Methotrexate, AKA the Hangover Simulator

Gambling on Life: My experience with Methotrexate

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filed under "Gambling on Life"

by WFL

This post, like others that will follow it, is a continuation of my Gambling On Life series.

So, I finally started the heavy stuff in my pursuit of gaining back a bit of my life.

Just over 36 hours ago I took my second dose of Methotrexate; originally a cancer medication, it has shown a great deal of efficacy in treating things like RA.. And it's cheap AF, which is always a good thing.

It also has a number of things that are less than ideal.

Methotrexate requires regular lab work to essentially make sure it's not killing you slowly; This is a huge challenge for me, which I'll get into in the next Gambling on Life piece.

It also has a rather unique dosing method.. And side effect.

You see, Methotrexate - when used to treat RA - is taken once a week. I pop a bunch of pills Saturday night, and then I settle in for a rough 24 hours, because the side effects are.. Noticeable.

Most folks experience some issues. For me, I get nausea, exhaustion, a cough, some mild dizziness, and an absolutely horrid headache.

Hence why I call it a hangover simulator.

It's appropriate I take it Saturday night; That way I get to remember what it was like to wake up the next morning and feel like garbage after a night of drinking.

Of course, I also take it Saturday night because I rarely do anything on Sundays that's absolutely critical.. And I always make sure to have fun Saturday (this Sat. I went to the gun range and DOPE'd out some new ammo for the rifle, plus had some fun with my new pistol).

The first time I took it wasn't as bad, but this second dose? Ouch. I spent the bulk of the day watching early Mad Max movies, napping, playing games, eating garbage food (apple fritters, hot pockets, and Auntie Anne's pizza pretezel bites), and hating myself.

I'm not the only one; There's a lot of great information out there on Methotrexate. Johns Hopkins has a great introduction to Methotrexate, and you can also watch a video where folks discuss their experiences with Methotrexate here by another channel.

One thing you may see mentioned is taking Folic Acid to help make the side effects more bearable; my doc put me on it, but I'll be honest.. If this is it helping (and I'm on a lower-than-normal starting dose of Methotrexate), I hate to think of what I'd be going through without it.

Of course, it's important to remember everybody has different experiences, which is why I linked to a video with multiple patients talking about what they experienced.

If you're starting it, just be prepared for some nastiness.. And hopefully, some relief.

I will gladly lose a day just to be able to get back even half of my functional body.

After all, what good is feeling young again without also enjoying a good hangover?