Methotrexate (brand names: Mexate, Folex, Rheumatrex) is a chemotherapy drug.

Chemical name: Methotrexate, also known as amethopterin

Brand names: Mexate, Folex, Rheumatrex

Class: Antimetabolite chemotherapy. Fluorouracil, Gemzar, and Xeloda are other antimetabolites.

How it works: Antimetabolites kill cancer cells by acting as false building blocks in a cancer cell's genes, causing the cancer cell to die as it gets ready to divide.

Uses: Methotrexate often is used in combination with other chemotherapy medicines to treat:

  • early-stage breast cancer after surgery and other treatments

  • advanced-stage breast cancer

How it's given: Methotrexate is given intravenously.

Side effects:

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • joint pain

  • diarrhea

  • swelling in the feet and legs

  • mouth sores

  • hair changes

  • rash

  • loss of appetite

  • irregular periods — this can include temporary cessation (usually resume after medication is completed) or permanent cessation of menstrual periods depending on your age and other factors

— Last updated on July 27, 2022, 1:45 PM

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