WHAT METHOTREXATE 2.5MG TABLETS ARE AND WHAT THEY ARE USED FOR
Methotrexate 2.5mg Tablets are one of a group of medicines called antimetabolites which affect cell growth, including the growth of cancer cells. Methotrexate can be used to treat severe cases of psoriasis (a skin disease) and rheumatoid arthritis (a disease of the joints). It is usually used for patients who have tried other treatments but their illness has notimproved. It helps patients with psoriasis by killing the cells in the skin which are growing too quickly. It is these fast growing cells which cause the raised patches of skin in psoriasis. In the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, methotrexate is thought to stop or reduce inflammation in the joints by altering the body’s defence mechanisms in the immune system. Methotrexate can also be used to treat several kinds of cancer when it can be given alone or in combination with other medicines. It is usually used in much higher doses when it is used treat cancer and it will often be given as an injection rather than tablets.
BEFORE YOU TAKE METHOTREXATE 2.5MG TABLETS
Do not take Methotrexate 2.5mg Tablets if you:
• know that you are allergic to methotrexate or any of the other
ingredients in the tablets
• are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby, you and your partner should avoid conception (becoming pregnantn or fathering children) for at least six months after your treatment with methotrexate has stopped.
• suffer from a problem of excessive drinking (alcoholism)
• have severe liver problems, including alcoholic liver disease and recent or active hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
• have severe kidney problems
• have any serious blood disorders including severe anaemia or abnormal numbers of blood cells
Even though some of the above may be obvious, it is important that your doctor is aware if any of them apply to you.
Take special care and talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Methotrexate Tablets if you:
• have any mild or moderate liver or kidney problems or blood disorders
• have stomach ulcers or suffer from inflammation and ulceration of the gut
• have severe mouth ulcers
• have diarrhea, are weak or infirm
• have excess fluid between the lungs and chest wall (pleural effusion) causing breathlessness or in the abdomen causing swelling of the stomach (ascites). These may affect the levels of
• methotrexate in your blood
Taking other medicines:
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, or have recently taken, any other
medicines. This includes medicines obtained without a prescription. The effects of these
medicines may change, especially if you are taking:
• NSAIDs (non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs) e.g. ibuprofen, indomethacin, azopropazone or
• aspirin (for relief of pain or inflammation) including any preparations of these bought without
• Taking these products together with Methotrexate Tablets can increase its toxic effects
• diuretics (e.g. loop diuretics like furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide or triamterene – water pills)
• phenytoin, carbamazepine and valproate (for seizures)
• antibiotics including penicillins, sulphonamides, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (as
Taking Methotrexate 2.5mg Tablets with food and drink:
• You should not drink alcohol whilst you are taking this medicine.
Pregnancy and breast feeding:
• Methotrexate temporarily affects sperm and egg production and can harm unborn babies or cause
• It MUST NOT be taken during pregnancy or breast feeding. You should avoid becoming pregnant for at least six months after your treatment with methotrexate has stopped.
• Men: Methotrexate affects sperm. You should avoid fathering a child for at least six months after your treatment has stopped.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Driving and Using Machines:
• Methotrexate 2.5mg Tablets may make you feel tired, dizzy or may give you blurred vision.
• You should not drive or use machines when you first start to take this medicine until you are certain that you are not getting these side effects. If in any doubt, speak to your doctor before you drive or use machines.
Important information about some of the ingredients of Methotrexate 2.5mg Tablets:
•These tablets contain lactose (a sugar). If you have been told by your doctor that you are intolerant to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.
HOW TO TAKE METHOTREXATE TABLETS
• Always take your tablets exactly as your doctor has told you to. This information will also be on the pharmacist’s label. If you are not sure how to take your tablets ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not take more tablets than your doctor has told you to. It will not make you better any faster and it mayharm you.
