Ingredient

Pemetrexed

Why is it prescribed?

Pemetrexed is used to treat nonsquamous locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  It can be used as:

  • Initial treatment in combination with cisplatin.
  • Maintenance treatment given alone immediately after four cycles of platinum-based first-line chemotherapy.
  • Second line treatment given alone after prior chemotherapy.

 


Products that have this ingredient include •Alimta® •Taro-Pemetrexed injection •

See other drugs used in the treatment of •

Most common side effects:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Less common side effects:

  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Stomatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Low blood cell count
  • Sore throat
  • Rash, skin irritation


Side effects requiring medical attention:

  • Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
  • Severe vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period).
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools.
  • Blood in the urine and/or pain or burning with urination.
  • Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities).
  • Constipation unrelieved by laxative use.
  • Signs of infection such as redness or swelling, pain on swallowing, coughing up mucous, or painful urination.
  • Unable to eat or drink for 24 hours or have signs of dehydration: tiredness, thirst, dry mouth, dark and decrease amount of urine, or dizziness.
  • Depression

Pemetrexed is an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug. It is classified as an antifolate antimetabolite medication.  Pemetrexed acts by disrupting production of folate within the cancer cells which is essential for cell growth.


Do not take pemetrexed if you:

  • are allergic to pemetrexed or any of the ingredients in this medication
  • have just had or are going to receive the Yellow Fever vaccine.

Discuss use of pemetrexed with your physician or pharmacist if:

  • you have a kidney disease.
  • you have a liver disease.
  • you have a heart problem.
  • you have ever had radiation therapy

Male patients should not father a child during use of pemetrexed and for up to 6 months after stopping the treatment. 

Drugs Interactions - Discuss use of the following medications with your physician or pharmacist:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib)

Use in pregnancy: Pemetrexed may cause negative effects to the fetus.  Use in pregnancy is not advised

Use in breastfeeding:  It is not known if pemetrexed is passed to the baby in breastmilk.  Because of the potential toxicity of pemetrexed, use in breastfeeding is not advised.


Page Last Updated: 25/11/2015