FDA Approves Dava's Methotrexate
Methotrexate interferes with the growth of certain cells of the body, especially cells that reproduce quickly, such as cancer cells, bone marrow cells, and skin cells.
Methotrexate is used to treat certain types of cancer of the breast, skin, head and neck, or lung. It is also used to treat severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Methotrexate is usually given after other medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.
Methotrexate is used for cancer treatment generally in higher doses than for other uses and is often administered intravenously or intramuscularly. Methotrexate is used to treat psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease, as well as the arthritis that occurs in 10 percent of these patients (psoriatic arthritis). It is also used to treat active rheumatoid arthritis in adults and children and other rheumatic diseases, including polymyositis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Methotrexate has been used to induce miscarriage in patients with ectopic pregnancies.
Methotrexate is classified as an antimetabolite drug which means it is capable of blocking the metabolism of cells. (Metabolism consists of the production and destruction of important components of the cell as well as the production of energy for use by the cell.) As a result of this effect, it has been found helpful in treating certain diseases associated with abnormally rapid cell growth, such as cancer of the breast and psoriasis. Recently, methotrexate has been shown to be effective in inducing miscarriage, for example in patients with ectopic pregnancy. This effect of methotrexate is attributed to its action of killing the rapidly growing cells of the placenta. It has also been found very helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis, although its mechanism of action in this illness is not known. It seems to work, in part, by altering immunity, which may play a role in causing rheumatoid arthritis.
Methotrexate belongs to the group of medicines known as antimetabolites. It is used to treat cancer of the breast, head and neck, lung, blood, bone, and lymph, and tumors in the uterus. It may also be used to treat other kinds of cancer, as determined by your doctor.
Methotrexate blocks an enzyme needed by the cell to live. This interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by methotrexate, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects, like hair loss, may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects may not occur for months or years after the medicine is used.
Before you begin treatment with methotrexate, you and your doctor should talk about the good this medicine will do as well as the risks of using it.