Methotrexate and colds

I've been on Mtx for 3 months now at 15mg which is increasing to 20 mg this week after seeing rheumy nurse last week also increasing Folic Acid to 5mg 6 days a week. My bloods are now showing normal and the swelling has gone down but still in pain. I hate colds and I have just got another one that is 3 in the same number of months, all nasty and long lasting. I know the drug suppresses the immune system and this is why I keep getting them but it is really getting me down. I am wondering if the increase in Folic Acid helps my immune system. I have been taking probiotics to help with the slight GI problems but not sure if it does any good. I feel that I don't want to mix with people in case they are carrying any infections. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

6 Replies

  • You don't say if you take any vitamins. When i was first diagnosed my rheumy nurse advised i take glaugosomine and omega three fish oils. I also take vit.b complex and magnesesium. It might be worth a visit to see your chemist and see what they advise. Hugs from me.xxxxx

  • I will give it a try, thanks xx

  • Extra Folic acid will make a difference, as it does counteract the effects of MTX on that aspect of your immune system. However, are you also looking after yourself well? Eating a healthy and varied diet, sleeping enough and keeping moving? Your general health probably has as much to do with getting colds as the MTX if you do live in a way that you can't avoid people sneezing over you.

    I think of MTX as compromising my immune system a bit rather than suppressing it, as our once weekly dose does make sure we keep our white blood cell levels in the normal zone (and it's those that fight off infections). It's not like with cancer patients who have to take twice as much as we do every day in each cycle.

    The other thing is that having a high level of inflammation from the RA does increase your infection risk anyway, so by controlling the inflammation the MTX is actually lowering your risk. So the end result is a neutral infection risk. But that's statistics, and if you've had 3 colds then all the statistics in the world can't pretend you haven't!

    However, I'd recommend a course of extreme pampering; nice fruit and veg, early nights with a good film and a few walks in fresh air (preferably in the sunshine if it would appear). Plus making sure you wash your hands or use a biological gel after travelling on public transport and so on.

  • Probably not eating enough veg, also finding it difficult to walk very far because of troublesome ankle. It's a shame really because I live in a wonderful part of Norfolk and there are some lovely walks albeit with the normal bracing wind up here. I worked as a newsagent for 35 years and I was always up before 5am and I think my body clock still thinks I am working!! Although I do normally get around 5 hours sleep per night and a daily snooze. I am pretty good with hand washing. Thanks for the advice though and I will try to exercise more and eat my greens!

  • Hi Mole,

    I am on MTX, sulfasalasine, prednisolon and Hydroxychloroquine for RA.

    I take vitamines , 2 x every day 1000mg vit C, and a multivitamine extra. I got less colds, about 2 times a year, so that is normal. If it will works for you I can not say of course. But maybe it is worth trying it! But I am fouten very tired, for me that is the most annoying!

    Wish you all the best. Xxx

    Greetings from the Netherlands!

    I hope my English is good enough!


  • Very good English, my Dutch is rubbish! Thanks for the info.

    Return greetings from a very frosty and cold England.

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