Treats certain types of cancer in or near the lungs.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to pemetrexed, or if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine
- Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
- You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
- The medicine is usually given on day 1 of a treatment cycle. This treatment cycle is often 21 days, but it might be longer.
- If any of this medicine gets on your skin or in your eyes, nose, or mouth, tell your caregiver right away. You will need to wash off the medicine right away.
- You may need to do the following during treatment to help prevent gastrointestinal problems, skin rashes, anemia, and other side effects.
- Take a folic acid supplement or a multivitamin that contains folic acid. Begin taking folic acid at least 5 days before your first injection, and continue to take it for at least 21 days after your final injection. Ask your doctor what dose to take.
- Your doctor will give you a vitamin B12 injection in the week before your first treatment, and then about every 9 weeks while you receive treatment.
- Your doctor will give you a steroid medicine to take the day before, the day of, and the day after each injection.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using probenecid (Benemid®) or pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, indomethacin, meloxicam, nabumetone, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding or have kidney disease, liver disease, or bone marrow problems (anemia).
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- Cancer medicines can cause diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
- Decrease in how much or how often you urinate
- Dry mouth or skin, increased thirst, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
- Lower back or side pain
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Red or dark brown urine
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Constipation, nausea, or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat