Why is Metrogel prescribed?
Methotrexate, with the brand name Rheumatrex, is used to treat severe psoriasis, skin condition that causes red, scaly, itchy patches on the skin, which can no longer be controlled by other medications. It can also be used to treat severe active rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition that causes pain and swelling of the joints. It is also used to treat certain types of cancers (i.e. breast cancer, lung cancer, head and neck cancers, lymphoma, and leukemia).
What does it do?
Methotrexate belongs to a class of medications called antimetabolites that slows the growth of cells skin cells to treat psoriasis, cancer cells to slow the growth of tumors or cancers. It also reduces the activity of the immune system to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
How should I take it?
Rheumatrex is currently available as a 2.5mg tablets taken whole (not split, opened, chewed, or crushed) by mouth with or without food.
The dosage strength and frequency will vary depending on your condition. Do not self-medicate and only take this drug after consulting with your doctor or pharmacist to determine the best dosage and dosing schedule for the treatment of your condition.
What if I missed a dose?
Strictly follow your prescribed dosing schedule to achieve the desired effect of this drug. If you miss a dose, take it immediately. However, if it’s close to the next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and proceed with the regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose, unless told otherwise.
What are the special precautions before taking Rheumatrex?
Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light like in tanning beds and sunlamps. Upon sunlight or UV exposure, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen or sunblock.
It is imperative that you inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking. Discuss your current and previous medical history and any allergic reactions to Methotrexate, or any other ingredients included in the manufacture of this medication.
Inform your doctor if you had any form of surgery or if you are planning to get one.
For the drug label information of Methotrexate, click here.
Does it have any side effects?
All medications can exhibit side effects and adverse reactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Common side effects may include:
- Gum pain or bleeding
- Changes in appetite
- Hair loss
Serious side effects may include:
- Blisters, hives, itching, or rash
- Hoarseness, difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Swelling of any part of the eyes, face, or limbs
- Blurring of vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden onset one-sided weakness
- Sudden inability to move one side of the body
Other side effects not included in the list above may be experienced when using Methotrexate. If the symptoms persist or become life-threatening, immediately stop taking the medication and call your doctor or an ambulance for professional medical assistance.
Is it safe to take it with another drug?
Some drug interactions may cause life-threatening reactions when taken with other medications. Immediately inform your doctor if you are taking Methotrexate with any of the following medications:
- Amphotericin B
- Folic acid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for other possible interactions not listed within this section.
How should I store it?
Keep Methotrexate in its original packaging in a clean environment away from excessive heat and moisture. Keep out of reach of children.
What should I do in case of an overdose?
Immediately call an ambulance and seek immediate medical attention to prevent further complications or possible death.
Is it safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Methotrexate is contraindicated for use in pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, or are lactating women. Always consider both the developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding, along with the mother’s clinical need for this medication.
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