methotrexate

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methotrexate,

drug used in halting the growth of actively proliferating tissues. Introduced in the 1950s, it is used in the treatment of leukemialeukemia
, cancerous disorder of the blood-forming tissues (bone marrow, lymphatics, liver, spleen) characterized by excessive production of immature or mature leukocytes (white blood cells; see blood) and consequently a crowding-out of red blood cells and platelets.
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, psoriasispsoriasis
, occasionally acute but usually chronic and recurrent inflammation of the skin. The exact cause is unknown, but the disease appears to be an inherited, possibly autoimmune disorder that causes the overproduction of skin cells.
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, and non-Hodgkin's lymphomalymphoma, non-Hodgkin's,
any cancer of the lymphoid tissue (see lymphatic system) in which the Reed-Sternberg cells characteristic of Hodgkin's disease (the other category of lymphoma) are not present.
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. By binding to an enzymeenzyme,
biological catalyst. The term enzyme comes from zymosis, the Greek word for fermentation, a process accomplished by yeast cells and long known to the brewing industry, which occupied the attention of many 19th-century chemists.
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 that controls the metabolism of folic acid, methotrexate interferes with synthesis of nucleic acidsnucleic acid,
any of a group of organic substances found in the chromosomes of living cells and viruses that play a central role in the storage and replication of hereditary information and in the expression of this information through protein synthesis.
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 and therefore with tissue cell reproduction. Because of its immunosuppressive qualities, it is also used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritisarthritis,
painful inflammation of a joint or joints of the body, usually producing heat and redness. There are many kinds of arthritis. In its various forms, arthritis disables more people than any other chronic disorder.
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methotrexate

[‚meth·ə′trek‚sāt]
(pharmacology)