Anyone taking Methotrexate?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/3/2007 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, Spent my afternoon at the Rheumatologist going over the results of my x-ray, blood work and bone density test. Even though I knew chances were I had RA it was still hard to swallow hearing it come out of my doctors mouth. Anyway, I wanted to ask if anyone was taking Methotrexate. My doctor said that the most common side effect is hair loss? (Does this mean I don't have to shave anymore? lol) He also put me on Folic Acid, Relafen and I'm to continue the Prednisone.

Just wanted to see if anyone has had any experience with the medication and whether or not it has helped. I have been having severe pain in my hands and ankles. The prednisone has helped a little with my walking but has done nothing for my hands at this point.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it ~Mark Twain

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 10/3/2007 9:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on Methotrexate 15 mg weekly since May and have not had any significant hair loss. Acually have not any side effects at all. Still in a lot of pain though. I started Plaquenil so once that starts working things should get better.
The Methotrexate does take a few moths to start working from my own experience. I'm thinking you'll still have to shave though. lol !
Current Diagnosis-Rheumatoid Arthritis, Insulin Dependent Diabetes, Osteoarthritis right knee, Osteoporosis.
Current Meds-Methotrexate 15mg weekly, Hydroquinine 200 mg BID, Celebrex, Cesamet, Oxycontin 20 mg BID, Lorazepam 2 mg dly Actonel weekly, Insulin-Humalog 35 units TID and Lantus 40 units BID.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 10/5/2007 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Best wishes with the MTX! It's great that you're starting some treatment to get a handle on the RA. The combo of meds, given some time...will eventually help ease some inflammation & pain.
I've some hair loss/thinning from my meds (but not on MTX) it's not noticeable to others....but to me it is.
Thr folic acid supplement I believe helps offset many of the undesireable side effects of MTX.

Keep us updated.
Arthritis Forum Moderator & Co-Pilot
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. AS. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Kidney Stones (oh joy). Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade 600mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; 6MP; Mesalamine; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Azithromycin; Tigan; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Diclofenac; Celebrex; Dilaudid; OxyContin. 

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 499
   Posted 10/6/2007 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there and welcome!!
There are quite a few people who use mtx, sure they will come along and share their info with you. Hope you do well with it. I've been on it since early May myself, and about 5 weeks ago, added Plaquenil. The first couple of doses of mtx had some stomach issues, nausea, etc, but nothing major. Now I don't notice I've even taken anything. Up to 7 pils now, split between breakfast and supper every Saturday. I haven't noticed any hair loss, but I know both meds list that as possible side effects. As the others have said, I was also told that folic acid would help that.
Time seems to be a big factor in all these treatments, so be as patient as you can, which I know is hard when you're hurting...I'm not where I want to be, but am seeing some improvement, so think we're on the right track. We're all here for you.
Hang in there!!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/6/2007 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been taking mtx now for 2 years: 20 mg. One week last winter I ran out and my dr hadn't called in my prescription. Well long story short, it took a week before I was able to get it refilled. My pain had returned three fold. It was horrible. I took my meds and within one day the severe pain was gone. I had previously taken prednisone but have weaned off of it luckily. Side affects for this are bad. I have to take Aleve daily for my osteoarthritis in my back but am pleased to say most of my RA pain is minimal. I do wake up in the morning with stiff hands, feet and ankles but after walking to the bathroom and taking a shower, that is gone. I am pleased that it is working so far. Good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 10/6/2007 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been taking 25mg of methotrexate or 10 tablets once weekly for a year. Overall, I never really had any side effects. Sure wish there was some hair loss or thinning though. Sure would have loved not having to shave my legs and the hair on my head actually is growing faster and thicker than ever it is driving me bonkers. No nausea or vomiting. I may have diarrhea the day after taking it but since I have this issue several times a week anyway I cannot say they are related. If anything fatigue may be an issue though fatigue also comes with the territory.

Don't panic about the med so much. The amount you get for RA is only a thimble full compared to the bucket fulls they get for chemotherapy. The majority of patients don't have side effects from the medication and those that do develop a tolerance and side effects fade.

Good Luck

dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Duration: 10yrs. Dx'ed 2006.  Asthma, hypertension, hypothyroid
Meds: Methotrexate 25mg wkly, Arava 20mg, Rituxan infusion, Folic Acid, Fish Oils, Advil, Advair 250/50, Diovan HCT 160mg/25mg QD, Women's One a Day, tylenol PRN.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1331
   Posted 10/8/2007 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I am also on the MTX and I am up to 7 pills now. It has helped my hip pain a lot!! However, I have noticed that if I am already fatigued or not feeling well and I take the MTX it increases those symptoms, for example I have not been sleeping (insomnia) and after taking it this weekend I had a severe case of the flu like symptoms, with chills and fever. Also as for the hair, I am trying to grow mine OUT, and it seems to interfere with that and I have had some thinning and my ends are more brittle with the MTX. Also if you are female sometimes it can interfere with your cycles as it has with mine. But at the time, I was desperate to get rid of the hip pain, and my plaquenil was not doing the job alone.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1179
   Posted 10/9/2007 2:09 PM (GMT -7)   
looks like we all have come out of the woodwork here on the mtx train. been on 20 mg 20 months now and still holding my own.... keep up on the folic acid.... me i had a hard time remembering to take it daily so i now take 5 mg of leucovorin instead once a week. same thing i guess? my hair is thick as ever and i take the mtx at bedtime to not notice any side effects , but usuallly the second day after i take the mtx i am a bit tired. good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 10/16/2007 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been on mtx for over a year I take it with folic acid, plaquenil and humira. I find that I am very fatiqued. No hair loss, actually my hair is growing like crazy. I thought it was from the steroids I take for the asthma and the RA flare ups. It is helping me greatly. My fingers are straighter and less pain. I suffer with alot of ankle and hip pain still but overall it has helped.

Good luck and Take care of you,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6
Dx:  Rheumatoid Arthirtis, Fibro, Asthma, IBS, Migraines, TMJ, Insomnia, Ischemic Colitis, Neurocardiogenic Syncope, Allergies, Bladder etc...

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 10/18/2007 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on MTX for almost two years. I was placed on prednisone at the same time. The prednisone kicked in right away and was like a miracle and the pain dropped for weeks. But after 6 months or so my suppressed immune system was such that I was getting sick every two weeks - sometimes violently. Against my doctor's wishes I tapered myself off the pred. The pain spiked back with each taper drop and when I came off the pain spiked really bad but eased back off over the following days. The MTX seemed to be holding me up on it's own at the maximum oral dose. I had pain in my feet, ankles, knees, hips, lower back, upper back, shoulders and elbows (mercifully my hands were pain-free!). My knee just relapsed about six weeks ago though, and that is the subject of a separate post I'm about to make... Short story: the MTX and pred both helped a lot, but I would avoid sick people, quit biting your fingernails if you do that, and wash your hands all the time!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/29/2007 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
For what the doctor calls any number of names for spondylarthpies, I am taking methotrexate along with folic acid and am trying to decide if it's worth it reading about liver damage, bone loss, etc. 
I don't like taking meds anyway and am trying to see what else is out there. I do like to have a glass of wine,also, now and then and want to know how that is to affect the MTX. Anyone have help there? I have had no other problems so far, all hair is intact, but I've only been about 3 months on it.  I still get an occasional flare and I'm quite stiff in the morning or after sitting for some time.
I also weaned myself off of prednisone... enough on the medications.
I also am suffering from neck pain caused by degeneration.  That is also a problem in my wrist.  Ah, old age, and they call this the best years of your life.......
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