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METHOTREXATE (methotrexate) Overdosage

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Overdose with methotrexate has occurred with intrathecal administration, although intravenous and intramuscular overdose have also been reported.

Discontinue or reduce dosage at the first sign of ulceration or bleeding, diarrhea, or marked depression of the hematopoietic system. Leucovorin is indicated to diminish the toxicity and counteract the effect of overdosages of methotrexate. Leucovorin administration should begin as promptly as possible. As the time interval between methotrexate administration and leucovorin initiation increases, the effectiveness of leucovorin in counteracting toxicity decreases. Monitoring of the serum methotrexate concentration is essential in determining the optimal dose and duration of treatment with leucovorin.

In cases of massive overdosage, hydration and urinary alkalinization may be necessary to prevent the precipitation of methotrexate and/or its metabolites in the renal tubules. Generally, neither standard hemodialysis nor peritoneal dialysis has been shown to improve methotrexate elimination. However, effective clearance of methotrexate has been reported with acute, intermittent hemodialysis using a high-flux dialyzer.

There are published case reports of intravenous carboxypeptidase G2 treatment to hasten clearance of methotrexate in cases of overdoses.

For management of a suspected drug overdose, contact your regional Poison Control Centre immediately.

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