Warnings: it is
recommended to take Pemetrexed with folic acid and vitamin B12 to reduce treatment-related blood disorders and GI
toxicity. The medication can suppress bone marrow function, resulting in abnormal white blood
cells (neutropenia), severe decrease of platelets (thrombocytopenia), and decreased
healthy red blood cells (anemia).
Pemetrexed should not be administered
to patients with severe kidney disease. One patient with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance 19
mL/min) who did not receive folic acid and vitamin B12 died of drug-related toxicity following administration of
the medication alone.
This medication is for the treatment of certain cancers, such as lung and mesothelioma. It is a chemotherapy that
can be used alone or with other medications to stop or slow the growth of cancer.
Certain health care providers can use Pemetrexed to treat other medical
conditions non-mentioned in this article if he believes it may be helpful.
Pemetrexed is taken by injection into a vein (intravenous, IV), usually associated with
Cisplatin. The medication is, most of the times, prescribed
folic acid and vitamin B12 to supplement your diet in order to reduce the development of serious side
medication is given by a healthcare professional, usually once every 3 weeks, for a 10 minute time period. Your
dosage will depend on your response to therapy, weight and medical condition.
should take the folic acid and B12 before starting this medication, as it will reduce your risk for certain side
effects. You can find folic acid over the counter in vitamin form. You should find vitamins that contain at
least 350 milligrams up to 1000 milligrams. You should start taking it at least 5 to 7 days before you start
taking this medication, during treatment and for 3 weeks after you stop receiving Pemetrexed. Your doctor will
give you a shot of B12 intramuscularly, usually one week before treatment and once every 9 weeks after the
reduce the chances of skin reactions while taking this drug, your doctor may prescribe you medication, such as
corticosteroids (e.g. dexamethasone) to take for a short period around the time of treatments.
cases of overdose symptoms, your doctor may reduce the dosage or stopping the treatment completely. Therefore, if
you experience signs or symptoms of complications (see side effects), contact your doctor immediately.
medication is administered in hospital, missing dose is basically difficult if you are present for your
appointment. If for some reasons you cannot go to the hospital for the treatment, contact your doctor before the
date schedule for the injection.
Tell your doctor of all allergies, as you may be allergic to some inactive ingredients in
that have some medical conditions should not use this medication, such as severe kidney disease.You should tell
your doctor of all medical history, including decreased bone marrow function (e.g. anemia and leukopenia), liver
problems and kidney problems.
women should not take this medication, as it may cause birth defects and harm an unborn baby. Breast feeding is
not recommended while taking Pemetrexed.
that take this medication should not receive any immunizations while taking it and avoid people that have
recently had the oral polio vaccination.
Mechanism of Action (MOA)
: Pemetrexed acts by inhibiting several metabolic processes involved in the synthesis of DNA, and therefore
prevents multiplication of cancer cells.
Interactions: Your doctor and pharmacist should be aware of all
interactions possible with this medication. Some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. aspirin,
ibuprofen, and naproxen) as well as probenecid are known to interact with this medication.
are prescribed a low-dose aspirin for the control of heart attacks and stroke, you should still continue use of
it while taking this medication. The dose is usually between 81-325 milligrams a day.
effects: to reduce the occurrence and severity
of skin reactions, a corticosteroid is recommended to be administered the day before, the same day and the day
after taking Pemetrexed. In general, the dosage is 4 mg of dexamethasone (Decadron) taken by mouth twice a day.
In addition, your doctor may recommend you to take folic acid or a multivitamin containing folic acid daily. At
least five doses of folic acid must be taken within 7 days before the first dose of Pemetrexed. You should
continue taking the supplement during the duration of the treatment and for 21 days following the last day of
also be prescribed an intramuscular injection of vitamin B12 in the week preceding the first dose of Pemetrexed
and once every three cycles. Subsequent injections of vitamin B12 can take place the same day as the therapy.
Pemetrexed tends to damage the bone marrow, which causes a deficiency of white blood cells, red blood cells and
platelets. In addition, the toxicity of the drug may cause adverse reaction in most patients. Most common
Pemetrexed side effects include:
- loss of appetite
of taste (dysgeusia)
- weight loss
- pale skin or/and skin rashes
- hair loss
changes in mood
joint or muscle pain
problems (diarrhea or
your health care provider right away if you experience at least one of the following:
- dizziness or
- chest pain and/or
- unreasonable bleeding or
- difficulty breathing and/or
- weakness or numbness of an arm or
Pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet.