Methotrexate and constant infections: Does anyone... - NRAS


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Methotrexate and constant infections

Nanabrodie profile image
11 Replies

Does anyone suffer with the same problem . Since I have been taking mtx I seem to pick up any infections that are around. Every time I visit my grandchildren I bring something home with me. Back in January whilst I was visiting my four year old grandson went down with bacterial pneumonia and I managed to catch that off him. I’ve just come back from seeing them over Easter when again the four year old was ill with influenza and so was him mum also the two year old has now got it. I have had the flu jab but whilst I was there I started with a mild sore throat and I have now got conjunctivitis! I’m really getting fed up with this, I’m only on the lowest does of MTX, does anyone else suffer the same? Should I mention this to rheumy?

11 Replies

I think it’s part and parcel of immunosuppressives. I’m on mtx and a biologic and I stay away from friends and family if they are ill and they know not to come round here if they are ill. I would check about illness before you go and see them especially with children as they get their snot everywhere 😁 We can’t live in a bubble but there are things you can do to make the risk of catching anything less.

Nanabrodie profile image
Nanabrodie in reply to

Thank you your reply kittyj, the trouble is both recent times I have been to visit them they have become ill while I have been there and the four year old has ended up in hospital so they need my help with the younger one. It is so difficult 😕

MTX is an immunosuppressive. It never fail to amaze me that those who have been prescribed such drugs aren't warned by their Rheumys about the effects of being on drugs like MTX and others. They lower our immune system so we catch all sorts of infections.

Nanabrodie profile image
Nanabrodie in reply to

I was given a leaflet which explains about MTX and refers to lower immunity but I thought that being on such a low dose it wouldn’t affect me so much. I have my blood Tested every month and that’s always fine.

helixhelix profile image

It is odd, as some people do seem to be more prone to catching everything that’s going than others. I’m on MTX & a biologic and so far have had nothing more than a small infection my toes which clear up in a couple of days with treatment. Despite snotty grandchild crawling over me, neighbours coughing at me and using public transport. (And fingers crossed of course).

Apart from the RA are you otherwise healthy? As i think that makes a big difference. And if you are run down, over tired and over stressed that won’t help either.

But mention it to rheumy of course.

Nanabrodie profile image

Definitely not over stressed I’m having a lovely retirement. There are no pressures on me at all. My health is fine and my RA is only in its very early stage. I just seem susceptible to picking up infections.

Ninaseven profile image

I was on methotrexate for two years. Over that time I had several colds, chest infections, etc. it killed my immune system. I came off when they reduced dosage as the mouth ulcers were so bad they had actually started to move down my throat. Even taking folic acid. I then went on Enbrel. I took it for 19 weeks and it didn’t do a thing but during those 19 weeks I had three bouts if bronchitis. I had the flu jab also. Started Humira this week. Hopefully will help with pain but also on large dose of steroids. I catch things so if I know someone is sick I stay away but unfortunately living your day to day life you can catch it at grocery store from the shopping trolleys. It’s part of this unfortunate disease. Good luck.

Nanabrodie profile image
Nanabrodie in reply to Ninaseven

Thank you for your reply, I think I’ll have to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer around with me I guess that might help. I do get the occasional mouth ulcer but not so many. It is difficult avoiding infections when you have young grandchildren, they can be fit and healthy when I go to visit and within 24 hours be full of colds etc.

lynndemedicis profile image

I take 25 mgs. of Methotrexate weekly and find I am now very prone to UTIs. It can be very frustrating for sure.

Joy_1 profile image

How long have you been on MTX for? I've been on MTX for the last 3 years. I picked up a few bugs in the first 2 years and now (touch wood) I don't really pick up anything.

Of course as you know young kids are walking germ pots. Thankfully I am not around young kids much these days. However one of my son's chums has more or less non existent hygiene skills. So whenever he comes over not only do I get him to wash his hands but I usually wash them for him! And when he leaves I wipe down all the door handles etc.

Now during 'bug season' I do my best to stay away from young kids and the unhygienic adults too - goodness there are a lot of them about as well!!

Nanabrodie profile image

Have only been on it for about 6-9 months so early days I suppose.

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