Dr.Beth Gottlieb, Pediatric Rheumatology, Pediatrics, explains the facts about JRA and Methotrexate
Read the full transcript »
Interviewer: Sometimes kids with JRA, get a drug which is used for cancer called methotrexate and I hear that the parents get pretty upset yet used correctly, it is really rather safe, is that true? Interviewee: Methotrexate is an old medicine actually. It has been use for arthritis the longest and it is very well studied and children with arthritis. It is very effective and it works for about 85 % of children and it has very few side effects, and the most important thing to realize which is difficult for the public is that it is used at a different dose than when we use it to treat cancer. So all the information that is available on the internet in that little information brochure that is stapled onto your pharmacy package when you pick up your prescription; those types of resources do not distinguish what kind of dose you are using. So for us, we are using methotrexate at an anti-inflammatory dose; a dose that is only about one third the kind of dose that is used for cancer. In our doses, we only give the medicine once a week, so we almost see no side effects in methotrexate. It is really extremely safe. And again it has been around for a long time so we have a great deal of experience using that medicine.