Methotrexate and Alcohol: Side Effects & Tips for Consumption

When you are undergoing the treatment of the liver it is important to avoid alcohol for a minimum period of 7 days. Methotrexate is the liver for up to 100 days after the treatment. So it is great to avoid the alcohol until you are discharged after the treatment.

Methotrexate is used to treat certain types of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis or to control severe psoriasis. Methotrexate comes under the category of drugs known as antimetabolites. It helps to slow down the growth of cancer cells and suppressing the immune system.

Methotrexate is a strong medication, which is given on medical condition and response to treatment. The wrong medication may cause serious effects such as death. So while taking methotrexate you need to follow the instruction of your doctor.

Methotrexate and Alcohol

Methotrexate is a drug that comes in four forms such as self-injectable solutions, oral tablet, oral solution, and injectable IV solution. The injection can be taken from a health care provider or a caregiver can give you at home.

Methotrexate self-injection solution is used to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and polyarticular idiopathic arthritis. This is a long-term treatment, it takes 3-12 weeks you will see the benefits.

Some antibiotics like trimethoprim and septrin must be avoided while taking methotrexate. In case you need to take an antibiotic you need to stop methotrexate until you are better off the antibiotic.

The absorption of the drug depends on the dosage higher the dosage the less methotrexate is absorbed. Toxicity of it depends on how quickly the drug is eliminated from the body.

Side effects of Methotrexate

With the medications, methotrexate also causes side effects. The user may face problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, minor hair loss, mouth ulcer or skin rashes. It affects the blood and your liver, so you need to have a blood test before starting this medicine at regular intervals.

  • Common side effects of methotrexate

Vomiting, stomach upset, hair loss, tiredness, chills, headache, soreness in lungs, fever etc. are the common side effects of methotrexate.

  • Serious side effects

If you are facing unusual bleeding, liver problems, kidney problems, pancreas problems, lung lesions, infections and skin reactions you immediately need to visit the doctor.

  • People with liver disease

If you have a liver problem this drug can make your liver worse. Your doctor prescribes this drug and decides partly dosage depending on your liver health. The dosage depends on your liver disease your doctor decide whether you should take methotrexate or not.

  • People with kidney disease

The patient of kidney disease might face problems. It makes your kidney function or even completely damage the same. The patient needs dialysis if still, your doctor prescribes this drug will decide your dosage partly based on your kidney health.

  • People with low blood cell counts

Methotrexate makes your low blood cell levels become worse. The low blood cells mean white blood cells, red blood cells or platelets.

  • A pregnant woman

Methotrexate can cause serious harm when you are pregnant. It can cause fertility problems and makes harder to get pregnant. You need to use an effective method of birth control while taking this medicine.

  • Breastfeeding women

This medicine passes through breast milk affects the child who is breastfed. Stop breastfeeding until you are taking this. Take your doctor’s advice on how to feed your child.

  • Sun-sensitive

The use of this medicine makes your skin sensitive to the sun. It increases the risk of sunburn and you need to avoid the heat of the sun.

Methotrexate and alcohol- Is it safe to consume together?

Methotrexate and Alcohol

You can take a small amount of alcohol, as methotrexate and alcohol both affect your liver. It is vital to follow the guidelines of your state in which the adults should not drink more than 14 units per week. Take the advice of your rheumatologist he/she will suggest the stricter limits.

The University of Manchester in Great Britain, researchers found that methotrexate users who consumed 14 alcoholic drinks in a week. Those who consumed 15 to 21 drinks 33% higher risk. The people who consumed more than 21 drinks have a probability of developing significant transaminitis shot up to 81%.

What’s doctors suggestion?

There is a significant amount of risk when you take methotrexate and your doctor fully inform you all of them. Here are some key points which you should follow while taking methotrexate and alcohol.

  • The patients taking methotrexate must follow the appropriate quantity of the right dosage.
  • In case of dry or nonproductive cough, you need to immediately call your doctor.
  • You should maintain the best level of hydration while taking the methotrexate. In the case of dehydration, you need to discontinue this medicine until you recover from this situation.
  • Keep your skin away from the Sun, cover up and wear sunblock in the areas of skin when going outdoors.
  • Avoid crowded places and the people who are not well. Taking methotrexate increases the risk of infection.
  • Take care of your mouth well to prevent from mouth sores. Use a good quality mouthwash and a soft toothbrush.
  • Take care of pregnancy test before you start methotrexate. Men taking methotrexate must use condoms for at least three months after stopping methotrexate.
  • If you are taking care of a person taking methotrexate, wear gloves while cleaning up fluids or handling laundry.
  • Avoid taking alcohol and stick to the minimum intake while taking methotrexate.

Methotrexate is considered for the treatment of psoriasis and cancers. Keep in mind what your doctor suggests. Keep in mind there are severe side effects are there. Read the instruction carefully while taking this drug. It takes several months to get the full benefit of this drug.

If you are using the liquid form of it, carefully measure the special measuring spoon. You are adviced not to use the household spoon as you might get the incorrect dosage. Taking an increased dosage will not improve your condition faster whereas the risk side may increase.

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