Methotrexate Side Effects & Patient Stories
Here’s what cancer patients had to say about their experiences with Methotrexate:
I had three drugs on Week 1 and two drugs on Week 2. I did that seven times.
My first week was etoposide, methotrexate and actinomycin-D. That was an overnight infusion, so I had to stay in the hospital for that.
I checked in at 8:30am, got settled in, did my labs, and all that. I normally didn’t start on chemo until about 2pm. I would go from about 2pm to about 6am.
I’d hang out and wait. Then I had another infusion for an hour and a half, and I’d go home in the mid-afternoon.
I’ve had a really bad chemo cough. That’s from the methotrexate I’m on now for maintenance.
They had done research on the combination of methotrexate and navelbine, also known as vinblastine, and doing that in low doses over the course of a year.
That had shown to be very responsive. But my oncologist told me at the very beginning that I was something like the 60th patient that he had treated in his career with this. It’s something that’s not common.
I never really knew what to expect for my first 18 rounds of treatment. I would say that the first one was an hour-and-a-half to two hours, but then from there it varied anywhere between 45 minutes and my entire day.
I had two separate chemos, the methotrexate and the vinblastine, and at the first location, they were both administered by a chemo bag, like a drip. They didn’t do any saline.
I alternate between one and two mercaptopurine pills. Those are just a chemo pill I’ve been taking for years now. That’s the only daily one.
There’s methotrexate that’s a more common one that I take weekly unless it’s a treatment week then I’m not taking it because I get it through the IV.
Patient Stories with Methotrexate
Renata R., B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+ALL)
1st symptoms: Fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, fevers, night sweats
Treatment: Immunotherapy, chemotherapy, TKI, stem cell transplant (tentative)
Sheryl B., Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL), Stage 4
1st Symptoms: (Over 15 years) Skin irritation from temperature changes, rising WBC levels, unexplained fatigue, retinal hemorrhage, hardened abdomen (from enlarged spleen)
Treatment: 6 cycles Hyper-CVAD chemotherapy
Alicia B., Desmoid Tumor, Stage 4
Cancer details: Rare, <3% of all soft tissue tumors, more common in women
1st Symptoms: lump found in right armpit
Treatment: Chemo, radiation, targeted therapy, clinical trials, surgery, including forequarter amputation
Caroline Chisolm, Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia, Grade 3
Cancer Details: As a result of a molar pregnancy
1st Symptoms: Morning sickness and an unusually high beta hCG
Treatment: EMACO chemotherapy