Background and objectives Methotrexate (MTX) is globally used by physicians to treat patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Previously conducted researches indicate prevalent side effects associated with conventional once-weekly dosage amongst a population sample of patients consuming MTX. The objectives of our study were to find out whether there is a difference between the two studied regimens in efficacy and adverse effects of methotrexate. Materials and methods Study participants were recruited from the outpatient rheumatology department after ethical approval and informed patient consent. Disease activity was assessed at baseline with various reliable and validated scales (SDAI, PAS, DAS-28 among others) after the propensity score-matched 1:1 among the two groups. One group continued their once-weekly regimen (group A), while the other group had their dosage of oral MTX split into alternate days per week (group B). The propensity-matched groups of 123 patients each were included in the final analysis. Results The most frequently reported side effect was decreased appetite, followed by gastritis, nausea, headache, and vomiting. Within the two groups, no significant differences were found in disease activity scales. The only considerable difference was mean corpuscular volume (MCV) being higher in Group A (p=0.0128). Comparison of side effect profile at 6 months after intervention showed improved gastritis (63.4 vs 41.5%), nausea (51.2% vs 35.8%), appetite (74.0% vs 60.2%) and hepatotoxicity (14.6% vs 5.7%) in Group B. Conclusion An alternate-day regimen may prove more beneficial to the patient's compliance due to fewer side effects and similar efficacy to the conventional dosage.
Asghar, Muhammad Sohaib; Kumar, Karan; Iqbal, Sadia; Sagar, -; Parkash, Om; Kumar, Sumeet; Singh, Manjeet; Jawed, Rumael; Akram, Mohammed; Yasmin, Farah; Tahir, Muhammad Junaid; Ahmed, Iftekhar; and Yousaf, Zohaib
"Split Dosage Weekly Regimen of Oral Methotrexate is Associated With Improved Side Effect Profile in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Quasi-experimental Study.,"
Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives: Vol. 12:
4, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.gbmc.org/jchimp/vol12/iss4/7