Methotrexate: The pharmacology behind medical treatment for ectopic pregnancy

Catherine Susan Stika*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Previously established as a chemotherapeutic agent for decades, methotrexate has been adapted for use as a medical therapy for unruptured ectopic pregnancies. Its mechanism of action, competitive inhibition of folate-dependent steps in nucleic acid synthesis, effectively kills the rapidly dividing ectopic trophoblast. However, the same action on normal cells is the basis for many of its adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-439
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • ectopic pregnancy
  • Methotrexate
  • methotrexate/pharmacokinetics
  • methotrexate/toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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