Methotrexate for conditions other than RA?

I am 26, and have been on methotrexate since mid-January for a rare eye condition called Ampigenous Choroiditis. Left untreated, it can cause blindness very rapidly. I had 20/20 vision before this all happened just this past October 2012. I had a viral infection, then woke up one morning and couldn't see. I was in and out of doctors and specialists, given steroid shots in my eyes, and tossed around until my current doctor saved my vision. I have permanent scarring in my left eye that has caused central vision loss. I was on steroids from October-January (anywhere from 5mg to 80mg), and started Methotrexate. I currently take 7 2.5mg tablets once a week along with a daily folic acid, and Zofran on days I take the methotrexate. I was wondering if anyone takes methotrexate for a non-RA condition, or knows anyone else in a similar situation as mine? My WBC has dropped from 10.4 in January to 6.4 in April to 4.5 in the last three weeks with an increase from 6 to 7 pills. I am concerned because not taking methotrexate isn't an option as I will lose my vision. I am wondering if a neutropenic diet could help or if anyone has experience with natural ways to boost the immune system since things like Airborne or EmergenC work against what the methotrexate is doing. Thank you!

5 Replies

  • Hi I have vasculitis and I am due to start methotrexate injections next Tuesday. I don't have ra. However vasculitis is also an auto immune disease.

    I have been pre warned by the nurse that it does alter your blood and liver.

    I am sorry I cannot help but just wanted to let you know that it is used for other things and in the past (maybe still now; cancer).

    Hopefully someone with more experience or even another type of illness user will come along with more information for you.

    All the best wishes to you


  • Hi there, I'm on 25mg Mtx per week for RA. However I know that people also take it for Psoriasis (the skin condition). There are some online Psoriasis forums that you might wish to contact if you haven't done so already.

    I've just had a look at my little Mtx monitoring booklets & seen that your WBC is still within the normal range so I guess you are concerned about the rate at which it has fallen recently. I looked at what has happened to my WBC over the 2 years I've been taking Mtx & notice that it has fallen from 9.1 but has fluctuated between 6.0 - 6.9 for nearly a year. Just speculating but possibly yours will rise a bit and stay at a low but fairly safe level?? What does your Consultant have to say?

    I'm sorry to hear that you have this distressing condition. I'm sure others who know more about white blood cells than I do will be along shortly but I just want to wish you all the best & also urge you to get your doctors on the case if you think they've been remiss. You shouldn't really have to search for remedies on your own.

    Luce xx

  • I also have a form of vasculitis, [wegeners granulomatosis] and polyarthritis.

    I take mtx and prednisolone [steroids]

    I take 3x 5mg on saturday and 2x 5mg on sunday.

    I also take folic acid on tuesday, wednesday and thursday - it affects the mtx effectiveness if taken on the same day. I also take lansoprazole and a calcium & vit d tablet.

    I have monthly blood tests to monitor my condition.

    I can't help with boosting the immune system as my is over-active and my med's are to suppress it.



  • I spoke to someone yesterday whose husband takes MTX in tablet form for Psoriasis (as opposed to Psoriatic Arthritis). Your problem sounds horrible and I really hope that the MTX continues to work for you and the white blood cells don't drop any further than your body can cope with. Like Sandra my autoimmune system is over-active and I've been told that I should avoid anything that may boost it. The Methotrexate is an immunosuppressant drug. Tilda x

  • MTX is used for quite a lot of autoimmune conditions as in lowish doses it is an immune suppressant, so it can potentially keep inflammatory autoimmune conditions under control. I guess therefore its a similar reason for using it in your eye condition. I'm not sure why you want to boost your immune system? I've had advice from several different places that if you have an autoimmune condition of any kind its not a good idea to take any kind of immune system stimulant, and from what I can gather your eye condition does come under immunological conditions. Check with your doctor about that though.

    As far as alternatives to MTX, it would be something to ask your opthalmologist. I wouldn't mind betting there are things like anti-tnf type alternatives as it is another inflammatory condition and these biological drugs do seem to be used for quite a wide range of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Or there might be other meds that possibly aren't quite as effective generally as MTX but still useful enough for you to try. It really is something to talk over with an eye specialist though.

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