According to the Canadian Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 1 in 5 Canadian women had an unplanned pregnancy in 2016. Therefore, it is recommended that all women of child bearing potential take a pregnancy test prior to starting methotrexate and use reliable birth control while taking methotrexate.
The most effective form of birth control is an intrauterine device (IUD). If a woman is of child bearing potential and taking methotrexate, they should either be using an IUD or a different method of contraception plus a condom.
Taking methotrexate and breastfeeding is not recommended, as the drug may be passed to the newborn.
If you are a woman of child bearing potential and taking methotrexate, it is important to discuss birth control options with your physician. If you are planning pregnancy and taking methotrexate, please discuss this with your rheumatologist as your treatment will need to be altered and methotrexate discontinued.
This week’s blog was written by Janice Maretzki and Brittany Cook. Janice Maretzki is a pharmacist at Charlton Health who recently attended the Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting in Montreal. Brittany Cook is a 4th year pharmacy student completing one of her final rotations at Charlton Health. During her schooling has been extensively involved in arthritis care. She has participated in pharmacy practice research and is the recipient of various awards and scholarships.