Topic Overview

Methotrexate side effects are more likely to cause problems
when treatment lasts for many months, which is common in cancer and rheumatoid
arthritis treatment. But side effects do occur when methotrexate is given
to end an
ectopic pregnancy.

The most common side
effects of methotrexate treatment for ectopic pregnancy are nausea and
indigestion. Side effects vary from woman to woman. And some women do not
experience any side effects. If you are treated with methotrexate, you will be followed
closely by your doctor.

The suggestions below may
help you manage methotrexate side effects. Tell your doctor about
any symptoms you have during your treatment.

For nausea

  • Eat small meals more frequently instead of three
    large meals daily.
  • Ask your doctor about
    using an antinausea (antiemetic) medicine, such as prochlorperazine or
    ondansetron (Zofran) to prevent or reduce nausea.
  • Rest as much
    as possible.
  • Try to eliminate strong odors from your
  • Do not use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin, which can
    increase the risk of stomach irritation.
  • Drink plenty of water to

For fatigue

  • Plan several rest periods throughout the
  • Ask for help from family members or friends.

For lightheadedness or dizziness

  • Rest frequently.
  • Change positions
    slowly, especially when moving from a sitting to a standing
  • Allow others to assist you when you walk.

For a sore mouth and throat (stomatitis)

  • Avoid coffee, spicy and salty foods, and citrus
    fruits. These foods can further aggravate your sore mouth.
  • Eat soft
    foods such as ice cream, custards, or gelatin.
  • Rinse your mouth
    every 2 hours with a lukewarm saltwater solution. Mix
    1 tsp (5 g)
    of table salt in
    8 fl oz (240 mL) of lukewarm
    water. Do not swallow the saltwater solution, because it can upset your

For diarrhea

  • Eat mild foods, such as rice, dry toast or
    crackers, bananas, and applesauce. Avoid spicy foods, other fruits, alcohol,
    coffee, and dairy products.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD – Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMarch 16, 2017