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J Rheumatol. 1994 Jul;21(7):1220-3.

A Canadian survey of current methotrexate prescribing practices in rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.



To conduct a cross sectional survey of methotrexate (MTX) prescribing practices of Canadian rheumatologists in their treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


A 15-item questionnaire was mailed to 197 rheumatologists with a 79% response rate after 3 mailings.


The usual starting dose was 7.5 mg/week (range = 2.5-15.0) and the usual maximum dose prescribed was 15 mg/week (range = 10-50); 81% routinely coadministered MTX and non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs; 28% routinely used folic acid prophylaxis; 97% of respondents performed regular assessments of liver function. Only 17% requested a liver biopsy after a certain time and 23% after a certain cumulative dose. Sixty-two percent performed pre-MTX liver biopsy on patients with liver function abnormalities. Only 14% of respondents routinely performed pulmonary function tests. Ninety-one percent of respondents noted that 1-50% (mode = 10%) of patients refused to accept MTX therapy after it had been recommended, usually because of fear of side effects.


Despite potential toxicity, the majority of respondents used MTX in the treatment of adult RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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