Methotrexate (Page 2 of 7)

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Tablets: 2.5 mg methotrexate, USP: round, biconvex, yellow tablets, scored in half on one side, engraved with “A” above the score and “1” below.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Methotrexate tablets are contraindicated in:

  • Pregnant women receiving methotrexate tablets for treatment of non-neoplastic diseases [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Use in Specific Populations (8.1, 8.3)].
  • Patients with a history of a severe hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, to methotrexate [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Based on published reports and its mechanism of action, methotrexate tablets can cause fetal harm, including fetal death, when administered to a pregnant woman. Methotrexate tablets are contraindicated for use in pregnant women receiving methotrexate tablets for the treatment of non-malignant diseases. Advise pregnant women with neoplastic diseases of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with methotrexate tablets and for 6 months after the final dose. Advise males with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during methotrexate tablets treatment and for 3 months after the final dose [see Contraindications (4), Use in Specific Populations (8.1, 8.3)].

5.2 Hypersensitivity Reactions

Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, can occur with methotrexate [see Contraindications (4), Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

If anaphylaxis or other serious hypersensitivity reaction occurs, immediately and permanently discontinue methotrexate tablets [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

5.3 Myelosuppression

Methotrexate suppresses hematopoiesis and can cause severe and life-threatening pancytopenia, anemia, leukopenia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Obtain blood counts at baseline, periodically during treatment, and as clinically indicated. Monitor patients for clinical complications of myelosuppression. Withhold, dose reduce, or discontinue methotrexate tablets taking into account the importance of methotrexate tablet treatment in the context of the severity of the disease being treated, the severity of the adverse drug reaction, and availability of alternative therapy [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

5.4 Gastrointestinal Toxicity

Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomatitis occurred in up to 10% of patients receiving methotrexate for treatment of non-neoplastic diseases. Hemorrhagic enteritis and fatal intestinal perforation have been reported [see Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2)]. Patients with peptic ulcer disease or ulcerative colitis are at a greater risk of developing severe gastrointestinal adverse reactions [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].

Withhold or discontinue methotrexate tablets for severe gastrointestinal toxicity taking into account the importance of methotrexate tablet treatment in the context of the severity of the disease being treated, the severity of the adverse drug reaction, and availability of alternative therapy [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

5.5 Hepatotoxicity

Methotrexate can cause severe and potentially irreversible hepatotoxicity, including fibrosis, cirrhosis, and fatal liver failure [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. The safety of methotrexate tablets in patients with hepatic disease is unknown.

The risk of hepatotoxicity is increased with heavy alcohol consumption. In patients with psoriasis, fibrosis or cirrhosis may occur in the absence of symptoms or abnormal liver tests; the risk of hepatotoxicity appears to increase with total cumulative dose and generally occurs after receipt of a total cumulative dose of 1.5 g or more.

Monitor liver tests at baseline, periodically during treatment and as clinically indicated. Withhold or discontinue methotrexate tablets taking into account the importance of methotrexate tablet treatment in the context of the severity of the disease being treated, the severity of the adverse drug reaction, and availability of alternative therapy [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

5.6 Pulmonary Toxicity

Pulmonary toxicity, including acute or chronic interstitial pneumonitis and irreversible or fatal cases, can occur with methotrexate [see Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2)].

Monitor patients for pulmonary toxicity and withhold or discontinue methotrexate tablets taking into account the importance of methotrexate tablet treatment in the context of the severity of the disease being treated, the severity of the adverse drug reaction, and availability of alternative therapy [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

5.7 Dermatologic Reactions

Severe, including fatal dermatologic reactions, such as toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, exfoliative dermatitis, skin necrosis, and erythema multiforme, can occur with methotrexate [see Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2)].

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation while taking methotrexate may aggravate psoriasis.

Methotrexate can cause radiation recall dermatitis and photodermatitis (sunburn) reactivation.

Monitor patients for dermatologic toxicity and withhold or permanently discontinue methotrexate tablets for severe dermatologic reactions taking into account the importance of methotrexate tablet treatment in the context of the severity of the disease being treated, the severity of the adverse drug reaction, and availability of alternative therapy [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)]. Advise patients to avoid excessive sun exposure and use sun protection measures.

5.8 Renal Toxicity

Methotrexate can cause renal toxicity, including irreversible acute renal failure [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Monitor renal function at baseline, periodically during treatment and as clinically indicated. Withhold or discontinue methotrexate tablets for severe renal toxicity taking into account the importance of methotrexate tablet treatment in the context of the severity of the disease being treated, the severity of the adverse drug reaction, and availability of alternative therapy [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

Administer glucarpidase in patients with toxic plasma methotrexate concentrations (> 1 micromole per liter) and delayed methotrexate clearance due to impaired renal function. Refer to the glucarpidase prescribing information for additional information.

5.9 Risk of Serious Adverse Reactions with Medication Error

Deaths occurred in patients as a result of medication errors. Most commonly, these errors occurred in patients who were taking methotrexate daily when a weekly dosing regimen was prescribed.

For patients prescribed a once weekly dosing regimen, instruct patients and caregivers to take the recommended dosage as directed, because medication errors have led to death.

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