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Adverse side effects of methotrexate

Has anyone had any adverse side effects to methotrexate. I got the flu and according to the doctors the methotrexate wasn’t working to fight off any infection and I got mouth sores in my mouth making it hard to talk or eat. All my pills I have to crush. I was in the hospital almost 2 weeks. My blood counts wouldn’t stabilize. Had to have several transfusions. Even had a bone marrow biopsy as they thought I had cancer. After all test came back normal they pretty said it was from an adverse reaction to methotrexate. Anyone else gone through this. It’s painful and I haven’t been able to eat in a while

  1. I am so sorry you had these outcomes. MTX can be a significant help for many but it can also be a difficult medication to use for some.

    I have used MTX for over 20 years and have experienced some, but not all of the issues you describe. I have had the awful mouth sores, and I have felt like I have the flu after the weekly dose. I have not ha blood issues but I have heard of that complication.

    Over time I changed my method of introduction form the pill form to injections. I also started using Leucovorin in addition to the MTX.

    Leucovorin is a highly concentrated folic acid, available only via prescription and that is usually used by cancer patients. From the time I started using Leucovorin I have not had additional issues.

    Two notes, there are other immuno suppressants that may work better than MTX for you. Ask your doctor if they might suggest an alternative to MTX. In addition if one has mouth sores, you might consider asking your dentist or rheumatologist if a compounded medication Mary's Magic Mouth Wash might help out. I found it very effective for mouth sores before I stated using Leucovorin.

    With regard ot the flu symptoms. If you did have the flu MTX may not be appropriate to use. Again ask your rheumatologist. MTX is an immuno suppressant, meaning it may be more difficult to shake the bug, depending on the type. I suggest you ask your rheumatologist to work out an protocol plan from when you have a bad cold or flu.

    I hope you get to feeling better soon.

    1. While you wait for others in the community to share their experience, I think you might find this information from our website useful. It explains the effects of Methotrexate- We also have another thread where members have shared their experience with this medication that you might find helpful too. Here is the link to that thread- Hope this helps! Warmly, Latoya (Team Member)

      1. I also had trouble with MTX. Severe, disabling fatigue plagued me the whole time I was on MTX. Once we started a biologic and weaned off the MTX, I felt like a new person. Advocate for yourself with your rheumatologist and ask if switching might help.

        Mary Sophia, author/moderator

        1. I had such bad reactions while taking Methotrexate...Severe sores in mouth, bleeding gums, gastric bleed and body started shutting down for body wouldn't fight off infections...I almost died before emergency surgery and 11 days in hospital...

          1. , oh goodness! I am sorry you went through all of that. Are you feeling fully recovered from all of that?

            Best, Erin, Team Member.

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