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I seem to have developed asthma in the last month or so. I thought I had a chest infection or something. My GP measured my breath strength with a peak flow meter and I was pathetic. I was sent for a chest X ray and given Becotide and Ventolin inhalers.

Is there any connection with RA or MTX or other meds that might cause me to develop asthma so late in life? As you may imagine, I am really quite brassed off!

10 Replies

Sorry to rain on your parade, but MTX can cause serious lung problems, and it is a well known side-effect - not asthma as such. My Mother in Law (about 10 years ago) started MTX for RA and was taken off it due to lung problem. I have been on MTX for 18 months and (being a hypochondriac!) every time I get breathless I wonder if I am having the same reaction. Don't let it drift by, suggest you push for more info. I also have a friend who now has permanent lung damage due to MTX reaction.

XX Virge,


Yeah I agree with the other comment, if your having problems with your lungs you need to speak with your consultant, the GP may not be aware of the connection between the MTX and lung problems.

Beth xx


Thank you both. I feel a bit of a hypochondriac sometimes. I am trying not to panic as that just makes things worse. I have a hospital appointment on Wednesday with the Nurse specialist. Wish it was sooner.



Not necessarily the meds - possibly but look at other variables and changes.

I developed asthma in my mid 40s. Discovered it as I was tanking up Box Hill in ?surrey. Those were the days. It was the second chronic condition I developed (first was hypothyroidism). Asthma could be down to stress, I think its hereditary because my mother had it, but also exposure to pollution, reaction to house dust mite, animal fur etc etc. I found that my cats were making my asthma worse and using a steamer on soft furnishings really made a difference.

I hope you can get to the bottom of it and get the asthma under control. I'm having my annual check up tomorrow and will find out then!



Hi Phoebe - sorry to learn about the asthma. Did your doctor mention the breathing difficulties in connection with the drugs you are on for RA? I would have thought that would be the first thing they would suspect but worth double checking as sometimes these things don't seem to add up for medics and it takes you, the patient, to join up the dots.

I did read somewhere that there is thought to be a connection between allergic conditions such as eczema and asthma and the autoimmune conditions such as RA. I was looking for myself, having had chronic eczema since I was a young kid which then complete disappeared about 3 years ago and has never returned but seems to have been replaced by the RA now. I do feel that there must be some connection and did find this learned article somewhere online demonstrating a theory that people who suffered from allergic conditions such as asthma and eczema were more predisposed to develop diseases such as RA later on. Horrible for you I'm really sorry hope you can get it under control - last thing you need on top of everything else. TTx


I have developed eczema too recently, and put that down to Sjogrens. It's all getting a bit much!


Hi Pheobe

I was on MTX for a short time and quickly developed lung problem, my consultant took me off it. Recently though I have felt a bit short of breath on occasions and described it to someone as like being about to have an asthma attack. RA can have an effect on your lungs it doesn't only effect joints...ask your GP/Consultant to do chest x-ray...


Hi, I had a chest X ray, and I am going to the hospital tomorrow to get the result and see what happens next. I stopped my MTX last week as it's all rather scary. Then I go back to see the GP next week, as he wants to measure my peak flow again.

Meanwhile I have learned a technique called Boteyko breathing, which has really helped. My panic is pretty much under control. My "asthma" is not, though.


Hi, Phoebe, Iv just been diagnosed with COPD having been treated for asthma for years,can you please tell me what RA and MTX is?


RA stands for rheumatoid arthritis and MTX stands for methotrexate, both of which can affect the lungs.

I have now been diagnosed with late onset asthma.

COPD sounds serious. Hope you get swift treatment.


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