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Methotrexate Drug Counselling

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benryan95's version from 2016-11-09 13:07

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Question Answer
How does it work?A disease modifying agent which reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system. Early use improves outcome and symptoms.
Timeline?Taken once weekly with folic acid at another time.
How to take?Tablet usually, but injection also available. Reiterate once weekly.
Length of treatmentLong term
Time before effects 4-6 months
Tests/monitoringFBC, LFT Us&Es before starting, every 2 weeks after starting, then every 2-3 months once stable
Side effectsAlopecia, headache, GI disturbances (folic acid may help with side effects), myelosuppresion
Myelosuppresion symptoms?Infection (go to A&E), unexpected bruising, anaemia
Complicationsmyelosuppression, liver toxicity (careful of alcohol), pulmonary toxicity (tell drs if SOB)
ContraindicationsPregnancy, males trying to get pregnant (is genotoxic), breast feeding, active infection, liver impairment, immunodeficiecy
Important infoNo NSAIDs/aspirin, get annual flu jab, arthritisresearch.org.uk,contraception for both men and women during treatment and 3 months after
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