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What is Alimta?
Alimta (pemetrexed) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Alimta is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.
Alimta is also used with another medication called cisplatin to treat mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer associated with exposure to asbestos.
Alimta may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important informationDo not use Alimta if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.
Before you receive Alimta, tell your doctor you have kidney or liver disease, bone marrow suppression, a weak immune system, or excess fluid in the space around your lung, liver, or other internal organs.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others.
What is Asthma? Causes, Symptoms, and TreatmentTo prevent certain side effects of Alimta, you will need to take folic acid supplements and receive vitamin B12 injections (starting 7 days before your first dose of Alimta). Take only the amount of folic acid that your doctor has prescribed.
Alimta can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect while using Alimta such as fever, flu symptoms, sore throat, mouth sores, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, increased thirst, urinating less than usual, pounding heartbeats, and swelling or rapid weight gain.
Before receiving AlimtaYou should not receive Alimta if you are allergic to pemetrexed.
To make sure Alimta is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
kidney disease (especially if you take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs);
a weak immune system;
excess fluid in the space around your lung, liver, or other internal organs, including pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs) or ascites (fluid around the liver).
Do not use Alimta if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy during your treatment with Alimta. Follow your doctor's instructions about how long to prevent pregnancy after your treatment ends.
It is not known whether pemetrexed passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using pemetrexed.
What should I avoid?Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using Alimta, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.