Pemetrexed is used together with other medicines to treat cancer of the lungs. This medicine is used for advanced stage lung cancer whose disease remains unchanged or has progressed after a chemotherapy has been used.
Pemetrexed 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.
Your doctor may give you a pre-medication and advise you to have vitamin B12 or folic acid supplement. Take it exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any dose. 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 recently received or if you are about to receive a vaccine against yellow fever.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- fluid accumulation in the abdomen or lungs
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine blood tests must be done throughout the therapy.
- Your doctor may need to perform tests for your kidney and liver function.
- You may also need to have regular monitoring of any signs of nerve problems, stomach discomfort, low blood cell count, rashes or infections.
Your doctor will advise you on how often you need to have these tests.
Pemetrexed may cause tiredness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: fever, infections, inflammation of the mouth or throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation and loss of appetite
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- bone marrow suppression (a condition in which the blood cells are low)
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
- rash or itching of the skin
- progressive shortness of breath and cough
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not use Pemetrexed with vaccines used to treat yellow fever.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- blood thinning medicines e.g. aspirin
- medicines for gout e.g. probenecid
- medicines for pain or inflammation e.g. ibuprofen
- antibiotics e.g. aminoglycosides
- medicines used in organ transplant or immune disorder e.g. ciclosporin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Pemetrexed.
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 unopened vial in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Store reconstituted solution in the refrigerator, between 2-8 °C.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired tablets to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.