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Short of breath methotrexate

Hi today I had a phone call from my RA nurse concerning issues I have .One of the questions was on my shortage of breath I get .totally out of breath doing simple tasks and have been for several months now

Once I told her my drug list which includes methotrexate she told me to stop taking immediately and she will book an appointment with the main man. Why the hurry to get you of these drugs after twelve months what is the long term damage anyone with the same experience. Regards ian

6 Replies

I know that MTX can cause a range of lung problems, as can RA itself, so this is a serious symptom. But there is a good chance that it won't cause permanent problems. I read this from someone with similar experience on another forum. "Thankfully the pulmonary fibrosis caused very little scarring on my lungs, and coming off the methotrexate and leading a healthy lifestyle, is not causing me any problems. I was discharged from the lung specialist in January. He doesn't forsee any lasting effects".

Hope you get to see a specialist about this soon.


I have recently come out of hospital where they found scarring on both lungs and blamed methotrexate. Some things they seem to forget to tell you


Hi. Can be dangerous MTX! Your RA nurse was right in pulling you off it. A symptom of RA can be lung damage or what can cause it, is the Drug or a combination of both. They will Xray your chest or maybe a CT scan. This is to determine if you have developed Fibrosis. So glad I am off it now. Hated the day of the week I had to take it. Then was sick for the following two days. As you can probably gather, I was in the same boat as you. Take care.


hi i have RA for the last 5 years, and take humira injections, iam 51 . and iam still infull time employment, very tired all the time, with very little sleep, i find it very hard to move in the mornings, and am always short of breath, my nurse and doctor keep telling me the reason is very low iron levels, altho i cant seem to get them higher, no matter,,,,, regards from annette xxx


I had to go through lung capacity tests before I was allowed to start methotrexate and it was explained to me the risks - is this not the case for everyone else?

I was on gold salts in my teens and twenties and I experienced lung scarring (not sure whether JIA or the gold) which left me using an inhaler ever since (only occasionally though). In the last year I've had poor lung health and I'm now on a daily inhaler along with the blue one due to a marked deterioration but since December I've been fighting a chest infection that just won't go and there's talk of me coming off methotrexate (been on it 12 years) as a precaution. I think the 'thing' this winter has been the chest infections, they've been particularly aggressive and if you have an altered immune system then its going to be 10 times harder to fight. I'd be cautious about just stopping meds, I'd want my rheumatologist to have a plan before stopping as I tried to go without for a few years and not only experienced the worst quality of life since diagnosis but caused permanent damage to various joints. Good luck finding the source of your chest problem and with your Arthur x


I also seem to have picked up a breathing problem I when I sleep I breath very deeply or hyperventilate in my sleep worse last night as I injected methotrexate yesterday evening. Hope you get sorted out pretty quick. Take care


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