My rheumy doesn't like Pred either so she put me on MTX. I have been on it since February to get my joint pain under control, my rheumy wanted to start me on it sooner but I was reluctant because of the other meds I am on. I don't do so well when my meds are changed around. It took a couple of months before I could tell a difference in my pain level in my hips and back but it did work. I still have some joint pain in my hands, feet and back but nothing compared to what it was before.
My rheumy advised me to take it with my biggest meal each week. I have a very sensitive GI tract and never had any stomach upset, except a little nausea. I get mouth sore but it's more from lupus than MTX as it started along time before I went on this med. I usually take 3mg of folic acid daily and can take up to 5mg. I had no experience with hair loss but from what I understand the doses we get of MTX is very small compared to those that receive it for cancer treatment, with those high doses they may experience hair loss.
I hope the med works for you and you get relief from your pain. Hang in there and be sure to take it with plenty of food, you may have a little nausea and feel tired for a day or so after you take your dose but that may improve over time. Take care and let us know if you have any other questions.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~
DX: Hashimoto's, Celiac Disease, Raynaud's, Lupus and Sjogrens
RX: Imuran, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Piroxicam, Levoxyl, Folic Acid, Folgard OS (B12), Vitamin D-50,000 IU, Darvocet (as needed) and magic mouthwash (for mouth sores)