Methotrexate is a type of medicine that stops cells from dividing. It can be used as a way (other than surgery) to treat a pregnancy that’s implanted outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy). It’s given by injection, and usually just 1 dose is given.
You will need to have blood tests to monitor the level of pregnancy hormone in your blood. The methotrexate will stop the pregnancy and the level of pregnancy hormone in your blood should decrease over 2 to 4 days. Based on your blood test results, your doctor will tell you if you need another injection of methotrexate.
After you get methotrexate, you may have:
Your doctor will likely want you to have a blood test 2 to 3 times a week, for 2 to 3 weeks. This is to tell if the methotrexate worked to stop the pregnancy.
Side effects of methotrexate may include:
If you have nausea, sip clear fluids like ginger ale or soup broth. Try to drink often and eat small amounts of dry, starchy food (like soda crackers) every 15 minutes.
To help prevent mouth sores:
If you need to take pain medicine (e.g., headache, cramping), you can take acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil®). For 2 days after getting methotrexate, it’s best to take acetaminophen. If the acetaminophen doesn’t help, you can take ibuprofen unless your doctor tells you not to or if you have kidney problems. If you have any questions about medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
To help relax the muscles that cause cramping, you can use a hot water bottle or a heating pad. Make sure you put a cloth between your skin and the heat, so you don’t get a burn. Taking hot baths can also help.
Call 9-1-1 if you have:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now if you have:
You must not get pregnant for at least 3 months after having a methotrexate injection. If you’re sexually active, you need to use a reliable method of birth control. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider if you have questions about birth control.
Wash your hands with soap and water after you go to the washroom. This is important because methotrexate can make the immune system weaker, which means it’s harder for your body to fight infections.
After getting methotrexate, do not have:
After getting methotrexate, do not take:
Current as of: May 15, 2014
Author: Alberta Health Services