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ibs with methotrexate?

hi since i bunked up my mtx inj from 10mg to 15 then 20mg, ive had very bad swollen upper tummy, really uncomfortable and painful and hard as a rock and huge! my doctor junped the conclusion way too quickly that its ibs (i had serious ibs problems a dew years back) and this is nothing like that-whole different part of tummy-i have no other symptoms of ibs apart from the swelling and discomfort-no spasms, no constipation/runs etc. ive eliminated meat and dairy from my diet i know im not allergic to anything, plus ive googled mtx and ibs and it says sometimes its used to treat crohns and ibs!!!! just wondering if mtx has caused anyone else tummy problems?? im sick of looking preggers and being more uncomfortable than i am already with all my joint and muscle problems! thanks :)

9 Replies

I just hate mtx.

Looking at some of the posts here there seem to be some that are fine on it, so once again, we are all different.

I also had IBS (long time ago now) and I couldn't get on with mtx at all. The nausea just wouldn't go and my tummy blew up too. Loads of tests later they decided it was gall stones and removed my gall bladder. By then I had come off the mtx anyway. Over time it seemed to resolve itself but how do we know if it is the same for you?

If you don't feel it is IBS then why not say so? Unfortunately doctors are not Gods and I find myself discussing and debating their opinions more and more.

I believe originally mtx was used for chemotherapy - no wonder it makes some of us so sick.

Have a conversation with your doctor and maybe ask for some other soloutions.

Sometimes we just have to keep fighting our case.

Best wishes Lizzie


Hi laney,

I also suffer with IBS and am on Methotrexate (due to go upto 12.5mg today). I really can't say whether the Metho has aggravated the IBS as I have only been on it for two weeks and my IBS is still active (swinging from constipation to diarrhea on a weekly basis) so I really don't know what a 'normal' tummy should function like!!

What I would say is the the same as toxfreelizzie, If this doesn't feel like IBS question your Doctors diagnosis.

I wish I had done this in March of this year. I had terrible pains in my tummy that just got worse and worse. At first I thought it was the IBS but then I started being sick, the tummy cramps came in wave after wave. After three days of this, and almost passing out with the pain my husband took me to the out of hours Doctor. I made the mistake of telling him that I had IBS so he took this info straight away and said ' we need you to pooh and then the pains will go away!!'. He ignored the fact that I had a fever and pains that had gone to my right lower side of abdomen. he gave me an anti-spasmodic injection and a prescription for sennacot. 5 days later and 8 sennacott tablets later I eventually went to the loo, but the pains did not subside. Well, to cut a long story short, two weeks later, and still in pain, my husband got cross with me and made me go to the GP. It turned out that I had had acute appendicitis. I was rushed to the A&E where the surgical team done a CAT scan to find that I had a 'complex appendix mass'. This was operated on in May and they removed a fist sized mass and the appendix had snapped off.

Luckily my body had tried to repair the infection hence the mass. I just really wish that I had questioned the out of hours doc as I knew that it was not IBS.

Don't be worried to question doctors because , at the end of the day, you know your body best. listen to your body and what it is telling you, I certainly do now!

really hope you get to the bottom of this soon

Take care



PS sorry to have waffled on x


wow poor you, i hope it gets sorted. glad you got the appendicitis sorted. i have told my doctor a few times so i think it might be time for a change of doctors to be honest, thanks for your replys. its just so much hassel changing doctors whithe such a long case history and worrying that they wont look on you as a whole from the disease start! because i chaged my rheumy specialist in july and he looked at me as a new patient, brand new to him, even though my disease started last september! sometimes doctors/specialists and nurses just need to look at the whol picture instead of talking shit! excuse my languauge im just so fed up of always being sore/feeling poorly/unable to do the things i want to do, this disease blows!


thanks for the replys!


Hi - I was diagnosed with IBS around 14 years ago, although it diminished in severity over the years, and I tend to get a really bad bout during my period. However, since starting the methotrexate, I have had an increase in stomach cramping and bouts of diahorria, along with the typical distention and bloating. I have wondered if the IBS symptoms are just simply side effects, or if the mtx has triggered the IBS again. In any case, I know that the stomach problems are very commonly experienced with oral use, and if they persist, it may be worth discussing the injection option, as this bypasses any gut problems apparently. I havent tolerated upping the dose from 10mgs to 12.2 mgs. The target dose was 15mgs, but I was told at my monitoring session last week to stick at 12.2mgs, Im only small and the standard 15mgs is probably too high for me. I was also told that if there is no improvement in the stomach symptoms in a fortnight, I will need to drop back down to 10mgs.

Doctors do sometimes talk shit! Its gotta be said!! I was told several times over this past couple of years it was unlikely that I had a connective tissue disease by my GP....here I am with connective tissue disease diagnosis, and a new GP of course. One who listens!

Best wishes all x


i am on injection mtx since march so if it continues i might have to stop taking it, as its giving me terrible hair loss also! i will look bald and preggers and im only 27 haha!yea my new specialist tried to say that when i went to see him, even though i had been on mtx for 4 months before i saw him he just took me as a brand new patient just because i was new to him! i wish i could find a nice doctor who actually listened! ah well it could be way worse but lately i am just sick of it all and i miss my old life and since i got sick last year i feel like a totally different person, and i dont like her! have a lovely day people x


Ask for a 2nd opinion re tummy pains. it may be a side effect of the methotrexate, though if upper abdomen could be liver or pancreas problems? xz


wheat can cause bloating if it did turn out to be ibs x


thats exactly what i thought!! they never listen, i think i will go to a doctor soon, the only problem is that im irish, live in the uk term time, but now im on my placement in the netherlands, move around alot, so its not good for keeping a regular doctor! so i have no doctor yet as im here 6 weeks and living in the middle of nowhere! ill find one soon and make an appointment, thanks for the reply x


when i had ibs a few years back i did the whole elimination diet and wheat didnt cause any problems, but i am in the middle of eliminating alot of stuff from my diet again just to see if it has changed! no meat or dairy since last week so maybe soon ill cut out wheat.....its annoying tho as im hungry haha and i miss cheeeeeese!


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