Treating psoriasis with Methotrexate
Psoriasis sufferers when fail to treat psoriasis with other options then their last resort is Methotrexate. One can take this drug orally or by intramuscular injection, it was originally used for treating different cancers in the late 1940s. It was found later that the low dose of Methotrexate can be effective for treating medical issues as well. In the beginning of 1960s, this medicine has been prescribed for complicated and/or disabling cases of psoriasis.
Mostly sufferers experiencing extensive psoriasis involving 30 percent of the skin or with acute pustular psoriasis respond well to Methotrexate. In case of severe psoriatic arthritis which is a disabling type of the disease that one can distinguish by stiffness in the joints and inflammation also another indication to opt for Methotrexate psoriasis therapy.
There are three ways to take this drug: as a weekly, single oral dose of 3-10 tablets (7-20 mgs); a weekly division of oral dose i.e. 3 tablets (2.5 -5mg) over a 36-hour period; or intramuscular dose once every week.
It takes 4-6 weeks to see improvement in these symptoms of starting Methotrexate therapy but in some cases it may take a little longer i.e. 2-3 months. Once the skin is cleared of lesions, the patient does not notice these symptoms for some weeks to a year after discontinuing therapy.
On the other hand Methotrexate is quite toxic in nature even if it is taken in small dose – it is important to monitor the patient by a health care practitioner. There are some short-term side effects of this drug which include insomnia, appetite loss, hair loss, nausea, fatigue and a lowering of white blood cell count which makes body prone to infection.
There are some rare side effects as well less common side effects like headache, acne, unusual sensitivity to the sun, fever, drowsiness, blurred vision, painful urination, convulsions, bloody urine, reduced sperm count, ringing in the ears and breathing issues.
Methotrexate can act as a triggering factor to develop a unique as well as dangerous type of lung disease at any time during the course of therapy. Even if the dose is as low as 7.5 mg per week this reaction can occur. Some common symptoms of this condition include breathing difficulty, cough, respiratory infection, low blood concentration oxygen and abnormality in chest X-ray. It is always best to report to your doctor if you notice any change in your breathing or lung states during intake of Methotrexate.