Methotrexate belongs to the drug class known as DMARDs, or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. DMARDs slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, and help prevent joint damage. Methotrexate was developed as a leukemia drug in the 1940s. The drug was considered experimental in the 1970s. Methotrexate was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat rheumatoid arthritis in 1988.
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