Methotrexate Intolerance: A Complex Belief System

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4 Scopus citations


An estimated 11%-33% of persons taking methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are intolerant to this medication. Medications for RA are often discontinued or changed because of patient intolerance. Yet, intolerance is a poorly defined perspective, specifically the patient's perspective. This study used descriptive qualitative methodologies to describe methotrexate intolerance from the perspective of adult patients with RA. Semistructured, audio-recorded individual interviews were conducted with 14 adult English-speaking patients with RA who had been prescribed, were taking, or had ever taken methotrexate. Methotrexate intolerance involves a complex belief system involving 3 themes: beliefs about the risk of methotrexate, beliefs about the benefits of methotrexate, and beliefs about the threat of RA. Participants reported a threshold by which perceived risks and benefits of methotrexate were weighed against perceived risks of RA. The critical underpinnings of the largely undefined and unique patient perspective of methotrexate intolerance are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-321
Number of pages6
JournalOrthopaedic Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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