Anyone use/used methotrexate for psoriasis?

The ads swarming the airwaves for various psoriasis/PA drugs turn me off; the biologics seem to give you the choice of having psoriasis, or being in borderline ‘bubble’ mode, that is to say, with a severely weakened immune system. Since having a RIDICULOUSLY healthy immune system has been the one advantage to having psoriasis since I was a kid, I’m pretty averse to turning that off, or even way down.

But someone I knew <and can’t seem to get hold of to ask questions of> said she was using methotrexate, and she loved it; her husband said an added benefit was that she was frisky as a spring rabbit. :stuck_out_tongue:

So I’ve looked up some things online, and it does appear that methotrexate may ‘work’ without dropping your immune system to such a lethargic state.
So…I’m here to ask if anyone has used it, what they thought, what the side effects were, etc.

  • I am not looking for medical advice, but if this is better in the IMHO forum, lemme know!*


Thanks, samclem!

I tried methotrexate a number of years ago. At the time I had plaque psoriasis on about 30% of my body. Didn’t do much for me. Reduced the scaling and flakiness maybe 50% but no reduction in size or number of patches. No side affects and not very effective. Tried it for about 90 days. Its a pretty powerful medication and didn’t show good enough results to continue.

I have been on Enbrel for almost 9 yeas now. Was a participant in the trial stages. I am 100% clear and I was pushing 50% coverage when I started. I am healthy and have physicals and work ups done yearly. I rarely get colds even though my daughter brings several home a year from school. I don’t take any precautions so being in “bubble mode” is not an issue. If you are normally a healthy person you probably don’t have a worry.

Wow, that’s amazing! Thank you, Fallfast; I do have it over a ridiculously large amount of my body. I haven’t worn shorts or short sleeves since I was 11 because of it, and as I now live where 120+ weather is a given for half the year, it’d sure be nice to lighten up on the clothing, hehe.

I really appreciate your input; I will have to give Enbrel a try. Thank you again!

My spouse has some very rare and often fatal autoimmune. It is now in remission, (Is ‘remission’ the word?) for about 5 years. The effective treatment was Methotrexate injections and Remicade infusions.

I wrote all that to report this: while on Methotrexate and Remicade her psoriasis (She had hand size patches at most major joints.) went away and has been returning slowly after the treatments.

Thank you, janeslogin! This is good to know. It seems…odd…to me, that while growing up I didn’t know ANYONE who had allergies OR psoriasis, and now I see tons and tons of people with allergies…and more and more with psoriasis. Which is…odd.

My mom was born with it; it hit me after I got chicken pox, which makes sense to me as an autoimmune trigger. I was always told, and had heard, that it was a genetic thing, but it really does seem like more and more people’s ‘triggers’ are being flipped.

But that may be a false image; it might just be that with better communication comes more information, and psoriasis was never that unusual. I just…never met anyone with it. I wonder if the armed forces still denies you entrance because of it. That was the first time the psoriasis stopped me from doing anything; still don’t know why some ugly skin makes you ineligible. The answer the doc gave me was ‘Because it’s been on the books 100 years’.
And…just got an answer to that, wow. It’s from a Yahoo! answer, admittedly, but…interesting.

Interesting, I develped psoriasis when I was in the Air Force but they didn’t kick me out. That was in the early 80’s, though, so a smallpox vaccine might have been assumed from childhood.
Mine isn’t bad enough, now, that I want to bother with methotrexate or enbrel, but I did want to point out that methotrexate is a class x pregnancy drug. I’ve given it to abort an ectopic pregnancy before. Clearly that’s not a problem for everyone, but it’s a big deal for some.

Good to know, Outlierrn, thank you! I’ve seen a lot of questions and comments around the web that seem to indicate that the Air Force especially will waiver someone if they’re already in and have been trained; lots of money down the tubes over something that doesn’t prevent you from doing anything.

It sounds like we’re about the same age, and I’m sure I had my smallpox vaccines when I was young, too, though the psoriasis didn’t trigger until much later. That was the only real reasoning I could see, so far, about why the armed forces consider it a no-go: if you can’t vaccinnate someone to travel overseas, then it’s a useless member, I guess.

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis five or six years ago; suffered with joint pain for probably five or six years before the diagnosis.

My first rheumatologist precribed methotrexate and enbrel. I took both for a while, but most of my doctor friends winced when I told them I was taking the methotrexate. This was just a little unsettling, so I stopped and just went with enbrel.

