Cold or flu on Methotrexate?

Hi all, just seeking a bit of advice. Felt really unwell yesterday, shivering & going hot alternatively plus nausea, didnโ€™t eat a thing & took myself up to bed at 6Pm & took naproxen & a co codamol. No temperature despite having a turbulent night but seem to have a drippy cold today. Just wondered how everyone else deals with this while taking MTX, what you take to ease the cold etc & also do you have to inform rheu my team? At moment as so light headed decided on staying in bed & keeping warm & havnt taken any cold remedies. All advice appreciated thank you xx

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  • I go for the natural remedy of hot lemon with honey and grated ginger. I don't take Lemsip etc as they make my tum feel awful. If you have a bad cold/flu my nurse advises no Mtx on that week but if you've already taken it before the cold/flu comes on there's not much you can do. I have used the basic pain killers like Patacetamol if my head has been banging with a cold but you may be already taking those or similar. Ask your pharmacist if you can't speak to your rheumy nurse as they are usually very knowledgeable on what you can take with RA. Feel better soon.

  • I usually take paracetamol and honey and lemon to ease the symptoms together with plenty of oral fluid and rest.

    My Rhuematology department always tells me to continue MXT but you may need to seek advice from your Rhuematology department.

    Hope you feel better soon

  • I wouldn't do my Mtx if I had flu. I have been told not to but best always to check with your own rheumy/nurse. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Did my my injection Sunday so I guess I have got time to get better before the next shot thanks everyone for the advice xx

  • Feel better soon x

  • All the above suggestions are excellent. Please ensure you drink plenty and try to manage to eat, if only a little. Forget healthy eating for the time being and if you fancy it, have it. A morsel of chocolate, chicken soup, cake, rice pudding, whatever. You need to keep up your strength and provide something for your tummy to work on apart from tablets. Wishing you a speedy recovery


  • I'm on MTX & currently have a cold. I've continued injecting because, as yet, it hasn't really gone on my chest. It generally does though & then I have a telephone consultation with my GP & she sends a script for antibiotics through to the chemist & I stop my MTX until I've finished the course, whichever antibiotic she prescribes. This is because if you have lung involvement it's better to not take MTX until it's cleared. I also just take paracetamol & use Vicks for a blocked nose. A hot drink made of honey (Manuka if poss) & half a freshly squeezed lemon is very soothing. I must say though that you should really ask your nurse for advice, I've had RD 9 years so this is my routine. As far as flu is concerned I think you'd be too poorly to do anything, including injecting but I'd not inject anyhow, allow your body to fight it better, the last thing you need is to make matters worse.

    You do need to keep your liquids up & do try to eat something even if it's only toast, if your throat isn't too sore, or anything you fancy even if you don't normally have it in your diet, healthy eating doesn't count where a cold is concerned so eat that ice cream if you want to! I've been having a lot of soup because I've not been that hungry, though I did manage goulash & rice then a plum & satsuma after tonight so I must be over the worst!

    I hope it's not a lingering cold & you get over the worst soon. Take good care & keep snuggled up & warm.

  • Thank you everyone feeling a lot better right now after taking lots of advice & resting in bed xx

  • Hi Julia, I'm on RTX now & have the same symptoms...I called my Rheumy nurse & she said "the usual".......plenty of fluids & paracetamol .....I'd give your nurse a ringbtoday to check, but when I was on Mtx I was told to miss this weeks dose.......but if the symptoms continued to see GP.

    Wonder there is a bug going around or if we two are just the unlucky ones?

  • Unfortunately it is that time of year again when we are bombarded with cold viruses.

    If I have a cold be it heavy or not I carry on taking my MTX. Cold viruses always make a bee-line for my chest as I have lung involvement with my RA. Thus far I have not had to resort to antibiotics while I have been on MTX.

    I have learned through trial and error what works for me:

    1 - and this is the main one - REST REST REST

    2 - paracetamol

    3 - a slice of ginger in hot water - drink it like a tea - couple of times a day

    4 - gargle with salt water as soon as you feel a sore throat coming on and keep it up approx 5 times a day

    5 - if I feel the catarrh building or a cough getting chesty then steam inhalation (nothing in the water - advice from my pharmacist) 3 times a day

    6 - half a teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of full fat hot milk - twice a day - do not have anything to eat or drink for at least 30 mins after having you turmeric milk

    7 - and lots of liquids

  • Thank you so much for the advice x

  • Had the flu jab about a month ago, nose as not stopped running since.

  • Be careful of showing signs of pneumonia. In 2014 I was hospitalized with double pneumonia and was in the hospital for a week. When my rheumatologist found out he took me off Methotrexate because he thought that contributed to my pneumonia. So if on Methotrexate be careful!

  • .

    Yes. ๐Ÿ‘

    Significant point ๐Ÿ‘‰ breathing/ lung issues/ reactions. ๐ŸŒฌ ๐Ÿ’จ

    (Merely underscoring importance of Zeke-17's point, Juliachoo. ๐Ÿ˜Œ ๐Ÿ™ )

    Merely something to be conscious/ aware of should your 'cold/ flu' ๐Ÿค’ ๐Ÿ˜ฐ ๐Ÿคข ๐Ÿคง progress toward lung/ breathing involvement. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

    [Kindly see Infographic ( ) noting breathing/ lung reactions to Methotrexate (MTX) (as well as other DMARDs) & the need to make rheumatologist/ medics aware of ASAP.]

    Hoping you feel much better soon, Juliachoo. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ€ ๐ŸŒบ ๐ŸŒž


  • Thanks for the infographic, Kai - really nice and clear x

  • Very welcome, MandaJaneP. ๐Ÿ˜Œ ๐Ÿ™ That was from Man_Oeuvre's wonderful find at BMJ DMARD infographic: . ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ€ ๐ŸŒบ ๐ŸŒž

  • Thank you again Kai

  • Hi

    I have a cold today. Itโ€™s Mxt day today. Iโ€™ve was told can continue mxt with a cold.

    So honey and lemon, paracetamol with plenty of water and rest today.

    Fortunately Iโ€™m on leave from work this week.

  • Hi I have just started with awful cold & cough, so wonโ€™t be having my weekly Methotrexate injection until I am better.

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