Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis is administered every week orally or as a shot (injection).

Mode of Action

Methotrexate has an effect on the DNA production of the cells in our body. Though it is not exactly known how it does so, it acts to reduce inflammation and decelerates the progress of the condition. It is believed to be a DMARD, i.e. disease-modifying antirheumatic drug. These drugs are also supposed to be immunosuppressants or SAARDs, i.e. slow-acting antirheumatic drugs.

The Efficacy

Methotrexate acts wonderfully to relieve inflammation and pain in joints, to slow down the progress of the disease and to prevent disability which results from joint destruction. RA patients prefer methotrexate to other DMARDs due to desirable results and comparatively bearable side effects. It has been seen from the studies that over 50% RA patients continue with this drug for more than 3 years, which is longer period than any other DMARD.

Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Methotrexate is usually prescribed first among the DMARDs and it often acts fast to releve at lease some of the symptoms. If it has no effect, but still if you can tolerate it, your doctor may start a combination therapy of another DMARD, along with methotrexate. There are several studies available which show that such a combination therapy is very much effective.