Men's health blog

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June 2, 2011

QUESTIONS ABOUT DRUGS FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS TREATMENT: FOLIC ACID, METHOTREXATE AND SULFASALAZINE

Filed under: Arthritis — admin @ 1:44 pm

What is folic acid?Folic acid is a vitamin that is usually supplemented in those taking methotrexate to reduce the side effects.
Who should not take this drug?People with liver and kidney problems, diabetes, immune system disorders, and high alcohol intakes should not take this drug. Pregnant women, women intending to get pregnant and nursing women should not be started on the drug. Women planning to conceive a child should wait at least one menstrual period after stopping methotrexate before trying. Men planning to father children should not take the drug both because it might affect fertility and because it could be harmful to the baby.
Does methotrexate interact with other drugs?Yes, it does. Evidence exists that the new COX-2 drugs increase the blood levels of methotrexate. In fact, the elderly with decreased kidney function should not take the drug. Almost every NSAID will increase the potential for problems with this agent; however, under the care of your doctor, this should not be a problem. The doctor will test you periodically for potential problems.
What is sulfasalazine?This is a sulfa-containing agent useful for the treatment of arthritis. It is not terribly toxic, but it has greater toxicity than hydroxychloroquine.It is a good drug used in combination or by itself.The usual dose is 2 grams per day by mouth; however, your doctor will start you on a low dose to see how you fare on it. Some doctors will go to 3 grams per day, depending on any side effects experienced and how your arthritis progresses on the drug.Rashes, loss of appetite, and nausea are side effects experienced with this agent. Serious reactions are rare and include hepatitis, a lupus-like disease, and even a decrease of sperm counts. Your doctor should watch for these. Men should notify their doctors if they plan on fathering children so that the drug can be stopped or replaced with something else.*34/141/5*

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