Methotrexate improve walking

Not open for further replies.


Hey All,

Has anyone ever been on Methotrexate for stiff muscles/problems with walking in lower body? I could barely walk a short distance prior to being on these meds, let alone get off the bed/couch. My arthritis doc put me on Metho(10 mg) 6 mths ago for this. It helped after about 3-4 weeks and predisone for 6 wks. However my doc kept increasing the dose of metho(17.5 mg) and eventually prescribe me Vicodin for the pain/stiffness/cramping. My Vicodin has been doubled in dose in the last 3 mths also. My symptoms continue to get worse. Any thoughts? What meds have worked for you to improve the stiffness/cramping/fasciculations?

All medical tests normal. Waiting for EMG...Doc suspects muscle disease. Thanks in advance!
methotrexate is a chemo therapy drug and can be toxic to the body. It is also used for Rheumitoid arthritis at lower doses. When I went to 2 different RA docs years ago they said I had RA (I do not know what they based their diagnosis on) and they treated me as such. However after 6 months they both changed their minds and said I didn' t have RA and that they didn't know what it was. I stopped the methotrexate because it was making me sicker. That stands to reason since it is toxic to the body and I didn't need it to lower my immune system (which is the main action it does, supposidly so your immune system doesn't attack your joints.).

As for pain meds such as vicodine. They are not ment for long term use. If you are taking it regularly you will grow a tollerance for it and need to increase the dosage. Your symtoms might feel like they are getting worse because you are becoming dependent on the vicodine. I take narcotic pain meds only when ibuprophen doesn't bring my pain level down to a 6 or 7. On a scale of 1-10 I have realized over the years of dealing with pain, that I can live with 6 or 7 pain level. That number has crept up to that. At the beginning everyone told me I shouldn't be in pain and to take pain meds to get rid of the pain. Now my thought is in order for the pain med to be effective to the point that I can tollerate the pain, I need to use pain meds sparingly.

As for meds that help with spasticity and cramping, that would be baclophen and zanaflex (tizanidine). Fasciculations will happen...just ingor them they do not cause pain or discomfort. Eventually you will count them as good because the muscle still is alive!
I have a rare situation of having been diagnosed with both ALS and scleroderma and sjogrens. I am on a large dose of methotrexate! You are the first person I have seen taking this, plus I'm on rilutek and plaquenil. The methotrexate has increased saliva production which is good and bad, as I cant control my saliva.
when i first got ill i was sent to a rehumatologist who wanted to put me on methotrexate straight away,after he told me about the side effects we decided to wait till the tests glad we did.
while on this drug you need to have your liver function monitered as it is highly toxic.
a friend with bad ra thats twisting her hands is on it,in the begining there was concern as her liver was showing signs of damage and she had to come off but later went on a much lower dose.
as joyce said baclofen and anti spasmodic drugs are best for pls symptoms.
I take the Metho for PA. I don't think my Neuro sees the full effect of how bad I walk if I'm off it. I thinking about going off it completely and letting my new Neuro Mus-Specialist see how bad it is. My xrays showed some arthritis in my right hip but mild. My feeling is if this is mild why do I have so much stiffness/cramping going on. I feel like I'm crippled! I joke with my PCP all the time that the 80-90 yr olds walk faster than I do. Lol! :)

I take the Vicodin usually at night before hitting the sack. It helps with my pain and my twitching/jerking or whatever you want to call it. My wife says she thinks sometimes I'm having seizures. It does wake up sometimes. It sucks. Any thoughts?

Thank you for the suggestions all! I enjoy talking with all of you as it is hard to find people with these symptoms. :)
Vicodin is not intended for long-term pain control. You're taking more than one liver-toxic meds. Tylenol in vicodin is also metabolized in the liver.

AKMom--no one should be in a 7-8 pain level--it's just absurd. Studies have shown that high pain levels are detrimental to well-being. It is much better to treat pain than to 'live' with it.

Pain management goal isn't to make you pain-free. It's intended to make pain levels in the 3-4 range. And yes, over time, the levels need adjusted, but to me, it's well worth it.

I've been on the same dosage of morphine for at least two years. It allows me to function.

For most people--a 6-7 pain level would make it difficult to concentrate on anything other than the pain. That's not healthy. Do a little research on pain and what it does to the body when it's constant--not good.

