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Methotrexate (Mexate, Trexall) for the Treatment of Cancer (5578)

Methotrexate (Mexate, Trexall) for the Treatment of Cancer (5578) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Cancer, BMT, Hematology


Methotrexate (Mexate, Trexall)
For the Treatment of Cancer

What it is
Methotrexate is chemotherapy given for the
treatment of cancer

How it is given
Taken by mouth or injected into a vein (IV),
muscle, or spinal fluid.

Common side effects
ξ Mouth sores
 Decreased blood counts occur 1-2 weeks
after treatment
 Decreased appetite
 Nausea and/or vomiting
 Diarrhea
 Flu-like symptoms
 Abdominal pain
 Urine may become brighter yellow after
 Skin rash
 Sensitivity to sun (use sunscreen and avoid
tanning beds)
 Fatigue

Less common side effects
 Lung changes may occur but will be closely
 Kidney function may change but will be
watched by lab tests
ξ Liver changes may occur but will be
watched by lab tests
ξ Weakness
ξ Headache
ξ Dizziness
ξ Hair loss may occur, but will regrow

When to call your doctor
ξ Fever of 100.4 θ F or greater
 Blood in your urine, problems urinating or
dark urine
 Nausea or vomiting not controlled by
 Very bad stomach or back pain not
controlled by medicine
 Mouth sores
 Cough, shortness of breath
 If skin darkens where previous radiation
treatments have been given
 Pale colored stools
 If eyes or skin becomes yellow
 Skin rash
 Allergic reaction: rash; hives; itching; red,
swollen, blistered or peeling skin;
wheezing; swelling of the mouth, face, lips,
tongue or throat; or trouble breathing

Special Concerns
 You will have blood and urine tests to look
at blood counts, liver and kidney function
 You may have blood test to measure the
amount of methotrexate in your blood

Reproduced with permission from the 1989-2007 United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc. Your health care team
may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any questions. If this
information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is
not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are different,
you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an
emergency, please call 911. Printed in 7/2017 by the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority,
Department of Nursing, Madison WI. HF#5578