Methotrexate Side Effects

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It feels like being kicked by an elephant.My relationship with methotrexate

Side effects are the reason for the fight I describe in one of the about pages. There’s this fight I have every week; it’s a fight with myself. It’s the struggle to give myself shots. So far I always win – I mean lose. I’m not sure.

No one with Rheumatoid Arthritis loves methotrexate.  It’s like a difficult marriage that you can’t leave. In either case, there are good reasons to stay on course, but it can get ugly.

There is no love, but maybe I respect methotrexate. I know it is “medicine” and that’s a good thing. I know that Biologic medicines are supposed to be taken with methotrexate. I know I need to take the methotrexate to fight my RA, so I do it, grateful that I have medicine.

Sometimes I wish I did not “know” so much. There is no way that I would tolerate these methotrexate side effects for five minutes if I did not believe I absolutely had to. Some weeks, the fight is harder than others. If I felt ill all day from the previous week’s shot, another shot seems inconceivable.  But eventually, I always do it.

Can methotrexate side effects get worse?

There are some longer term benefits with methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Some patients continue to improve over time with treatment. But, side effects can wax and wane. At times, they worsen, but usually improve eventually. I’ve ignored this cycle more times than I’ve dumped email spam.

Lately waves of nausea are more like rip currents pulling me under. I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut by an elephant – and I know how that feels since I really was once! It’s nasty.

If taking methotrexate lasts forever, then it is like being married to it. But methotrexate is like a femme fatale or fatal attraction. It doesn’t care about my feelings.

Fighting hard against methotrexate side effects

If I have to be married to methotrexate, then I’ll do my best to get along.  I can…

  • Be proactive with my acid blocker every morning – it really does help.
  • Chew little pieces of pink bismuth tablets even though I’m so tired of them – they do work on intestinal issues. That’s why people buy them by the box.
  • Eat foods that help fight nausea such as hard peppermint candy, peppermint tea, ginger ale, bananas…
  • Eat whatever I notice makes me feel better when I’m sick: For years, it’s been Fritos; maybe it’s the salt. Recently, I tried green olives since it was recommended by a Facebook friend who said they are given used by oncology nurses; they worked!
  •  Force myself to eat simple healthy food that includes protein even when I don’t want to eat.

Does anything help you with methotrexate side effects?

Related posts:

Note: Prescription folic acid is recommended at the time methotrexate is prescribed. Folic acid is assumed, so I did not mention it in the blog. However, I’ve met a couple of people who were not taking any folic acid due to clerical oversight. If methotrexate side effects are extreme or they do not improve, it may be a good idea to inquire of the doctor about increasing folic acid doses. Also assumed are regular blood tests. Please see Methotrexate and RA articles for a more thorough discussion.

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 19th, 2010 at 7:01 am and is filed under RA Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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