Methotrexate for Crohn's disease: experience in a district general hospital

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Sep;17(9):893-8. doi: 10.1097/00042737-200509000-00002.


Controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of methotrexate (MTX) in the induction and maintenance of remission in patients with luminal Crohn's disease, but its use outside of specialist centres remains limited. We present a case series of 24 patients treated with parenteral MTX in a district general hospital. Patients received an induction course of 25 mg weekly for 16 weeks, followed by maintenance doses of 15 mg weekly. Nineteen patients achieved remission during the induction period. Of these, 10 were maintained in remission for more than 12 months. In total, there were six relapses within 1 year and five drug withdrawals due to side effects during the observation period. Of the six relapses, three required surgical intervention (with two of these re-starting methotrexate postoperatively) and three were recommenced on maintenance MTX after a short period at an increased dose. Our results are similar to outcomes achieved in large, randomized, controlled trials and indicate that MTX can be used safely and effectively for the treatment of refractory Crohn's disease in the district general hospital setting.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy*
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Folic Acid Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Hospitals, District
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Folic Acid Antagonists
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Methotrexate