What is it.: Methotrexate belongs to the group of medicines known as antimetabolites. It is used to treat cancer of the breast, head and neck, lung, blood, bone, and lymph, and tumors in the uterus. It may also be used to treat other kinds of cancer, as determined by your doctor.
Use: Methotrexate is an anticancer drug used in the treatment of lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) and certain forms of leukemia. It is also given to treat some forms of cancers of the uterus, breast, lung, head, neck, and ovary. It is also given to treat rheumatoid arthritis
Serious Side Effects: More common; Congestion in chest; cough; fever; sneezing; sore throat
Less common or rare: Bloody or black, tarry stools; burning feeling in chest or stomach; chills; hives; loss of appetite; muscle aches and pain; prolonged or severe vomiting; shortness of breath; skin rash; tenderness in the stomach area; unusual weight gain; vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
Precautions: It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects. Do not drink alcohol while using this medicine. Alcohol can increase the chance of liver problems. Some patients who take methotrexate may become more sensitive to sunlight than they are normally. When you first begin taking methotrexate, avoid too much sun and do not use a sunlamp until you see how you react to the sun, especially if you tend to burn easily. In case of a severe burn, check with your doctor.
Directions: The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so. The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. In addition, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If You Miss a Dose: If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses. Call your doctor for instructions.
Storage: Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.