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Methotrexate is similar to the vitamin called folic acid. It works by competing with folic acid in cells. This blocks the way the cell is able to make genetic material, and the cell dies.
Methotrexate may be given as a pill or as a shot in the vein (intravenously, or IV) or in the muscle (intramuscularly, or IM).
Methotrexate can be used to treat several conditions and diseases, including:
Methotrexate effectively treats many conditions and diseases, including:
Side effects from methotrexate are usually temporary and occur more often with long-term use. Side effects may include:
Less common side effects include:
Long-term side effects may include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Methotrexate can cause birth defects. Do not use this drug if you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or father a child while you are taking it.
Many antibiotics can increase the level of methotrexate in your blood. Make sure your doctor knows that you are taking methotrexate if you need to take an antibiotic for another problem.
You will have your blood drawn often while you are taking methotrexate.
Do not drink alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, while you are being treated with methotrexate.
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