When first developed, Mexthotrexate was used primary to treat cancer. Now it has been discovered to have a wide range of positive effects for numerous ailments including leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's, asthma, lupus, myositis, vasculitis and ectopic pregnancy. As the drug is very potent. For many conditions, the drug is only used as a short-term remedy. For more serious or chronic diseases, the drug may be given at both low and high doses, but not for a period longer than two years.


Methotrexate is contraindicated in pre-existing liver conditions; making it necessary to notify your doctor of any pre-existing liver problems. Liver complications and even liver failure are possible long-term side effects of the drug.


Cytopenia is a risk in patients on long-term therapy. Cytopenia is the decrease in the production of blood cells. Lowered red blood cell counts cause anemia whilr lowered white blood cell counts stunt effectiveness of the immune system, leaving patients open to infections.


Chronic infections are likely with long-term use, and can affect any and all systems of the body.


Pulmonary toxicity is another possible side effect. It should be noted that it does not discriminate between short term or long term dosing.

Muscularskeletal Theory

Although not sufficiently proven, especially due to other medications that may be taken, Methotrexate may decrease bone density.


Physicians should be informed of all other medications the patient is taking as well as any pre-existing conditions. Routine blood work to check renal panels, liver levels and blood counts should be conducted every 4 to 6 weeks. Most side effects disappear a short time after treatment, however, liver, renal and bone density have higher instances of long term side effects.