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Chemical name: Methotrexate, also known as amethopterin

Brand names: Mexate, Folex, Rheumatrex

Class: Antimetabolite chemotherapy. Fluorouracil, Gemzar, and Xeloda are other antimetabolites.

How it works: Antimetabolites kill cancer cells by acting as false building blocks in a cancer cell's genes, causing the cancer cell to die as it gets ready to divide.

Uses: Methotrexate often is used in combination with other chemotherapy medicines to treat:

  • early-stage breast cancer after surgery and other treatments
  • advanced-stage breast cancer

How it's given: Methotrexate is given intravenously.

Side effects:

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