Precautions

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects. Blood tests and chest x-rays may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. The medicine may also cause birth defects if it is used by the father when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. Men should use birth control during and for at least 3 months after the last dose. Women should use birth control during and for at least one menstrual cycle after the last dose. Tell your doctor right away if pregnancy occurs while you are using this medicine.

Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children. Some men and women who use this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).

Limit alcohol use with this medicine. Alcohol may increase the risk for liver problems.

This medicine may cause organ system toxicity. Call your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: a fever, confusion, diarrhea, dry cough, irritability, neck stiffness, seizures, severe skin rash, sleepiness, trouble breathing, weakness, vomiting, or problems with coordination.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Methotrexate can lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, which increases the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

While you are being treated with methotrexate, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Methotrexate may lower your body's resistance and the vaccine may not work as well or you might get the infection the vaccine is meant to prevent. In addition, you should not be around other persons living in your household who receive live virus vaccines because there is a chance they could pass the virus on to you. Some examples of live vaccines include measles, mumps, influenza (nasal flu vaccine), poliovirus (oral form), rotavirus, and rubella. Do not get close to them and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or a skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.

This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

This medicine may make you dizzy or tired. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

This medicine may increase your risk of having a lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system). Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

This medicine may cause a serious reaction called tumor lysis syndrome. Tell your doctor right away if you have a change in urine amount, joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, lower back, side, or stomach pain, rapid weight gain, swelling of the feet or lower legs, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Using this medicine with radiation therapy may increase risk of tissue or bone problems, such as tissue or bone not receiving enough blood. Tell your doctor if you are receiving other treatments, such as radiation therapy, while using this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.