Methotrexate - does it mean I am at higher risk?

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I am 53 years old an take 15mg methotrexate weekly to treat psoriasis. My recent blood test results are okay. I realise this drug lowers the immune system. Do you think I will be expected to shield myself for 12 weeks?

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  • Posted

    The quick answer is yes you are at a higher risk as methotrexate is an immunosuppressant however a different level high risk to someone with COPD or after transplant surgery. i am in a similar position but also take etanacept which is another immunosuppressant. not received any letter from my medical people. this is why you need to be judge and executioner for yourself and make the decision that you are comfortable with depending on your circumstances and surroundings. Don't rely on someone to tell you what to do, if you are worried and can take yourself away from risk then my advice would be to follow your gut. 65 million people in UK so NHS wont have a solution for every scenario.

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  • Posted

    Hi Melanie

    I had this quandary also. I also take 15mg a week, for Rheumatoid Arthritis (it also helps my Ulcerative Colitis). When the Coronavirus started, I searched online to see if it would lower my immune system sufficiently to make me more susceptible to the virus. I won't be 70 until this December so I am just on the 'cusp' of being elderly!

    There's not much out there but I did find an article explaining that low dosages of Methotrexate do not affect you sufficiently to make you much more 'vulnerable' than others, though it did say that there is a VERY SLIGHT extra risk. One other article told me something that I didn't know and that was that Methotrexate is used to treat cancer but in very high doses, but at the low dose that you and I take (ie 15mg) it is not seen as 'chemotherapy', which would put you in the 'vulnerable' range. The lower dosages range from 7.5mg to 25mg. It is the higher 'chemotherapy' dosages that would make you vulnerable. I also saw another article saying that alternatives to Methotrexate would have more effect on your immune system than Methotrexate.

    It's difficult to get hold of a doctor these days and I fear that 'to be on the safe side', they might just say, 'Yes. You ARE vulnerable', without actually being sure (your hospital consultant would probably be the better person to ask, but again, it might not be easy to get hold of them at this time).

    As I am on my own and have no-one else to assist me and shop for me and my three cats, I am staying home but doing minimal shopping very infrequently - ie I did shopping today while it was very quiet and probably don't need to again for another week at least and I take every precaution when I do. I have to do my catfood shopping in another town - deliveries may take weeks, even if you are in the 'vulnerable' category (a lot of supermarkets are giving preferential delivery slots to the elderly and vulnerable but I don't feel that I should take one of those unless I was given a DEFINITE 'you are vulnerable'.) I should be seeing my DMARD nurse in a couple of weeks or so for my regular blood test so I will ask her to get a definitive answer if possible.

    So, sorry that I can't give you that definitive answer myself, and I suspect that you may have the complication of whether you should be working or not (I am retired so it's easier for me), but hope that this has been of some small help and if you can get any info. from your consultant that might be helpful.

    Take care.

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  • Edited

    Hi, i take methotrexate and etanercept I've been told that i am high risk and will get a letter advising me to stay home for 12 weeks, i would call your consultant/nurse/gp just to get clarification it can be a grey area i think.

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