I did not notice any side effects with the methotrexate one way or the other. I have not noticed any greater than normal joint pain on enbrel alone. My current rheumatologist does not prescribe methotrexate.

Since being diagnosed and starting the enbrel I have not gotten anything more than a mild cold. I don’t know why that is, I don’t suspect it has anything to do with the meds, but it is curious.

I am not a doctor. Your mileage may vary.

Thank you, Ivorybill! Enbrel is looking a lot less scary, and methotrexate a lot more so.

Thank you to everyone who’s answered in ths thread; this is SO much more helpful than anything I’ve found scouring the web. :slight_smile:

That’s not true - the vaccine DID exist and was in widespread use (as in, that’s how we got rid of the disease). A new enlistee may not have had to receive the vaccine, since presumably he would have already gotten it as a child. At which point, either the psoriasis was a non-issue, or the vaccine killed him, rendering the whole thing moot. Either way, by the time he was enlisting, the issue was 18+ years in the past.

See, very interesting things here! Thank you, Mama Zappa, it’s much appreciated. :slight_smile:

I never had a major case of psoriasis like some of the people in this thread with large percentages of persistant coverage. I mostly just got it on my hands, the scalp on the back of my head, with the occasional small patch on my legs. I never required anything except topical corticosteroids and phototherapy, and now I don’t even need those.

So, take this anecdote with a large grain of salt, but I’m pretty convinced that the main aggravating factor for me was the ingestion of artificial sweeteners - pretty much any/all of them. I know it sounds like BS, but as soon as I cut all those out and started using either real sugar or stevia (mostly the latter), it all gradually went away. On the few occasions where I lapsed back to semi-regular ingestion of artificial sweeteners, I started experiencing a recurrence.

Maybe that approach wouldn’t be effective for people with more severe cases, but in my case it sure seems to have done the trick. But since it’s not that hard of a thing to try, and can’t possibly do any harm, you might want to attempt to cut out all sources of artificial sweeteners to see if you experience any improvement.

To be clear, I don’t think that artificial sweeteners are the cause of psoriasis, I just think that they might contribute as an aggravating factor or trigger of the symptoms, in some cases.

I am pretty sure psoriasis is much like acne or other inborn reactions, in that there is likely an outside trigger that it’s reacting to, and I think you’re right, Voltaire, in that it’s probably different for different people.

I will definitely consider finding another option to my diet pepsi :wink: I am just SO glad they brought Stevia back on the market!! <3

Synchronicity strikes. I have plaque psoriasis which has been treated by Narrow band UV phototherapy for 3 years. I have had a total of 117 sessions over three separate occasions, and the dermatologist has suggested I start being treated by methotrexate.

Apparently the lifetime number of UV treatments is 200. Even with the number I have had, skin cancer risk has risen, and as I live in the skin cancer capital of the world, NZ, it’s a good idea to knock off the UV treatments.

I have an appointment in a couple of weeks at which I can opt for the methotrexate treatment if I want to do it.

Ivorybill, any idea why drs winced?

Wow, KiwiFruit, I had no idea there was a lifetime limit on UV treatments; glad I never tried that route, as I’m sure I would have reached that limit long ago! If I weren’t starting to get wrinkles, (yikes) I’d start up the old, original UV therapy, which for me is getting a tan. Works every time. Except that it has to be real sun, and the second I let up on it, the plaques come back worse, so…yeah. I’ve often wondered about UV therapy. So thank you very much for sharing, that is really good to know.

Taomist, YMMV as far as number of UV treatments. Because I am in NZ, it may deliberately be kept low. I also do the natural exposure when it’s suitable, but find that winter is seeing the return of the scale and itch.

Well, I never heard of this lifetime limit, I’m way past it and people keep telling my I look young for my age. Don’t do my face much, though.

In psoriatic arthitis, the immune system for some reason identifies certain joints in the body as an infection of sorts and starts cranking out antibodies attack the lining of the joints. Since it’s an immune disorder, and since from what very little I know, methotrexate is a very powerful immune suppressant, it can help with immune disorders. It can, in some people, have nasty side effects to the liver. Patients on methotrexate are encouraged to limit alcohol consumption.

I never really asked my doctor friends why, exactly, they didn’t like methotrexate beyond their noting that it’s a powerful powerful drug that can, when taken over time, lead to other medical problems. To be fair, I never asked my rheumatologist why he felt that methotrexate was warranted in my case. I just chickened out.