Patients with psoriasis:
• USUAL DOSE: between 10 and 25mg (4 to 10 tablets) taken once a week on the same day each week.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis:
• USUAL DOSE: between 7.5 and 20mg (3 to 8 tablets) taken once a week on the same day each week.
These doses may alter as your condition changes
Patients with cancer:
• Your doctor will decide the dose depending on your condition.
• Methotrexate may be the only drug given or it may be given with other drugs.
• Your doctor will want to monitor your progress, usually every 2-3 months, whilst you are receiving Methotrexate Tablet
Before, during and after your treatment you may have tests, such as a chest X-ray, physical examination and blood tests to check that your liver and kidneys are working properly.
Do not miss your appointments as these are necessary to ensure that Methotrexate Tablets
are used safely.
Your doctor may give you additional medication to help make sure that Methotrexate does not
collect in the kidneys.
If you take more Methotrexate 2.5mg Tablets than you should:
• If you have taken an overdose of methotrexate or more tablets than the doctor has told you to, you should get medical help immediately either by calling your doctor or by going to the
nearest hospital casualty department.
Always take the labelled medicine container with you, whether there are any Methotrexate 2.5mg Tablets left or not.
If you forget to take Methotrexate 2.5mg Tablets:
• Take it as soon as you remember if this is within two days. However, if you have missed a dose by more than two days, please contact your doctor for advice.
If you have any further questions on the use of this product ask your doctor or pharmacist.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECT
As with all medicines, as well as helping with your illness, methotrexate may cause some unwanted effects although not everybody gets them.
All medicines can cause allergic reactions although serious allergic reactions are rare.
• Any sudden wheeziness, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the eyelids, face or lips, rash or itching (especially affecting your whole body) should be reported to a doctor immediately.
• Most of the effects listed below will only be seen in patients who are receiving high doses of methotrexate to treat cancer. They are not seen as often and are not as severe at the doses used
in the treatment of psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis.
If you notice any of the following side effects stop taking the medicine and talk to your doctor
as soon as possible.
• Methotrexate can make you more likely to catch infections. If you think you have an infection, a sore throat, mouth ulcers, fever, chills, or achiness during treatment you should tell your doctor
• Methotrexate can cause inflammation of the lung with breathlessness, symptoms of which include persistent cough, experience of pain or difficulty in breathing or becoming breathless Severe skin rash that causes blistering.These may be signs of a conditionknown as Stevens Johnson Syndrome.
Your doctor will stop your treatment in ,these cases.
Tell your doctor straight away if you notice any of the following side effects:
Common – (affects less than 1 in 10 people):
• headache, dizziness, fatigue
• swelling of the mouth
• anorexia (eating disorder)
• feeling sick (nausea) or vomiting
• loose stools
• raised liver enzymes
Uncommon – (affects less than 1 in 100 people):
• a lump in your neck, groin or armpits with associated backache, weight loss or night sweats
• decrease in the number of blood cells
• pale skin, weakness, tiredness or difficulties in breathing
• unusual bleeding or bruising
• nose bleed
Rare – (affects less than 1 in 1,000 people):
• raised blood sugar levels (diabetes mellitus)
• herpes zoster (shingles) which is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters
• a serious infection affecting the whole body (sepsis) characterized by fever, chills, rapid breathing and low blood pressure
• depression, confusion
• inability to move one half of the body
• fall in blood pressure
Very Rare – (affects less than 1 in 10,000 people):
• difficulty with speech
• blurred vision
• eye infection
• chest pain or tightness of chest, with difficulty in breathing
In a small number of patients methotrexate may cause serious side effects and on rare
occasions, death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you notice any serious side effects.
Certain other unwanted effects can only be detected by your doctor, these include
• blood disorders, and
• changes in liver and kidney function or bone density.
HOW TO STORE METHOTREXATE 2.5MG TABLETS
• Keep this medicine out of the sight and
reach of children.
• Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated in the carton and blister after “Exp. Date”. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
• Do not store above 25°C.
Disposal of the product:
• Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.