Methotrexate and Psoriatic Arthritis

Though not approved to treat psoriatic arthritis, methotrexate is often prescribed "off-label" to treat this condition. Not only is it thought to be an effective way to relieve symptoms, but it may also slow down the progression of the disease. Methotrexate does have the potential to cause dangerous side effects, so talk to your healthcare provider to make sure it is right for you.

Treating Psoriatic Arthritis With Methotrexate

Methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®) is a medication commonly used to treat psoriatic arthritis. Interestingly, despite its frequent use for this condition, methotrexate is not approved for psoriatic arthritis treatment. Although often quite effective, it also carries the risk of some very serious side effects.

Using Methotrexate Off-Label

Methotrexate is officially approved for the following conditions:
Notice that while methotrexate is approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, it is not approved for treating psoriatic arthritis. This does not mean, however, that your healthcare provider cannot prescribe the drug for this condition. It is probably just a reflection of the fact that methotrexate is a fairly old medication that has long since "gone generic" and is, therefore, unlikely to be approved for any new uses.
It is very expensive to fund studies and apply for new approvals, and generic manufacturers are unlikely to do so, and neither are brand-name manufacturers, once a drug is available as a generic.
Despite the "off-label" (unapproved) status of methotrexate for psoriatic arthritis treatment, it is often an appropriate and useful medication for this condition.
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