Pros and Cons of Methotrexate Treatment

Pros Cons
Improves pain and function.

46 out of 100 are helped at least a little

23 out of 100 people are helped a lot
Side effects and adverse events include nausea, hair loss, infections, liver toxicity.

10 out of 100 people had to stop methotrexate due to side effects
Slows progress of disease.

70 out of 100 people show less joint damage on x-ray
Extra clinic visits and blood tests needed.
Relatively low cost compared to other RA medications. Affects development of the baby during pregnancy, so must stop methotrexate at least 3 months before attempting to get pregnant.


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Used with permission from John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Suarez-Almazor ME, Belseck E, Shea BJ, Tugwell P, Wells G. Methotrexate for treating rheumatoid arthritis. The Cochrane Collaboration. 2009, Issue 3.