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Low-Dose Methotrexate Can Cause Adverse Effects

The Rheumatologist reports on the findings of the Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial (CIRT) published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which found low-dose methotrexate, a first-line treatment of rheumatic diseases with inflammatory arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, can be associated with gastrointestinal, pulmonary, infectious, hematologic and other adverse effects.

HSS rheumatologist Vivian P. Bykerk, BSc, MD, FRCPC, who was not involved in the study, published an accompanying editorial on the findings and implications for practice. Dr. Bykerk wrote, “These data provide objective estimates of risk for adverse effects, reminding us that methotrexate use has inherent risks and warrants vigilance for symptomatic, laboratory, and infrequent but clinically serious adverse effects—particularly skin cancer and hepatic, pulmonary, and hematologic toxicity. The authors of this preplanned safety analysis from the CIRT study should be commended for providing estimates of adverse effects that can inform improved systematic monitoring of patients using methotrexate.”

Read the article on the-rheumatologist.org.

Additional coverage: Endocrinologyadvisor.com