Week 4 on Methotrexate - nail problems

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi again. I'm on week 4 of my MTX and up to 10mg (I'm in the UK where I think the regimen might be a bit different).

I've been taking them on my days off so that the worst of any adverse effects will be over with before I'm back to work. For the sake of family life though I'm hoping it won't get too bad!

So far I've just had some dizziness and feeling slightly sick the first week which then disappeared. Other than that my hair feels a bit frizzy but thankfully not falling out (fingers crossed). Bit of stomatitis which is settling.

However I've noticed since yesterday I have a yellow mark on one of my nails which looks a bit like a horizontal tobacco stained stripe. Also some white marks on a couple of other nails. I'm a bit concerned that all of my nails turn yellow because I'm a Nurse and I can't just paint over them (would stop me washing my hands properly).

Is there anything I could use in terms of hand cream etc containing certain ingredients that makes your nails less likely to get stained/fall out? I know in the grand scheme of things I could have worse things to worry about soon but it's just that it's something I can't hide from my boss.

Stepping up from 10 to 15mg next week and starting to feel quite stressed.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Marie, my husband went through this period when he first started

    taking mtx and I think it was when he was on the tablet form that it

    happened.Once he switched to injections it stopped.His nails do get

    brittle at times.I bought him a bottle of hair nails vitamins.You can go search the web for a brand,maybe it will help.I'm sorry it is

    happening to you especially being a nurse sad I hope someone else

    can make a suggestion

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    • Posted

      Hi Tory, glad to hear your Husband started feeling better on the injections. That's a good idea thanks, I could use nail strengthening stuff and just clean if off for work.

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  • Posted

    I haven't heard of this. I m in uk too. My nails have got very slight vertical ridges which I understand are a symptom of RA rather than caused by mxt.i haven't seen it come up on this forum so don't think it's a side effect of mxt- maybe worth asking at next appt. 

    well done gating through first few weeks. Sounds like your body is adapting

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    • Posted

      Hi rowbirdie, thanks. When I googled it (as a Nurse I should know not always a good idea smile, I did find a couple of links mentioning yellowing specifically, but it wasn't on one of the main sites so I must ask at next appt. Seems quite trivial, it's just typical that I'm one of the few jobs that you can't have painted nails!

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    • Posted

      Hi Rowbirdie,I believe it is called yellow nail pigmentation

      I had to look it up since it's been awhile.When it happened

      my husband was only on mtx and prednisone.It looked like

      he had been smoking very strong cigarettes,like how it can

      stain things yellow.He also lost a nail on his toe,it really made

      him feel kind of anxious at first but he finally accepted that

      his meds would take on a life of their own with the side effects

      but your right it is always best to ask Dr on these things

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  • Posted

    Hi Marie, I too live in the UK (Northumberland) and was started o the same regime as yourself.  I was a physiotherapist, so have a lot of empathy for your position.  My nails became really awful too, also my hair and after the frizziness I did lose some, though I have thick hair I don tthink it was noticeable to others.   The condition of it was the worst, so dry and lifeless... bit like my self at the time. I worked hard with the mtx and got up to 25mg which was such a struggle as I felt so sick, but was determined to do what I was told would help by my (now I know not very good) rheumatologist.  The best method of delivery for the mtx was definitely injection though it helped with the sickness... oh and insomnia too.  Though I am not sure if the insomnia was partly because like you I was so stressed about it all.  When you are used to treating and caring for others, its a hard situation to be on the other side isnt it?  I did a very big job in "denial" could have won an oscar!    Anyway, all I would say is, yes all your connective tissue is affected including your nails, it will settle, you will get better..... if the mtx doesnt work for you, plesae keep on telling them and eventually (may be 6 months from dx|) you will get a biological drug... they are much much better and you will feel yourself eventually again I am sure.  If you need to talk to someone I can let you have my number and I would be happy to listen or whatever you needso understand your plight.  Be kind to your body, its doing its best to get you well, I fell out with mine for a while!!!!.

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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks a lot, that is really kind of you. I might be better swapping email addresses with you if that's still ok, I think if I speak too much about it just now it's all just going to come flooding out!

      My main fear is ending up on Biologics, because I think I would need to change jobs given the patient group I look after, so I really hope I don't.

      My Rheumatologist seems really good so far, from what I've seen of her. I'll definitely ask for the injections if I'm not tolerating the tablets.

      If feel guilty about feeling sorry for myself too, when I look at some of my patients who are much worse off than me. It's just really shocked me being in my 30s and struggling so much I think.

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  • Posted

    Hi Marie, first of all, dont feel guilty a out feeling sorry for yoursekf, I have no doubt that youre putting on a very brave face to your family and work mates, its absolutely ok to have a moan, its a dreadful amd horrid disease and everyone here understands that. I do understand about talking, those tears are always very close, we need to shed them but only when youre ready and with the people you trust too, at the right time for you. This is a good place to moan, we really do understand and know how you feel. Please contact me anytime.

    Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.

    http://patient.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/398331-private-messages

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