Pemetrexed is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat cancer of the lungs.
This medicine is used for those who have advanced stage lung cancer who have responded to treatment or those whose disease has progressed after other initial chemotherapy.
Pemetrexed may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Pemetrexed injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein). It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the dosage and course of the treatment depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Pemetrexed.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated.
You must avoid any vaccinations without consulting with your doctor.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- have received or currently receiving radiation therapy
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
Men should not father a child while being treated with Pemetrexed. Both men and women must use proven birth control methods during Pemetrexed therapy. You may wish to discuss other reliable methods of birth control with your doctor.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Routine tests (e.g. CBC with differential and platelets, kidney function, liver function) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Pemetrexed may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, fever, tiredness, hair loss and rash.
Pemetrexed may cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Inform your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Inform your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. aspirin
- medicine for pain and inflammation e.g. ibuprofen
- certain antibiotics
- “water pill” or medicine for water retention
- other medicines for chemotherapy
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin
- medicine for gout e.g. probenecid
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Pemetrexed.
Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated or if you are planning to get vaccinated.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired medicine to the clinic, hospital, or pharmacy for disposal.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.