Methotrexate or not?

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At my last appointment with my rheumatologist, for a general bi annual check up, he suggested that something I might like to consider at a treatment option;  Methotrexate. A drug that is now more widely used for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

Basically it works by “dampening” down the immune system, so my body would stop fighting itself, and I would be relieved of some if not all of the major symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, and apparently has proved to be a suitable short-term solution for some sufferers.

It comes with a lot of but’s, though.

Pregnancy is not advisable when taking Methotrexate, it can cause massive fetal abnormalities, and miscarriage. I would have to use a semi permenent method of birth control, which I’m not sure would work for us. I’m not comfortable with the methods we’d have to choose from

Also, we would be advised to wait 3-6 months at least after I had stopped taking the medication before we tried for another baby (yes, we know we’re mad, we do want a 3rd) to reduce the risks of side effects.

I would have to go and have regular blood tests, probably 3-4 weekly, to check my liver function, as Methotrexate can cause liver problems.

The medication can take 3-12 weeks to “kick in” and take effect.

My immune system would be compromised, making me vulnerable to germs and bugs.

My rheumatologist only prescribes it in injectable form, which would mean regular injections (did I mention I’m slightly needle phobic? How ridiculous? I can stick them into other people with no qualms at all, but come near me with a loaded syringe with my name on it, and take a chance I may pass out)

Hair loss is a common side effect, I moan about my hair, but I don’t want it to fall out.
It’s not a permanent solution, more like a temporary remission enducing one.

There are others, these are the main ones.

I’ve been doing some reading and research on Methotrexate and I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that I’m probably going to say no, when I go in January for my next check up. It may provide me with some temporary relief, but at what cost? I’m not sure the side effects are worth it.

Some days I get frustrated, that my body is misbehaving in this way, and that the medications that are on offer have some serious side effects (my other option would be long-term oral steroids, not ideal either, and when I’ve tried them before the side effects made me stop them) I’ll keep plodding on. Life could be worse, we just keep swimming, don’t we?

 

 

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