Methotrexate is a wonderful drug for Rheumatoid arthritis. However, the nausea associated with the same can be quite a disturbing problem. At times, it is so severe that one has to discontinue methotrexate despite the relief provided by it.
Can you overcome the nausea related to Methotrexate?
Yes! here are a few tips—
1) Spread out the Methotrexate dose- The total dose of Methotrexate can be divided & taken over 2 days every week. For eg. You may take 1 tablet of methotrexate (5mg) after lunch & dinner on Saturday & Sunday instead of the entire dose once on Sunday.
2) You may take the dose at bedtime if the dose after lunch is causing nausea.
3) Take the dose after food instead of taking it before food.
4) You may take an antiemetic medicine along with Methotrexate.
5) Take folic acid on the all days except the day of methotrexate.
According to traditional chinese medicine, a point called as Pericardium 6 helps relieve nausea.
It is located on the inside of the wrist, about 3 fingerwidths up from the center of the 1st wrist crease.
A person can press on the point using the index finger of the opposite hand.
Acupressure wrist bands with a bead/ button to press on this point are available.
7) If nothing works, you can shift over to injection Methotrexate. A Family Physician can administer it to you (intramuscular) or you can take it yourself subcutaneously (just like insulin shots). Even this could be impossible as in the case of one of my patients who used to get nausea even by looking at the Methotrexate vial. Her relatives never believed her story & considered the same ‘all in the head’! After months of struggling with the injections, she has found a way out. The injections are now kept by her relatives in the Family Physician’s refrigerator & he administers it to her without showing her the vial! Believe me, the trick worked.
If you have any such tricks/ experiences feel free to share the same here.