Blood Test regularity when taking MTX

Hi, can people comment on the dates that they are required to get blood tests when taking MTX. I just started taking it 4 weeks and am not sure when I am supposed to go again..

The first blood test should be after four doses. I'd be calling. Then every 60 - 90 days depending on your state and/or local protocol..

Thank you, I will check with my doctor's office.



tntlamb said:

The first blood test should be after four doses. I'd be calling. Then every 60 - 90 days depending on your state and/or local protocol..

When I started mtx in March 2012, I had blood tests every two weeks for the first month (or it may have been six weeks) then monthly thereafter.

I am supposed to go every month. I’ve been on the same dose for two years, and there’s never been any alarm, so I actually go every six to eight weeks. Doctor has never commented on that.

I had monthly tests the first 4 months, then we were going to reduce to bi-monthly. Now that I've started Enbrel, it's back to monthly for a few months.


Thank you everyone..


rosen said:

I had monthly tests the first 4 months, then we were going to reduce to bi-monthly. Now that I've started Enbrel, it's back to monthly for a few months.

Good question giulia, my doctor has standing blood labs for me every 3 months, but I think it would vary by how long, how much and what combination of other drugs you are taking.

For the MTX ,the normal screening is for your liver enzymes, to make sure it is not causing liver damage.

If you are just starting out with MTX, ask your doctor what frequency of the liver panel he suggests, you also may be getting more than just that test included when he provides a standing lab test order for you. There are many things they look at when doing bloodwork.

I get mine every 4-6 weeks unless I have abnormal readings. I had a rise in my liver enzymes and she made me get them drawn more often. She decreased my mtx dose a little and I stopped my occasional glasses of wine and my liver enzymes stabilized. I now drink a glass or two 4 times a year or so. The last time I saw her she said I could increase my wine consumption as my labs have been stable for so long. The other abnormality I have had is anemia. I added a multi vit daily, increased my meat consumption a little (I have a vegetarian leaning!) and added a vit C rich food everyday (necessary to absorb iron) and my iron looks better so I am back to every 4-6 weeks.

Yes the alcohol affect liver, but the mtx also leaches certain vitamins from your system, I'm required to take a lot of folic acid, as supplement, can be OTC. When I backside, I will start having severe cramps in legs and sometimes my toes...

I have a standing order to go every two months. My previous rheumy sent me more like every four to six weeks. Currently, the order is for CMP (liver & kidney stuff), CBC, ESR and CRP. I'm not sure why she throws the last two in there, as they're always perfect.

I’m like Seenie - technically I have a standing order for every 4 weeks.

But to be honest, my drug regime has been stable for over a year, I’ve got 8+ blood tests that day I’m all good, so I figure I’m all good, and head off to start tests if anythingloola not wail

Everyone has been so helpful, I really appreciate it. I thougt I was losing my mind these past few years or becoming a hypochondriac becasue first my finger and hand were killing me and then my doctor said I was fine.. then my toe and foot pain because unbearable again doc said I was fine and then the never ending exhaustion had me thinking i was crazy--Always the doc made me think I was over exxagerating .. I thought everything would be good once i got my diagnosis in April but instead I am just as frustrated with all the different protocols etc used to treat this.. I guess I thought I would get a prescription and then just be okay..I realize I am not that bad off now once I read all the stories about peoples horrible pain.. so I have to look on the bright side right???? Thank you Everyone!

Yes giulia, I have those issue plus more, finding a good and receptive doctor is paramount in PsA management. My rhumy acts the same way sometimes, and if all else fails he always wants to resort to massive doses of prednisone. Even though my illness is documented for decades...My work benefits people are even worse, they have a GP that wants to overrule my specialist and state there is nothing wrong with me except minor osteoarthritic pains and they irritated my rhumy so bad that he will not speak to them now, so they cancelled my health care and sick pay a month ago, I am without anything and almost ready for early retirement. This unfortunately is a progressive illness that can only be slowed down, although over the years I have been fortunate enough to enjoy bursts of 2 or 3 years relatively symptom free. But it's not always like that and in the beginning, proper treatment will bring about remission for awhile. So now my work benefits people say they will use their company GP 's finding because my rhumy wont talk to them anymore, and everyone knows what company doctors are geared to do...

Better days are coming, have hope and allow your body to tell you when something is working well for you, try to stay on it. In the later stages of the disease, sometimes only sedation and intra-joint injections every month or two bring me relief

and I sincerely hope that all those here that are just getting a diagnosis and starting treatment, that in a few years there will be something available to bring on a permanent remission , if not an outright cure of psA.

Rob

That is horrible..iI think that stress would just make me even more sick. I feel for you and maybe you could find a new doctor that could communicate with the rheumatolgoist... i wish you the best

Rob said:

aYes giulia, I have those issue plus more, finding a good and receptive doctor is paramount in PsA management. My rhumy acts the same way sometimes, and if all else fails he always wants to resort to massive doses of prednisone. Even though my illness is documented for decades...My work benefits people are even worse, they have a GP that wants to overrule my specialist and state there is nothing wrong with me except minor osteoarthritic pains and they irritated my rhumy so bad that he will not speak to them now, so they cancelled my health care and sick pay a month ago, I am without anything and almost ready for early retirement. This unfortunately is a progressive illness that can only be slowed down, although over the years I have been fortunate enough to enjoy bursts of 2 or 3 years relatively symptom free. But it's not always like that and in the beginning, proper treatment will bring about remission for awhile. So now my work benefits people say they will use their GP d's finding because my rhumy wont talk to them anymore, and everyone knows what company doctors are geared to do...

Better days are coming, have hope and allow your body to tell you when something is working well for you, try to stay on it. In the later stages of the disease, sometimes only sedation and intra-joint injections every month or two bring me relief

and I sincerely hope that all those here that are just getting a diagnosis and starting treatment, that in a few years there will be something available to bring on a permanent remission in not outright cure of psA.

Rob

I go monthly. Last time I saw the rhumy she said I could go bi monthly. Then she actually looked at my labs and called me the next day. Lower my mtx and continue to go monthly.

When I was on Mtx the rhuemy had my blood tests scheduled for every 6 - 8 weeks.