I've been on pain management long enough that I have no issues with day to day due to the meds. I'm not 'foggy" or excessively 'sleepy' of "feeling high"

There are several long-term meds that can be used if your body becomes tolerant to one. Some people do fine with just tramadol (which stopped working on me years and years ago)

Pain meds are used to prevent 'chasing pain'-- which is what it's called when you wait till you can't stand it to take something. It's very difficult to 'chase' pain. Much easier to keep it at a low constant level than waiting til it's at a level that makes even concentrating on a book difficult.
notme, I would agree that 6-7 is high and most people would not be able to live with this constantly. But I have struggled so many years and have tried so many different treatments including steroid shots in the back, neck and I still get them in my right foot when it gets really painful from the contractures (about 1 time a year). However, during all my searching and discovering as years have gone by, and the many pain docs and specialists that have come and gone, I have realized that a 6 is what I can deal with and be pleasant to others still.

I am severely allergic to morphine and the last time they gave me demerol after a surgery (10 years ago) they told me it was now added to my allergic list because of the intense itching and hives it gave me. Morphine will cause my tongue to swell. Norco and Ultram (tramadol) I take as second line of defence when the pain starts to go up and a shot of toradol at the doc office I can only do occasionally because it can cause bleeding in my intestines. I even went through a few years trying different anti depressants that were used to treat chronic pain also. We discovered that SSRI's cause seizures in me and others just didn't work for the pain. neurontin knocked the pain level down to a 4-5 but I kept having to up the dose because it would stop working at the lower doses. Eventually it stopped working at all and I do not take it anymore.

So that is when I decided that handling my pain was going to have to be a change of thought process for me. And it seems to be working. I do not function as well as I would like. I have to have someone with me when ever I leave the house. I cannot do my job (photographer) without bringing someone from my family to help me with moving and such. So for me this is what will have to work.

It was funny that the surgeon who recently worked on me for the muscle biopsy, looked at my chart at the meds I was allergic to. His eyes widened and he said "what pain med am I supposed to give you after the surgery?". I told him toradol works great for pain but it wont work here because it causes the blood to thin. So I told him not to worry about it, I have norco and ultram at home and would take that if need be. Well, he was so worried about me not being able to have anything stronger, that he shot my leg full of novacaine after he did the biopsy, just so he wouldn't have to see me in pain. I had to laugh!

The pain has not been all that much painful than usual! Outside of a few times the cramping in my thigh spread to my back and calf from being up too long, I was able to squelch it back down to a 6-7 with a norco or ultram. If I was to take a pain med regularly (every few hours), I would not be able to function as much as I do now. My family understands that my pain level is high and when I said I need to stop doing something because of pain, they listen (for the most part). My doc is not happy that I am in such a high level of pain, but its something he doesn't know how to make it better either without going into pumps and such. And then he is concerned (like me) that I will loose all functionality I presently have.
Last edited:
I don't know, AKMom. I just couldn't deal with the constant pain levels. I was functioning--but absolutely miserable. Maybe we class 6-7 differently. I can function on a 6--by I do much better at the 4-5 range.

When it hits 6-7 I don't do anything but lay in bed or sit in my chair--hurts too much. When I hit an 8-9 I'm nearly in tears--when and if I hit 10--I call 911 because I'm in screaming agony

If you can take Norco--you might be able to take a low dosage of oxy and be relatively pain free. Even the Ultram (not ultracet) full time if it works.

I used to take Toradol shots at home--worked great for me--till I fried my kidneys from NSAID use. I can never take NSAIDS again, per the nephrologist or I risk losing my kidneys permanently. Years of taking things like Aleve and Motrin just destroyed them and I was in acute renal failure.

I'm with you on Neurontin--I couldn't take it either. Made me stupid anyway! Topamax works pretty well for me, though.

I just hate the thought of your being in chronic pain levels that high. Some people have a higher pain tolerance, too...sounds like you might.

I've tried the shots and acupuncture--which had me in tears for days in pain--never again.

After my tumor on my liver, I'm hesitant about anything that might damage it--so I don't use tylenol at all unless I have a fever.

I'd love to find something that would help with the severe spasms and cramps and pain in my ankles, but nothing seems to work. Nothing helps much with my trigeminal neuralgia or TMJ either.

My main concern is that what I've always thought was spinal issues--apparently isn't after all--so that means that something has been drastically wrong for several years.

Enough whining, LOL
Not open for further replies.
< >