A prescription drug, Rheumatrex is used for the treatment of several different conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and certain types of cancer. It comes in the form of a tablet; how often it is taken will depend on the condition being treated, your weight, and other factors. This drug is very powerful; as a result, serious side effects (such as low white blood cell counts) can occur.
Rheumatrex® (methotrexate) is a prescription medication approved to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and various types of cancer.
(Click Rheumatrex Uses for more information on this topic, including information about possible off-label uses.)
Currently, brand-name Rheumatrex is made by EXCELLA GmbH for DAVA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
How Does Rheumatrex Work?
Rheumatrex works by inhibiting an enzyme known as dihydrofolic acid reductase (also known as dihydrofolate reductase). This enzyme is important for transforming an inactive form of folic acid into the active form, which is necessary to make some of the building blocks necessary for DNA production. By inhibiting this enzyme, Rheumatrex interferes with a cell's ability to repair and replicate (copy) itself.
Although this medication can damage healthy cells as well as unhealthy cells, it tends to target rapidly replicating cells, such as cancer cells and bone marrow cells.
It is not entirely clear how Rheumatrex works for treating rheumatoid arthritis, although it is thought that the medication may work by affecting the immune system.
Considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Rheumatrex include the following:
- The medication comes as a tablet that is taken by mouth.
- Rheumatrex can be taken with or without food.
- It does not matter what time(s) of day you take this medication. However, it should be taken at the same time each day or each week.
- For Rheumatrex to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed.