In addition to the treatment of rheumatoid polyarthritis, Methotrexate is used in the treatment of a number of other diseases:
It is forbidden to drink methotrexate in the presence of the following contraindications:
- Hypersensitivity to the components of the drug.
- Renal and hepatic failure.
- Conditions accompanied by immunodeficiency.
- Hepatitis B and C.
- Various forms of anemia.
- Thrombocytopenic purpura.
- Chicken pox or shingles.
- Peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum.
- During pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Dosing and Administration
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with the use of methotrexate is usually carried out using tablet forms of the drug. Injections are indicated only when side effects from the digestive system develop. According to the instructions for use, a single dose of the drug ranges from 6 mg to 26 mg. It is very important that a specialist select the dosage of Methotrexate – independent uncontrolled use of a medicinal substance can cause significant harm.
Drug therapy always begins with minimal doses, which increase after several weeks of administration. The dose of the drug is increased slowly until the first signs of improvement in the patient’s condition. Methotrexate injections are most often given once a week.
The schedule for taking Methotrexate can vary – from once a week to a single dose every 12 hours. Due to the low probability of remission, the drug should be taken for a long time. The minimum course of treatment is 6 months. According to statistics, positive results after six months of therapy are observed in 60% of patients. To consolidate, it is recommended to continue therapy with Methotrexate for another 2-3 years.
A year after the start of treatment, the risk of developing complications increases, most often from the gastrointestinal tract, therefore it is important to regularly visit a specialist to monitor the condition of the body.
It is also not recommended to independently decide whether to stop taking the medicine. Withdrawal of methotrexate is carried out in very rare cases when serious side effects develop or the patient has surgery. As a rule, after discontinuation of the drug, rheumatoid arthritis worsens.
What if methotrexate does not help? In such cases, you should consult your doctor for a consultation – you may need to adjust the dose or choose another way of administering the drug.
Methotrexate is a serious drug, so when it is taken, a number of side effects may occur:
- Hypersensitivity reaction – rash on the body, fever, urticaria, anaphylactic shock.
- From the digestive organs – nausea, vomiting, anorexia, pharyngitis, stomatitis, erosion of the esophagus, bleeding, impaired liver function, cirrhosis and necrosis.
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The cost of methotrexate depends on the form of release. One package of a tablet form of the drug in a dosage of 2,5 mg 50 pcs. pills costs about 300 rubles. At a higher dosage (5 mg), the medicine is more expensive – about 400-500 rubles. Packaging the tablets with the highest concentration will cost about 600 rubles.
Ampoules of methotrexate with a solution for injection are more expensive – for 5 ampoules you need to give about 1300 rubles. The exact price depends on the manufacturer, the pricing policy of the pharmacy and the city where the medicine will be purchased.
There are analogues of methotrexate:
- Methotrexate-Ebeve (about 250 rubles for 50 pcs. Tablets in a dose of 2,5 mg).
- Metortrit (500 rubles per 1 ampoule with a solution of 10 mg).
- Methotrexate-Teva (230 rubles per 1 ampoule with a solution of 25 mg).
Methotrexate is currently considered the drug of choice in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. At the beginning of the administration, it should be remembered that there is a risk of side effects, especially if there is a violation of the schedule of administration and dosage. Of all existing drugs, methotrexate is considered the most effective, safe and inexpensive means.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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