Health A-Z

How Long Does Methotrexate Stay In Your System?

how long does methotrexate stay in your system

How long does methotrexate stay in your system? Methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis can start functioning in 3 to 6 weeks, and symptoms can improve for up to 3 months. That means, if you take it regularly, it will sustain in your body for a long time. 

For several months, other folks may not see any relief in their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. But, unfortunately, that means there is no definite answer to the ‘how long does methotrexate stay in your system’ question. 

It is essential to continue taking methotrexate since it reduces inflammation and swelling. However, it may take some time before you see pain alleviation and decreased joint stiffness. So, let’s find out everything about Methotrexate in this article.

What Is Methotrexate?

What Is Methotrexate?

How long does methotrexate stay in your system? Before we get to that, we must know what Methotrexate is. Methotrexate is an immunosuppressant, which means it suppresses the immune system. It helps to minimize inflammation by slowing down your immune system.

Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease are among the inflammatory disorders for which it is prescribed. It can also be used to treat other autoimmune diseases, including sarcoidosis. Methotrexate is only accessible with a prescription.

It is available in tablets, a liquid, and pre-filled injectable pens or syringes to inject into your skin. If the pills or liquids aren’t working for you, your specialized doctor may suggest injections. It can also be injected to treat certain types of cancer. That is done in a hospital under expert clinical supervision in most cases.

Who Can Or Cannot Take Methotrexate?

Both adults and children can take methotrexate. However, Some persons should not take methotrexate, and that depends on how long does methotrexate stay in your system. 

Before starting methotrexate, tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to methotrexate or any other medicine. In addition, you should not take this drug if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding. 

You should also not take Methotrexate if you have severe liver, kidney, or blood disease, have an infection, have mouth ulcers, or have been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer or duodenal ulcer are scheduled to receive a “live” vaccine. This includes the live flu vaccine given to children.

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How Long Does Methotrexate Stay In Your System?

How Long Does Methotrexate Stay In Your System?

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who received methotrexate for 12 weeks and subsequently stopped taking it were investigated in clinical research. After stopping methotrexate, the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms recur after 3 to 6 weeks. So that means the answer to your ‘how long does methotrexate stay in your system’ is approximately one month.

Methotrexate is a long-acting medication that can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and delay disease progression and joint destruction. Because rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition with no cure, medicines such as methotrexate are used to alleviate symptoms and limit the damage caused by the disease.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving long-term methotrexate were investigated in clinical studies that lasted 11 years. Methotrexate demonstrated a sustained good response in these investigations, with a 50% improvement in joint pain and a 65%reduction in a joint swelling index.

Does Taking Methotrexate Increase The Chance Of Birth Defects In Newborns?

Every pregnancy has a 3-5% probability of having a congenital disability at the outset. Methotrexate use during the first trimester may raise the risk of a specific type of birth abnormality. Malformations of the infant’s head, face, limbs, and bones are a few examples of that. 

Other birth malformations, such as heart problems and mouth clefts, have insufficient data to prove that methotrexate is the drug to blame. However, limited data shows that if a pregnant woman is exposed to 10 mg or more of methotrexate per week between 6 and 8 weeks after conception, she has a probability of having a baby with methotrexate-related birth abnormalities.

In a clinical study conducted upon 101 pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis who were given 5-25mg/week of methotrexate in the first trimester, there was no increase in miscarriage or congenital disabilities.

While this is comforting, you also know how long does Methotrexate stay in your system. Therefore, it does not rule out the possibility of miscarriage or birth abnormalities if low-dose methotrexate is used in the first trimester.

Which Diseases Require Methotrexate As A Medicine?

Which Diseases Require Methotrexate As A Medicine?

  1. The dose will vary for inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease, but you can take Methotrexate for these diseases. This is dependent on your health and the findings of your blood tests.
  2. The usual beginning dose for rheumatoid arthritis is 7.5mg once a week. Then, gradually increase to 20mg of tablets or 25mg of pre-filled injectable syringe or pens once a week.
  3. The usual beginning dose for psoriasis is 2.5mg to 10mg once a week. Once a week, it can be gradually increased up to 30mg.
  4. The standard dose is 10mg to 25mg once a week to avoid Crohn’s disease flare-ups. Since you know how long does Methotrexate stay in your system, it’s better to follow the doctor’s instructions always.
  5. If a doctor has prescribed your child methotrexate, the doctor will calculate the appropriate dose based on their height and weight.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Methotrexate?

What Are The Side Effects Of Methotrexate?

How long does methotrexate stay in your system? It stays in your system for 3-6 weeks, and if the medicine doesn’t suit your body, that’s enough time to portray some severe side effects. The prevalent side effects of Methotrexate are;

  • Stomach discomfort.
  • Indigestion.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Always feeling unwell.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headaches.
  • Feeling sleepy or weary
  • Hair loss.
  • Yellowing of your skin.
  • A chronic cough. 
  • Chest discomfort. 
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Swollen hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Excessive changes in urinating habits.
  • Fever with chills, muscular pains, and a sore throat.
  • Gum bleeding, blood in your pee, or blood in your vomit.
  • Inexplicable bruises
  • Blisters or a severe rash on your skin, mouth, eyes, or genitals.

Putting It All Together

How long does methotrexate stay in your system? We have already answered that question. On top of that, we have also included its typical side effects and who should take methotrexate and who should not. However, if you want more information on this medication, you can always tell us in the comment section below. 

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