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Clinical experience of methotrexate in Crohn's disease: response, safety and monitoring of treatment
  1. Richard Parker,
  2. Anyinda Dixit,
  3. Aileen Fraser,
  4. Tom J Creed,
  5. Chris S Probert
  1. Department of Gastroenterology, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Richard Parker, Department of Gastroenterology, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Lower Marlborough Street, Bristol BS2 8HW, UK; richardparker{at}


Background Methotrexate is an immunosuppressant used in the treatment of patients with Crohn's disease who are intolerant or refractory to azathioprine.

Aim To present clinical experience in terms of response, side effects and reason for cessation of methotrexate treatment as well as adherence to monitoring regimens.

Design Retrospective review of case records of 37 patients taking methotrexate for Crohn's disease at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, a large UK teaching hospital. Thirty-five patients used oral methotrexate.

Results Response rate to methotrexate was 78% at 3 months. Adverse events were uncommon and rarely dangerous. Monitoring of treatment did not adhere to British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines.

Conclusion Oral methotrexate is effective and safe in the treatment of Crohn's disease. This is in contrast to findings of previous series, which have mainly reported on intramuscular methotrexate use. Monitoring of treatment is currently inadequate and consensus should be sought for a pragmatic monitoring schedule to resolve this important governance issue.

  • Adult gastroenterology
  • inflammatory bowel disease

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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