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How does methotrexate treat psoriasis?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Methotrexate (Trexall) is a medication that is taken as a weekly pill. It is usually prescribed only for people with severe or disabling psoriasis who do not get relief with other treatments. For most people, methotrexate reduces the severity of plaque psoriasis by at least 50%. It is also helpful for people with pustular psoriasis. It usually takes 1 to 2 months to start working, and may take a few more months to reach full effect.

Methotrexate is often combined with other psoriasis treatments, such as the biologic drugs etanercept, adalimumab, or infliximab. Lower doses can be used to reduce side effects. Taking these drugs together may be more helpful than taking either drug alone. But methotrexate with etanercept is the only combination that has been studied in controlled trials. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

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