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Can methotrexate for RA raise cholesterol levels?

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Posted on Wed, 23 Jul 2014
Question: I'm taking Methotrexate for my RA, can it raise my cholesterol levels? My husband & I have been on a very healthy diet, low cholesterol, low fat and we have both lost over 30 lbs each but my test results show a cholesterol reading of 333. My husband's cholesterol is normal, the only thing that is different is my medication, Methotrexate. Help! What am I doing wrong
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Answered by Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
hi and welcome to hcm

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the query.
Yes,it can be cause of high cholesterol especially if it was normal before taking metotrexate since this is known to cause high lipids in some patients. You have 2 options: to stop methotrexate and start with another antiinflammatory drug or take antilipemics along with methotrexate and see will finding improve. in every case,such cholesterol values must be lowered.feel free to ask.regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein (1 hour later)
Thanks for your information. I knew something was wrong. The Methotrexate makes me itchy and my skin burns. I also have blood spots all over my legs and arms from bumping anything in the slightest way. All of a sudden I will have blood dripping down my leg or arm. However the pain I had before is gone which I'm very happy about but at what cost to my body. Would Embrel be a better choice and not mess with my cholesterol?
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Answered by Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
hi

Detailed Answer:
Yes,methotrexate is cytotoxic medicine,very useful and effective for chronic inflammation and pain since it supresses inflammatory response,but it has negative effect on blood cells,especially coagulation and lipidogram. This is possible cause of easy bruising,rash or high lipids. In cases of significant side effects it must be discontinued despite its positive effects and you should find propriate alternative. enbrel is good for your disorder,more expensive but it has less effect on lipids and more effect on white blood count. You can try with lower methotrexate dosage,if wont be helpful then enbrel is good alternative
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 13831 Questions

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Can methotrexate for RA raise cholesterol levels?

Brief Answer: hi and welcome to hcm Detailed Answer: Thanks for the query. Yes,it can be cause of high cholesterol especially if it was normal before taking metotrexate since this is known to cause high lipids in some patients. You have 2 options: to stop methotrexate and start with another antiinflammatory drug or take antilipemics along with methotrexate and see will finding improve. in every case,such cholesterol values must be lowered.feel free to ask.regards