had been so good for so long and since although I have daily BEARABLE pain I do not really flare and that I should stay off of MTX. That's what he said but I think he may have other reasons.
 
In any event- I am in my glory! I do not feel any different off the MTX then I did on. I don't have to have stabbing guilt anytime I lift a cocktail to my lips. he had me hating myself for being a social drinker and enjoying time with my friends doing so.
 
I can't really give you advice because I don't know the true answer to how harmful it is. I wish they would do a study on it because it's been in use for over 25 years and I AM SURE there are many of us out there who want to know. RA takes enough away from us that if we can safely enjoy cocktails we should know about it!
 
I see him this week and I dread my visit.  He really did turn my symptoms around as I presented as the most severe case he has ever seen. I loved him then but now he just makes me feel bad about myself. Whether it be me wanting cocktails or me not being totally happy with the symptoms that have remained.
 
I wish you ALL the best!
 

gypsysgrounded
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 9/13/2011 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Weary, 
  thanks for being so up front and not sugar coating how you feel about this issue. I to am a social drinker.   Im not on any meds yet but i do feel like its dooms day when i get on them because....
like you said. this crud is bad enough as it is let alone take away something else i enjoy because these meds eat away at your liver.    on another subject im so mad at myself because i had my phone on silent for a meeting and forgot to turn it back on and missed a call to get in to rheumy early!!!!!!!!!! im going on 2 months now with this stinking flare and now 3 more weeks to go before my original apt. the receptionist just called and gave it away to the next in line just before i called her back! cry    I had to go in a quiet place to ball my eyes out.    oh well next time i have a meeting ill keep it on vibrate and in my hand!   ok im done venting.

OldHouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/14/2011 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for the advise. I will talk to the rheumy in 4 weeks at my next appointment. I get all of the blood tests done again so we'll see what everything is doing to me. I like a drink when I get home from work to relax a bit (a beer or glass of wine). Been so tired lately it's hard to enjoy so I'll likely just stop until after my next appointment. At least my base line tests were all good, never was a heavy drinker anyways. My wife apparently read the medicine bottle the other day because she made a comment about the fact I shouldn't be drinking with the meds I'm on, as I'm poring a glass of wine. She doesn't drink, can't stand the smell of alcohol, but isn't bothered that I do as long as I'm not drunk (or to silly).

Chris

wearyRAsufferer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1547
   Posted 9/14/2011 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Oldhouse- 7.5 mgs of MTX is a low dose. I was taking 20 mgs. per week. Always thought it was strange that my bottle although covered in warning labels did NOT have one that said no alcohol! I asked the pharmacist and he said the drug company tells them which labels MUST be on the bottle. That left me scratching my head. If it was that important that you don't drink while taking MTX like my doctor said and every internet article I found and read....why did the drug company not say it MUST be labeled as such.

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 9/14/2011 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   
And you think why in OZ or Europe is it ok to keep drinking a little?
Sounds like a conspiracy!
I think the occassional glass of alcohol is relaxing and well worth any health risk. I guess the other option is to drink and make sure you keep your bood tests current, that way if your liver can't cope you get to know straight away.
Thats my philosophy.
Good luck with it all, the disease takes so much from our lives we don't want it to take all our pleasures too.
Golitho

gypsysgrounded
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 9/14/2011 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I SECOND THAT GOLITHO!!!!!

andorable
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 9/15/2011 9:49 AM (GMT -6)   
My liver readings were through the roof years ago when I was taking mesalasine for crohns disease, they were so bad I had to have a liver biopsy to rule out liver disease and I was too sick to drink back then. Now I have had an ileostomy done and have RA and am on methotrexate injections and Humira injections and I enjoy a drink or 2 now and then and funny thing is my liver readings have been the best ever. So seems ok to me to have a drink or 2 on methotrexate. All the best and take care
Cheers
Doreen
P.S Where in Aus are you Golitho? Im in Queensland on the Sunshine Coast

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 9/15/2011 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Sydney, I visited the Gold Coast a year and a half ago and just loved that climate. I met an RA sufferer on the beach, we were watching the iron man finals, he had moved there from Adelaide and was down to taking just fish oil for his RA. He reckoned he was in a wheelchair at his worst. So tempting to think of moving north when I retire!!!!
Mind you its beautiful in Sydney right now and still my joints hurt.
Can't just be climate alone can it?
Regards, good to know theres a fellow Aussie out there, golitho
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