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How does methotrexate treat inflammatory bowel disease?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Methotrexate suppresses immune system activity and reduces inflammation. It was developed as a cancer treatment. But it was later found to work for other conditions in which immune system activity causes damaging inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. When used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it is usually given by injection. It is an alternative to the thiopurines and is used less often. It is not FDA-approved for treating IBD. 

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