"Research funded in part by the NIH's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has identified an enzyme that modulates inflammation and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis. The results, which appeared in the journal, "...
SEVERE TOXIC REACTIONS, INCLUDING EMBRYO-FETAL TOXICITY AND DEATH
Otrexup should be used only by physicians whose knowledge and experience include the use of antimetabolite therapy. Because of the possibility of serious toxic reactions (which can be fatal), Otrexup should be used only in patients with psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis with severe, recalcitrant, disabling disease which is not adequately responsive to other forms of therapy. Deaths have been reported with the use of methotrexate in the treatment of malignancy, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Patients should be closely monitored for bone marrow, liver, lung, skin, and kidney toxicities. Patients should be informed by their physician of the risks involved and be under a physician's care throughout therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Methotrexate has been reported to cause fetal death and/or congenital anomalies. Therefore, Otrexup is not recommended for females of childbearing potential unless there is clear medical evidence that the benefits can be expected to outweigh the considered risks [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Otrexup is contraindicated in pregnant women [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
- Methotrexate elimination is reduced in patients with impaired renal functions, ascites, or pleural effusions. Such patients require especially careful monitoring for toxicity, and require dose reduction or, in some cases, discontinuation of Otrexup administration [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Unexpectedly severe (sometimes fatal) bone marrow suppression, aplastic anemia, and gastrointestinal toxicity have been reported with concomitant administration of methotrexate (usually in high dosage) along with some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].
- Methotrexate causes hepatotoxicity, fibrosis and cirrhosis, but generally only after prolonged use. Acutely, liver enzyme elevations are frequently seen. These are usually transient and asymptomatic, and also do not appear predictive of subsequent hepatic disease. Liver biopsy after sustained use often shows histologic changes, and fibrosis and cirrhosis have been reported; these latter lesions may not be preceded by symptoms or abnormal liver function tests in the psoriasis population. For this reason, periodic liver biopsies are usually recommended for psoriatic patients who are under long-term treatment. Persistent abnormalities in liver function tests may precede appearance of fibrosis or cirrhosis in the rheumatoid arthritis population [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Methotrexate-induced lung disease, including acute or chronic interstitial pneumonitis, is a potentially dangerous lesion, which may occur acutely at any time during therapy and has been reported at low doses. It is not always fully reversible and fatalities have been reported. Pulmonary symptoms (especially a dry, nonproductive cough) may require interruption of treatment and careful investigation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Diarrhea and ulcerative stomatitis require interruption of therapy: otherwise, hemorrhagic enteritis and death from intestinal perforation may occur [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Malignant lymphomas, which may regress following withdrawal of methotrexate, may occur in patients receiving low-dose methotrexate and, thus, may not require cytotoxic treatment. Discontinue Otrexup first and, if the lymphoma does not regress, appropriate treatment should be instituted [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Like other cytotoxic drugs, methotrexate may induce “tumor lysis syndrome” in patients with rapidly growing tumors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Severe, occasionally fatal, skin reactions have been reported following single or multiple doses of methotrexate. Reactions have occurred within days of oral, intramuscular, intravenous, or intrathecal methotrexate administration. Recovery has been reported with discontinuation of therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Potentially fatal opportunistic infections, especially Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, may occur with methotrexate therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Methotrexate given concomitantly with radiotherapy may increase the risk of soft tissue necrosis and osteonecrosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Otrexup contains methotrexate, a folate analog metabolic inhibitor. Chemically, methotrexate is [N-[4-[[(2,4-diamino-6-pteridinyl)methyl]methylamino]benzoyl]-Lglutamic acid. The structural formula is:
C20H22N8O5 M.W.= 454.45
Otrexup contains methotrexate in a sterile, preservative-free, unbuffered solution with a 27 gauge ½ inch needle for a single subcutaneous injection. Otrexup solution is yellow in color. Inactive ingredients include sodium chloride and water for injection, USP. The amounts of sodium chloride vary with the amount of methotrexate.
|Amount of methotrexate (mg) per 0.4 mL||7.5||10||15||20||25|
|Amount of sodium chloride (mg) per 0.4 mL||2.6||1.96||1.60||1.28||0.56|
Hydrochloric acid and additional sodium hydroxide may have been added, if necessary, to adjust the pH to 8.0.
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/20/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Otrexup Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get the latest treatment options