Methotrexate and undifferentiated polyarthritis (I am fraking out!)

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Dear all,


I have been diagnosed last Friday with Undifferentiated polyarthritis and prescribed   Methotrexate 2,5 MG once a week, 4 tablets.

I was supposed to start today but after reading about the side effects, I totally refuse…

I already have a totally damaged hair without volume at all and I even use hair extensions in order to look better.

I am so afraid to lose the hair I have left, especially now that my hair started recovering from the colouring and everything.

Additionally, I like drinking in the weekend and I am sure that I will not be able to stop this terrible habit. Such a busy office life, this is the only thing that relax me.

In addition to that, I am super afraid of getting depressive. I have a baby, work full time and do a master. In addition to da, I am expact and tend to be home sick once in a while. It is a small step to get depressive. I need to be in good condition to go ahead with this busy life.

I do not stand the idea of losing my hair.

Next Monday I go to another doctor to ask for a second opinion and ask whether they can prescribe me something else not so aggressive.

Do you guys know if there is an alternative that could help me?

In the meanwhile I take prednisone 30 mg a day to relieve the pain.

Thanks a lot,


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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Thata

    I totally can relate to the big fear of starting methotrexate. I cried the first day i before i actually took it.

    I have psoriasis and take 15mg, once a week.

    As for hair issues, i have not had any issues with that. I do however feel very weak the day i take them and the day after. I get headaches and just feel very cloudy headed.

    I haven't really gotten any nausea from it either and that was my biggest fear.

    I think it is good that you're getting a 2nd opinion.

    At the end of the day, the decision you will have to make is:

    1) do the benefits of this medication outweigh the negatives? For me the answer is yes i was so miserable i simply had to at least give it a try.

    2) is it worth it to stop drinking for a few months and let your body heal?

    The alcohol can contribute to issues like mine so i don't drink except for a few times a year now sad

    I hope you find something that works well for you and you get some relief soon!

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    • Posted

      Hi hollz98148,

      Many thanks for your kind reply!

      I am so happy to hear that you did not face the problem of losing hair! I understand that the side effects may differ from one person to another, but I got so scared after reading  so many posts of people with similar complaints that I got shocked. Thanks for helping me! I will indeed need to make an assessment about the benefits and side effects, but I would like to know whether scientifically whether this medicine is indeed the best option for my specific case. With so many development, I would expect them to have better solutions.I am disappointed for the fact that my doctor prescribed such a medication without explaining how strong this is and without giving me any info or advise... If I wouldn't have searched for it online, I would probably keep drinking without knowing how that can damage my liver. .

      And yes, at this point I do need some proper medication, as my pain is so extreme that I cannot sleep.

      I will get back to the doctor next Monday and keep you updated.

      Thanks a lot and good luck with your treatment!

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    • Posted

      My Dr never told me anything either.

      I went to the pharmacy to pick it up and it was in a bright yellow "biohazard chemotherapy" bag.

      I freaked out and started crying. Then i came home and Googled it. I was and am still pretty upset that my doctor didnt seem at all concerned with the side effects and warnings of this drug.

      Again, i definitely think you're making a smart choice by getting a 2nd opinion.

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  • Posted

    The prednisolone is not safe long term - that's why they try the disease modifying drugs (DMARDS).  To reduce the side effects take them in 2 doses, e.g. 2 tablets on a Wednesday, the other 2 on a Saturday.  You can start to have a drink again once you have 3 months' worth of blood test results to show that your liver is OK.  You could start straight on the injections - there are fewer side effects and I wish I'd done that from the start.  Also - you need to be taking folic acid 5 mg every day except methotrexate day.

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    • Posted

      Hi lucynewas,

      Many thanks for your reply. I will discuss the possibility of starting with injections, it seems better indeed. How often would you need to take injection? And normally do we need to go to the hospital for that? My doctor prescribed a much lower dose of folic acid, only 5mg 1 x per week. I would probably have much more side effects if the dosage is too low.

      Well, I am curious for the next appointment with a new doctor. I hope he does disappointment me! thanks a lot and success with your treatment!

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  • Posted

    Hi Thata,

    You have to find what works for you and your situation.  I have been on MTX for almost a year now, currently on 20mg once a week. I take 5mg folic acid 6 days a week.  For me, MTX has helped settle my psoriasis - when I saw the Dermatologist at the end of August, she said it was a lot better.  I haven't had any dramatic hair loss, a bit of nausea at a weekend, particularly when the dose was increased, but the folic acid helps with that.  Bloods are taken at every hospital appointment to check the levels. MTX was getting into the realms of the last sort of treatment, I have had numerous creams, lotions and potions before getting to this point.  I haven't totally given up alcohol, however, in moderation, a couple of glasses of wine at weekend, not necessarilky every weekend; I have been ok

    You may find it helpful to talk to your GP or Consultant about MTX and maybe make some lifestyle changes, at least in the short term.  I agree with the points that hollz98148 mentioned, esp about wanting your body to heal. 

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. :-)

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  • Posted

    Hi, i am diagnosed with severe Rumatoid Arthritis.  at time i could barely walk. the prednizone relieved the pain but the goal soon became to get me off of it and onto methotrexate.  I was taking methotrexate (20 mil) a week and down to 1mg of the steroids or prednizone.  i felt fabulous....then i listened to a whole health practitioner and was convinced i could do this with vitamins... after 4 weeks of being off methotrexate it wiped out everything we accomplished for the year.  I am back using a walker at home a cane if i dare go out and looking forward to taking my 2nd injectin of methotrexate. i did have to up my dose of prednizone to 10mg. and trying not to up it more than that....its been 6 days and i have not been able to barley do anything.  so the lesson for me was when my nutritionist said oh yeah no you should not have to suffer with pain, so go ahead and take the methotrexate and ween yourself off instead of cold turkey...too late.... so i say if you want to try going with out it....good luck... share what your concerns are with your Dr. they can perscribe something else to help curtail hairloss. confirm with them do need to get off of the steroids... 30mg  a day is a hugh dosage.   yep you may have to quit drinking and grow up. you have a kid now anyway. be the example and put the recklessness behind you or say goodbye.

    at the end of the day, dont freak out just grow up and do your research.

    God luck!

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