Difficulty obtaining Methotrexate?

Hi, I'm posting on behalf of my sister who has been prescribed Methotrexate for what was initially thought to be PMR but which has now been classified as RA.

She was recently given a generic form of the medication, and when the doctor contacted the pharmacist to ask why, he was told that it was because the pharmacist had not been able to obtain Methotrexate.

Grateful to know whether anyone else on the forum has encountered similar difficulties and if so whether, and how, you were able to source Methotrexate. My sister lives in mid Walesand and has only been taking the medication for a couple of months. She has found that her various aches and pains have worsened considerably since she was switched to the generic form and wonders whether that is just a coincidence, or whether the generic stuff requires higher doses. For the time being her doctor has suggested she increases the dose.

Thanks in advance for replies, and best wishes to all facing these challenging illnesses.


8 Replies

  • Brand and generic medications sometimes have different carrier substances in them and some patients don't do well on them - although theoretically the active substance is identical. A lot of doctors pooh-pooh the idea that generics aren't as good as brand and will try to tell you it is "all in the mind". There is a difference - and it is being realised.

    I did find a notification from the US for a shortage of certain formulations of mtx from last October which said there was no indication of when this would change. It was due to a manufacturing facility being closed. Methotrexate is used a lot in cancer therapy as well as in arthritis so I imagine if the are shortages they will eventually have a knock-on effect.

    You could ask your own local pharmacy if they have had difficulties getting brand mtx.

  • Thank for the info PMRpro, we'll check this out.

  • When my husband was on Methotrexate, we couldn't obtain it through our GP. From the form given to us, it then had to be attained from the hospital's inhouse Pharmacy which was a considerable inconvenience to obtain it, but at least they had it.

  • Thanks Nadine, w'ell follow this up too.

  • Hi

    Ask your specialist at the hospital if you can collect from the hospital pharmacy , I've been doing that for first Methotrexate & now Mycophenolate at Preston hospital for nearly 8 years, each time enough to last until my next hospital appointment.

    The outer casing is what can cause the problem.

    Talking to other patients, some have had the same problem, so you are not alone!

    I hope all is sorted soon


  • That's excellent. Thanks Tony, we'll do that.

    All the best.


  • this drug is also known at CELLCEPT ,I live in Swansea and have no problem in obtaining this from any pharmacy

  • Many thanks for the info - well give it a try. Much appreciated.


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