Methotrexate & Prednisone Side-effects?:

Hello, I am taking methotrexate and prednisone, my doses are about what most of you list that you are on: Methotrexate 15.5 mg weekly, 6 tablets of 2.5 mg each Monday, prednisone 5 mg each day and folic-acid 1000 mcg daily. I've been on these meds since June 29, 2015, and of lately have noticed that I am experiencing strange symptoms such as: Memory problems- forgetfulness, problems articulating orally what I am thinking or needing to say, a kind of brain-fogginess. Also, I am way more tired than I should be or so I believe. Let's just say my body wants to be up, now that I am not hurting as much physically, but my mind is tired. Where before the meds I was physically hurting so much that it eventually affected my mental state of being. Lastly, sometimes I feel as if I've either been drugged or been drinking too much, zombie out. Has anyone else experienced these symptoms?

8 Replies

  • Hi Helen, I am like that a lot of the time and I am on both methotrexate and prednisone. I have always put it down to lupus fogs because I have been reducing my prednisolone for the past 6 months now down to 2.5 a day maintenance dose and it still happens. Probably not much help but at least it's not just you. Take care and gentle hugs from me xxx

  • Thanks Karen. I wasn't this way before the med's, that I can recall. Hugs back at you.

  • Hello Helen7, I totally sympathise with what you are saying as I am exactly the same. I should have been seeing the consultant today (they cancelled) and was going to talk about this. I have been on Methotrexate for about 3 years now, I also take prednisolone, omeprazole, folic acid, hydroxychloroquine + thyroxine. I have found the methotrexate controls the pain more than without it and also controls the burning malar rash more. However, as time has gone on the fatigue I now experience is chronic + totally debilitating. I too feel drugged/dizzy etc. I have been keeping a diary to see if I can see a pattern. Suggest you mention it to your GP/Consultant when you next see them. Take Care.

  • LoupyLou, I can't believe you have been on both methotrexate and prednisone for three years? Am I understanding that correct? I am afraid to be on these two drugs for that long of a time. They are very strong medications and some experts, such as Dr. Andrew Weil, who advocates holistic treatment, suggests that we do not take these two drugs for long periods, because they might reduce the chance that the disease will go into remission naturally. As a matter of fact I am planning to see the rheumatologists soon and I am planning to inquire about a prescription of dehydroplandrosterone or commonly known as DHEA 200 mg daily Dr. Andrew Weil Suggests, to reduce the need for prednisone. He suggests a prescription rather than over the counter because prescription is more effective.

  • Hi Helen7, I have been on steroids now for 6 years and methotrexate for 3 years. I refused to take methotrexate for a year when it was first suggested as I was concerned about the side effects. In the end, I agreed to try it as my mobility was so bad (still not great). What you mention is interesting as I am ready to explore anything. Although I have managed to reduce the steroids to 3mg I am stuck as attempting any lower I feel extremely ill and dizzy. Let us know how you get on with DHEA 200mg daily.

  • Wow, you clearly have a worst case lupus than I, and I am so sorry to hear that. I know how I feel with my symptoms and prior to meds I was barely able to walk some days, if you can call hobbling walking. I am stronger, I can start a lawnmower now, I can right with a pen, I can type my normal speed without my fingers cramping up in pain. I can ball up a fist! My hair is beginning to come back in and I sleep through the night!

    I will let you know about DHEA and if the doctor will write a prescription for me and then how it works or not. Dr. Andrew Weil says this is the supplement that will allow you to go into remission naturally. I don't like taking even an aspirin, much less stronger drugs unless absolutely necessary. So if there are alternatives than I am asking. You know we need to discuss what I was listening to this morning on the 'Today Show.' There was a really good discussion about misdiagnosis and the severe consequences that can go along with patients being diagnosed wrong. I know my doctor has not told me which type of lupus I have! If you all have any warnings or stories I'd love to hear about them.

  • I took Methotrexate for a short period in 2008 and Prednisolone for about 5 months the Methotrexate made me feel quite drugged as its chemo. The steroid shouldn't make you feel that way.

    At that time I wasn't having any pain it was mainly the fact that the lupus caused damage to my lungs.

    I do get brain fog, pain and lethargy and so do most people who are diagnosed with lupus so I would let your Rheumatologist know about these systems.

    Hope you get sorted soon.

    Love and hugs


  • Thank you all for the encourage advice. It is good to hear that I am not alone and the symptoms are normal. I really appreciate this site and those of you who care enough to share. Blessings, peace and health to us all!

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