Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Otrexup

(Methotrexate)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
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Treats cancer and changes how your immune system works.

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Our bottom line

Otrexup (Methotrexate) is a first line treatment for many autoimmune diseases and types of cancer. If you're taking it for a long time, you'll have to get routine blood tests.

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Upsides

  • Recommended as first line treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Available as a generic medication. Comes as a tablet, an injection that you give yourself weekly, and as an infusion that you get in your doctor's office or at an infusion center.
  • If you accidentally take too much, there's an antidote to help your body recover.

Downsides

  • You have to be on birth control for at least 2 to 3 months after you finish Otrexup (Methotrexate) since it can cause birth defects.
  • You have to avoid alcohol and being in the sun too long.
  • You'll have to get blood tests done if you're taking this long-term because it can cause harmful side effects.

What to expect when you take Otrexup (Methotrexate) for Cancer

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Side effect rates for Otrexup (Methotrexate)

From clinical trials of Methotrexate / Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (5 to 20 mg/m2/wk or 0.1 to 0.65 mg/kg/wk)
  • Elevated liver function tests
  • Gastrointestinal reactions (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Mouth and lip swelling
  • Low white blood cells

Risks and Warnings for Otrexup (Methotrexate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Men of childbearing potential

    Talk to your doctor if you are planning to have a baby or are pregnant. Otrexup (Methotrexate) can cause birth defects, including death. You or your partner will need to be on birth control for at least 2 to 3 months after you finish Otrexup (Methotrexate) to lower this risk.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Otrexup (Methotrexate)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • You have to avoid alcohol and being in the sun too long.
  • Don't use alcohol, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications), or stay in the sun too long.