Pemetrexed

Pronounced

"peh-meh-TREX-ed"

Common brand names:

Alimta

Uses

Pemetrexed is used to treat certain types of cancer (e.g., lung cancer, mesothelioma). It is a chemotherapy drug that is used alone or in combination with other medications to slow or stop cancer cell growth.

How to Use This Medication

This medication comes with a Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist. Read it carefully before you start using pemetrexed. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication is given by injection into a vein by a healthcare professional, usually over 10 minutes, once every 3 weeks. The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to therapy.

To lower your chance of side effects, it is very important that you take folic acid vitamins and receive vitamin B12 shots before and during treatment with pemetrexed. Folic acid vitamins are available over-the-counter without a prescription, and folic acid can be found in many multivitamin products. Make sure your vitamin contains between 400 to 1000 micrograms (0.4 to 1 milligram) of folic acid. Take folic acid daily for at least 5 out of 7 days before your first dose of pemetrexed, during treatment, and for 3 weeks after your last treatment. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you need help choosing a folic acid vitamin. Your doctor will give you a vitamin B12 shot into the muscle, usually 1 week before your first dose of pemetrexed and then once every 9 weeks during your treatment. Do not substitute oral vitamin B12 for the vitamin B12 shots. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

To reduce your chance of having a skin reaction while using pemetrexed, your doctor will prescribe a corticosteroid medicine (e.g., dexamethasone) to take for a short period around the time of each treatment. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

If this medication touches your skin, wash the skin immediately and completely with soap and water.

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