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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Methotrexate Sodium, Preservative Free

Generic Name: methotrexate (injection) (Pronunciation: meth oh TREX ate)

What is methotrexate injection (Methotrexate Sodium, Preservative Free)?

Methotrexate interferes with the growth of certain cells of the body, especially cells that reproduce quickly, such as cancer cells, bone marrow cells, and skin cells.

Methotrexate injection is used to treat leukemia and certain types of cancer of the breast, skin, head and neck, or lung. Methotrexate injection is also used to treat severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Methotrexate injection is usually given after other medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Methotrexate injection may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of methotrexate injection (Methotrexate Sodium, Preservative Free)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • diarrhea, vomiting, white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • weight loss, night sweats, swollen glands;
  • fever, chills, flu symptoms, cough with yellow or green mucus;
  • dry cough without mucus;
  • stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath;
  • pale skin, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, confusion, neck stiffness, severe headache, back pain, seizure (convulsions);
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • dry mouth, increased thirst, drowsiness, restless feeling, vomiting, increased urination, muscle pain or weakness, feeling light-headed; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, blurred vision;
  • upset stomach, loss of appetite;
  • dizziness; or
  • tired feeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about methotrexate injection (Methotrexate Sodium, Preservative Free)?

Methotrexate can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant. Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving methotrexate injection, whether you are a man or a woman. Methotrexate injection use by either parent may cause birth defects.

Methotrexate injection can cause serious or life-threatening side effects on your liver, lungs, kidneys, and bone marrow (immune system). To check for harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested, and you may need an occasional liver biopsy or chest x-ray. Visit your doctor regularly.

You may not be able to receive methotrexate injection if you have liver disease (especially if caused by alcoholism), a blood cell or bone marrow disorder, or if you are breast-feeding a baby. Your doctor will decide if this treatment is right for you.

There are many other drugs that can interact with methotrexate. Tell your doctor about all medications you use.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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