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Pemetrexed is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Pemetrexed is used to treat mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer associated with exposure to asbestos. Pemetrexed is also used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has already been treated with other cancer medications.

Pemetrexed may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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.

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 (IV) 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.

This medication should be mixed and diluted in the correct IV fluids. The mixed medication should be clear and colorless or yellow to yellow-green in color. Before using, check this medication visually for particles and discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. If you have questions regarding the use of this medication, consult your pharmacist.

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 350 to 1000 micrograms (0.35 to 1 milligram) of folic acid. Take folic acid daily for at least 5 out of the 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. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Side effects of Pemetrexed:
Important things to remember about the side effects of premetrexed:

  • Most people do not experience all of the side effects listed.

  • Side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset and duration.

  • Side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after treatment is complete.

  • There are many options to help minimize or prevent side effects.

  • There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side effects and the effectiveness of the medication.

There have been few cases of Pemetrexed overdose. Reported toxicities included neutropenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, mucositis, and rash. Anticipated complications of overdose include bone marrow suppression as manifested by neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia. In addition, infection with or without fever, diarrhea, and mucositis may be seen. If an overdose occurs, general supportive measures should be instituted as deemed necessary by the treating physician.

Store unmixed medication vials at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Once the medication is mixed in solution, use it within 24 hours.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.


* Before starting premetrexed treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, or products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.
* Do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprophen unless your doctor specifically permits this.
* Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor's approval while taking premetrexed.
* Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category D (premetrexed may be hazardous to the fetus. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus.)
* For both men and women: Do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking premetrexed. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended. Discuss with your doctor when you may safely become pregnant or conceive a child after therapy.
* Do not breast feed while taking this medication.


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