Updated in 12/3/2012 10:48:45 AM      Viewed: 46 times      (Journal Article)
Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore 26 (2): 205-9 (1997)

The safety of weekly low dose oral methotrexate in an Oriental population with rheumatoid arthritis.

J Thumboo , W H Koh , K H Leong , M L Boey , P H Feng
ABSTRACT
A retrospective review of 50 oriental patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with weekly oral methotrexate showed adverse events in 15 (30%) patients with 19 occurrences (38%) of leucopaenia (4%), pancytopaenia (2%), gastrointestinal symptoms (18%), hepatic transaminase elevation (6%), rash (2%) and infections (6%). The median duration of treatment with methotrexate was 11 months (range 1 to 105 months). Pancytopaenia occurred in 1 patient with renal failure. All adverse events resolved with cessation of therapy and on several occasions, despite continued therapy. Methotrexate was discontinued permanently in 2 and temporarily in 7 patients as a result of adverse events. No recurrence of adverse events was noted on restarting methotrexate therapy in patients with non life-threatening adverse events. No increase in adverse events was noted in 14 patients treated with a combination of methotrexate and anti-malarial therapy. We conclude that methotrexate was well tolerated by the Oriental patients with rheumatoid arthritis in our study and could be safely restarted in those patients with non life-threatening adverse events.
ISSN: 0304-4602