What is Methotrexate and What Is It Used For?

Methotrexate is used to treat people with IBD who have not had success with other treatments. Methotrexate is an analog of dihydrofolic acid. It is anti-inflammatory at low doses.

What Should I Know Before Taking Methotrexate?

  • This medicine is taken either by mouth or by injection.
  • If you are taking it by mouth, you should take it 1 hour before eating or 2 hours before a meal.
  • Call your doctor if you develop high fevers or there are other signs of infection.
  • You should not receive live viral vaccines when you are on methotrexate.

What Are the Food and Drink Interactions?

There are no known interactions between this medicine and food and drinks. You should avoid alcohol while on Methotrexate, as it can add to the risk of liver injury/scarring.

Are There Any Drug Interactions with Methotrexate?

Interactions with these drugs may happen with the following:

  • Ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®)
  • Proton pump-inhibitors (Prilosec®/omeprazole, Prevacid®/lansoprazole, Nexium®/esomeprazole, Protonix®/pantoprazole)

Is It Safe to Take Methotrexate for Long Periods of Time?

Methotrexate is FDA-approved for psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Although its use in Crohn’s disease is not FDA-approved, it has been used as a long-term medicine in Crohn’s disease. Like any immunosuppressant, it can increase your risk for certain infections.

What Are the Side Effects?


  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Risk of infection


  • Liver injury
  • Bone marrow suppression

Rev. 11/2013

This document is intended to provide health related information so that you may be better informed. It is not a substitute for a doctor's medical advice and should not be relied upon for treatment for specific medical conditions Please read your prescription label for additional drug information.