Is a simultaneous dosage of Methotrexate and alcohol consumption dangerous? This article provides an answer to this important question.
Any new drug, that gets developed to battle life-threatening diseases, comes with its share of side effects. After all, artificially manipulating body chemistry, through use of drugs and medications, is bound to have some inadvertent negative effects. Methotrexate is a prescription drug, that can effectively cure many types of autoimmune diseases.
This is a prescribed drug of the antifolate and antimetabolite kind. An antimetabolite interferes and halts the production of metabolite, which is a metabolism driving chemical. It is referred to as an antifolate because it effectively inhibits folate metabolism that drives cell division. This drug, developed by Yellapragada Subbarao, an Indian scientist, is prominently used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer. Its antifolate effect inhibits cell division, which makes it an effective drug that prevents the growth of cancerous cells. Methotrexate therapy for psoriasis, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, is also well-known.
It was used as a chemotherapy drug in the past and is still used in the treatment of cancers like acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It is also used to terminate unwanted pregnancies, which makes it an abortifacient. Ectopic pregnancies are terminated through the use of this drug. That is why, it is important to note that pregnant women should not consume this drug, as it can have adverse effects on the fetus.
There are many side effects. These include vomiting, nausea, hair loss, diarrhea, anemia, and neutropenia. It also increases the risk of pulmonary fibrosis.
Is Simultaneous Consumption Safe?
Methotrexate therapy for rheumatoid arthritis, being a standard practice, most patients inquire about alcohol use when taking this drug.
One of the side effects of Methotrexate, when consumed in high dosages, for long periods of time, is damage to the liver, leading to cirrhosis in some cases. This effect is amplified with drinking of alcohol, which is also known to cause cirrhosis of liver. So the combined effects of the drug, with alcohol, can be very harmful to the human body, increasing the risk of liver damage. Rheumatoid arthritis patients may also suffer from an increase in stiffness and pain, after heavy consumption of alcohol.
That is why, physicians often refrain from prescribing Methotrexate to heavy drinkers and people suffering from alcohol addiction. However, I didn’t find any research in existing literature regarding what amount of alcohol can be safely consumed. There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as alcoholism before this drug is prescribed.
Other than that, the existing condition of the liver also needs to be evaluated. So, what amount of alcohol can be safely consumed when a patient is on Methotrexate medication, cannot be estimated exactly. The best strategy is to avoid alcohol or keep it to as minimum a level as possible. By minimum, I mean one or two drinks a week or two drinks in a month. It all depends on your existing liver condition and the level of Methotrexate dosage.
As I said before, most physicians warn patients to avoid simultaneous Methotrexate and alcohol use, due to the combined damaging effect that they may have on the liver. It is best to follow the directions and dosage prescribed by your doctor and stay sober while using the drug. In conclusion, drinking alcohol, when you are on Methotrexate medication, is a bad idea.
Disclaimer: This article is for reference purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a certified medical practitioner.