Methotrexate-induced nausea and vomiting in adolescent and young adult patients

Pravin Patil, Richard A Parker, Christine Rawcliffe, Abigail Olaleye, Samantha Moore, Nicola Daly, Debajit Sen, Yiannis Ioannou

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This study aims to determine the prevalence of methotrexate-induced nausea and vomiting in both adolescent and adult patients with inflammatory arthritis. A survey of methotrexate side effects was conducted on patients with inflammatory arthritis. We provided a brief questionnaire to unselected patients with inflammatory arthritis being treated with methotrexate attending adolescent and adult rheumatology clinics. The questions related to the presence, absence, and severity of nausea and vomiting, the temporal relationship with methotrexate and whether anti-emetics had been prescribed. A total of 106 patients from the age of 13 years and above--57 adults (over 20 years) and 49 adolescents (13-19 years) were included in this study. The median age for those experiencing nausea was 19 years (interquartile range (IQR) 7) and for those with no nausea 55 years (IQR 46) (p < 0.001). Thirty-six out of 49 adolescent patients reported nausea (73%) compared to only 20/57 adults (35%) (p < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the nausea group had a significantly higher proportion of adolescents (p = 0.0002), patients taking subcutaneous (SC) methotrexate MTX (p = 0.002), and patients with duration of MTX of more than 1 year (p = 0.049). Adolescents were estimated to have over 6 times higher odds of nausea compared to adults (OR 6.31, 95% CI 2.38 to 16.75, p = 0.0002) after adjusting for SC MTX and duration of MTX. Only 22% of adolescents and 10% of adults were prescribed anti-emetics. There is a higher prevalence of MTX-induced nausea and vomiting in adolescents and younger adult patients with inflammatory arthritis compared to older adults. The role of anti-emetics in the treatment of these symptoms is unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-7
Number of pages5
JournalClinical rheumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2013


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea
  • Prevalence
  • Vomiting
  • Young Adult


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