What should I know about methotrexate before taking it?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Your doctor will need to do blood tests and check your liver and kidney function before you start treatment. A liver biopsy or liver scan may be done. HIV antibody testing is usually also done when a person is at high risk for HIV. Women who could possibly be pregnant will need to have a pregnancy test.

If you have an immune system problem, a blood disease, impaired kidney function, or impaired liver function, you should not take methotrexate.

If you have peptic ulcer or an infection, methotrexate can lead to serious side effects.

If you are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, or may be pregnant, you should not take methotrexate.

You should not take methotrexate if you are breastfeeding.

Methotrexate is not recommended for people with psoriatic arthritis affecting the spine or sacroiliac joints. 

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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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.