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Methotrexate (Oral)

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Antimetabolite Cancer-related

Methotrexate (Oral) - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Methotrexate (Oral) cause?

Oral low-dose methotrexate generally has fewer side effects than intravenous methotrexate.

  • Decrease in the white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets
    This may increase your risk of infection, bleeding or bruising and feeling tired. To reduce your risk of infection, avoid crowded areas and people who have flu, and always wash your hand after using the toilet and before handling food.
  • Headache and drowsiness may sometimes occur
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itch, redness and dryness of the skin
  • Tiredness and lack of energy may occur
    If tiredness is a problem, do not drive a car or operate machinery. Avoid alcohol as it may make you feel more tired and drowsy.

Inform your doctor if any of the following occurs

  • Fever of 38°C or higher​
  • Severe mouth ulcers or sores in the mouth and throat
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding, or black tarry stools
  • Sudden onset of persistent, non-productive cough and shortness of breath
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin, tea-coloured urine
  • Severe headache, confusion, blurred vision or slurred speech
  • Allergic reactions e.g. rashes, itch, swelling of eyelids and face

Before taking Methotrexate (Oral), what precautions must I follow?

  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you intend to start any new medicines or supplements.
  • Contraceptive (birth control) measures are recommended for both men and women during treatment with Methotrexate. Inform your doctor if you suspect you are or intend to get pregnant.
  • Do not breastfeed. Inform your doctor if you have any intentions to while on Methotrexate.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Methotrexate (Oral)?

Methotrexate (Oral) - Additional Information

  • Updated on Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Article contributed by Department of Pharmacy National Cancer Centre Singapore

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