Reports of Nasty Side Effects From Arthritis Drug Are Way up

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EBV has also been linked with Leukemia Cancer.In this newest study, Pain Relief Arthritis Drug methotrexate has been shown to activate latent EBV in cells infected with the virus, Kenney reports. High levels of circulating infectious particles of the EBV were also found in patients taking methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis compared with patients taking other immune-weakening Pain Relief Arthritis drugs.

 

Methotrexate and Leukemia Cancer

In a series of laboratory tests involving cells with latent EBV virus, Kenney found that using methotrexate on cells that contained the latent Epstein-Barr virus activated the virus, causing an increase in the release of infectious EBV.“An infectious form of the virus was released from the cells,” she tells WebMD. “We were surprised by that. We had already shown that certain kinds of chemotherapy could induce release of a form of EBV, but none would allow the infectious virus to be released.

Kenney’s colleagues also measured Epstein-Barr virus blood levels in 29 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 12 with polymyositis, and 47 with Wegener granulomatosis (both are relatively rare inflammatory diseases). Some were taking methotrexate; some were taking other immune-suppressing medications.They found that methotrexate activated the Epstein-Barr virus; the other rheumatoid arthritis medications — including cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, and prednisone — did not markedly affect EBV activity, even when doses of these Pain Relief Arthritis Drugs were higher than normal, she reports.