Methotrexate in the treatment of arthritis and connective tissue diseases1

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Methotrexate has received much attention in recent literature as an effective agent for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Potential and observed toxicity from methotrexate compares very favorably with other cytotoxic and disease-modifying agents used to treat resistant rheumatoid arthritis, especially with regard to bone marrow suppression and future oncogenesis. Long-term liver toxicity, the incidence of which appears to be rare with low-dose therapy, remains an issue. Because of its relative safety, methotrexate seems a logical agent for the treatment of other arthropathies and connective tissue diseases. This paper reviews what has been written about methotrexate as treatment for a variety of inflammatory conditions other than rheumatoid arthritis. Wider application of this agent is expected in the future for the treatment of these kinds of conditions.



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