General Info: Uses and Effects
Rheumatrex Generic (Methotrexate) is used for the treatment of some types of cancer and also used to treat severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis that has not responded to other medications. It is also sometimes used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This medication belongs to the group of drugs known as antimetabolites. It works by stopping or slowing down the growth of cancer cells and represses the immune system.
Contraindication: Important to Know
Before you start your treatment, you should tell your physician if you are allergic to any active or inactive ingredients in this drug. You should also inform your doctor about your medical history especially if you have or have ever had lung disease, kidney disease, liver disease, blood cell or bone marrow disorders, active infection, folic acid deficiency, or intestinal/stomach disease. Methotrexate can increase your chances of getting infections. Therefore, it is recommended that you maintain proper hygiene and wash your hand regularly while taking the medication. In case you get exposed to any infection, contact your doctor immediately. Do not take immunization or vaccinations during the course of your treatment without the approval of your doctor.
Rheumatrex Methotrexate can make you drowsy or dizzy and using alcohol or marijuana with the medication may increase these effects. Do not consume marijuana or alcohol while using the drug. You should also avoid using machinery, drive, or engage in any activity that requires alertness until you are certain you can do so safely. This medicine can make you more sensitive to sunlight exposure. Therefore, limit your sun exposure and avoid using sunlamps or tanning booths. Wear protective clothing and sunscreen when outdoor. Inform your doctor immediately if you get sunburned, or develop skin redness or blisters.
Rheumatrex Methotrexate should not be used in pregnant women or women planning to get pregnant because it can harm an unborn baby. When using this medication and immediately after treatment, you should avoid getting pregnant. Males and females on Methotrexate should use effective birth control during treatment and for a minimum of three months after the course of treatment.
Instructions on Taking
It is essential that you go through the patient information leaflet given to you by your pharmacist or doctor before you commence your treatment on Rheumatrex. You should know that this drug is strong so you need to stick with the dosage given to your by your health care provider. Using it the wrong way can lead to serious side effects and can cause death. It is therefore crucial that you follow your physician’s instructions in detail. For cancer treatment, doctors usually prescribe different dosage depending on the type of cancer being treated and the response of the patient to therapy. Rheumatrex is recommended to be taken by mouth.
If this drug has been prescribed for you for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis, you should ideally take it by mouth once a week. You should however follow your doctor’s recommended dosage schedule for maximum benefit. Also, if you have been given the liquid form of the drug, you should use the recommended measuring spoon or device for accurate dose. You should not use household spoon for measurement to avoid wrong dosage. Rheumatrex can be absorbed through the lungs and the skin which can harm an unborn baby. Pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should therefore not use the medication or inhale it. It is advisable that you drink a lot of fluid while using this medication except you are otherwise advised by your physician. By taking in a lot of fluid, you are able to remove the drug from your body system and avoid some serious side effects.
Some common side effects you can experience while taking this medication include dizziness, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and drowsiness. These adverse effects usually go away by themselves within a short period of time. However, if the side effects persist or become worse, you should inform your doctor. There is also the possibility of having temporary hair loss but you do not have to worry. Your normal hair will grow back as soon as you complete your treatment. It is important to understand that your physician has prescribed the medication for you with the belief that the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. If you have any concern however, you should talk to your doctor about it. You should also know that there are some patients who do not experience many of the side effects of the drug.
There are some other serious side effects of Methotrexate which include mouth sores, signs of anemia, diarrhea, signs of liver problems, stomach or abdominal pain, vomiting/nausea, easy bruising or bleeding, black stools, yellowing of skin or eyes, enlarged lymph nodes/glands, and signs of kidney problem. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important that you call for urgent medical attention. You should also seek medical help immediately if you experience side effects such as severe headache, irregular heartbeat, neck stiffness, seizure, mood/mental changes, and weakness on one part of the body.
Rheumatrex Methotrexate may also reduce your body’s ability to fight infections. This may expose you to serious infection or worsen an already existing infection. If you have any signs of infections therefore, you should inform your doctor immediately. It is important to mention that this medication can also affect sperm parameters and can reduce male fertility. You should speak with your doctor if you have any concern about your fertility during the course of taking the medication. There is also the rare possibility of developing allergic reaction while taking the drug. You should call for medical help immediately if you develop a serious allergic reaction such as itching and swelling of the tongue, throat or face, trouble breathing, rash, and severe dizziness.
Interaction with Other Drugs
Drug interactions change how medication work or enhance the risk of developing severe side effects. It is important that you inform your doctor about any medications (prescription, non prescription, herbal supplements, and vitamins) you are using before starting a treatment with Rheumatrex Methotrexate. Some drugs that can interact with this medication include Acitretin, Chlorampheicol, Asparaginase, Leflunomide, Cisplatin, Sulfasalazine, Azathoprine, Procarbazine, Probenecid, Pyrimethamine, Tetracyclines, Esomeprazole, Pantoprazole, and Omeprazole.
It is important that you know that the list of drugs highlighted here are not exhaustive. You should therefore inform your doctor of any medication you are taking prior to commencing your treatment with Rheumatrex Methotrexate.