Can i stop taking methotrexate?

Ah, methotrexate – the drug that keeps on giving. Sure, it may be the key to managing your rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis symptoms, but let’s face it: No one wants to take medication longer than they have to. So can you stop taking methotrexate? Well my dear reader, that depends on a variety of factors. Let’s dive in.

The Short Answer

Yes, you can technically stop taking methotrexate if you’d like. But there are consequences and potential risks associated with doing so (I know, life is just full of fun choices).

First and foremost: If you decide to discontinue use of this chemotherapeutic agent, make sure you talk with your doctor first (and please don’t just ghost them like an old Tinder date). They’ll want to monitor any changes in your symptoms closely before and after stopping treatment.

The Long Answer

Alright folks, buckle up, because here comes all the nitty-gritty details surrounding ending your love-hate relationship with methotrexate!

Why Did You Start Taking It Anyway?

Before we even consider if stopping treatment is right for you at this time (it might not be NBD), let’s revisit why your doctor prescribed it in the first place.

  • Have Your Symptoms Improved?
  • If yes -> Congrats! This indicates that methotrexate has been doing its job.
  • If no -> Then perhaps discontinuing could potentially do more harm than good.
  • Are There Any Alternatives?
  • Have alternative treatments been discussed by your healthcare team lately?
    • Yes -> Maybe a switch would be beneficial.
    • No -> Perhaps bring it up during follow-up appointments as something worth exploring.

So before making any rash decisions about throwing out those little yellow pills, definitely consider whether they’re working for you.

Potential Risks

Speaking of making rash decisions, let’s explore what risks may arise from discontinuing methotrexate before chatting with your doctor. (Well, besides the fact that it’s just a bad idea)

  1. Return of Illness
  2. Stopping treatment (especially if effective) runs the risk of causing disease reactivation in rheumatoid arthritis and/or psoriasis patients.
  3. RA Progression Risk:
  4. This particular medication may slow or even halt any future damage to joints related to RA (synovitis). So when methotrexate is no longer being introduced into your system, those benefits also go by the wayside as well.
  5. Other Medications Like NSAIDs May Lose Effectiveness:
  6. When taken alongside medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief, studies suggest stopping use can increase inflammation markers significantly (not great news).
  7. Overall Hardship on Health Outcomes:
  8. Methotrexate has been shown to have several side effects that are generally reversible once proper adjustments are made under medical guidance; however, its impact on liver function tests could be more significant than we realize, though nothing like a good game of Russian Roulette with our health…

So take note friends- DO NOT try this at home!

It Ain’t Over Until The Fat Lady Sings….

Consider a conversation with your General Practitioner about using alternate treatments while tapering off from Methotrexate until you find an approach that agrees with your bodily needs/ wants?

Alternates include:

  • Biologics
  • Tofacitinib
  • Sulfasalazine

It turns out there is life outside of Methotrexate after all!

Wait There’s More…

After transitioning consult closely both yourself and healthcare professionals regarding potential changes in:


It can take about up to two months (50% elimination) and some potential variation to show improvements.

Diet Changes:

This medication is known for possibly increasing risk of heart disease or weakening immune system function, it’s advisable that you make changes in this area as well.

Switching off from Methotrexate can seem like a relief, but with great power comes greater responsibility (yes anonymous Spiderman quote). Going cold turkey could put your health at greater risk., so talk things over with your trusted medical provider before making any hasty decisions!

A Word From the Wise

Do yourself a favor by saying goodbye to Mr. Trexate responsibly; after all, he has helped more than he’s harmed (hopefully). Consult an expert in the field and correlate what they have to say before discontinuing treatment.

And one last thing: Remember why you started taking methotrexate in the first place – chances are it was not solely out of love for these little pills, right? Keep this factfront-of-mind if contemplating stopping treatments may be your choice soon; weigh whether losing its desired effects makes sense at this point too.

Here’s hoping that wherever the road does lead post-treatment objectives meets expectations!

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