Methotrexate-Induced Cutaneous Ulcers: A Rare Side Effect

S D Med. 2021 Jul;74(7):304-305.


Methotrexate is often prescribed for the treatment of autoimmune conditions. There are many well-known side effects of methotrexate, a lesser known side effect is methotrexate-induced cutaneous ulceration. Only eight cases have been reported in the literature. Here we report a ninth case report of methotrexate-induced cutaneous ulceration in a 73-year-old female who had recently had her methotrexate dose increased for her seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. She presented to the emergency department with painful ulcerative nodules on her hands. In addition, laboratory evaluation found her to be pancytopenic. Methotrexate was discontinued and patient was given a dose of leucovorin. Within a couple weeks of methotrexate discontinuation, the ulcers resolved. Our case in addition to a review of the literature suggests that methotrexate-induced cutaneous ulceration may be an indication of life-threatening pancytopenia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects
  • Skin Ulcer* / chemically induced
  • Skin Ulcer* / drug therapy
  • Ulcer


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Methotrexate