Pemetrexed injection is used in combination with other chemotherapy medications as a first treatment for a certain type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to nearby tissues or to other parts of the body. Pemetrexed injection is also used alone to treat NSCLC as ongoing treatment in people who have already received certain chemotherapy medications and whose cancer has not worsened and in people who could not be treated successfully with other chemotherapy medications. Pemetrexed injection is also in combination with another chemotherapy medication as a first treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma (a type of cancer that affects the inside lining of the chest cavity) in people who cannot be treated with surgery. Pemetrexed is in a class of medications called antifolate antineoplastic agents. It works by blocking the action of a certain substance in the body that may help cancer cells multiply.
Pemetrexed injection comes as a solution (liquid) to be injected into a vein over 10 minutes. Pemetrexed injection is administered by a doctor or nurse in a medical office or infusion center. It is usually given once every 21 days.
Your doctor will probably tell you to take other medications, such as folic acid (a vitamin), vitamin B12, and a corticosteroid such as dexamethasone to decrease some of the side effects of this medication. Your doctor will give you directions for taking these medications. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. If you miss a dose of one of these medications, call your doctor.
Your doctor will tell you to have regular blood tests before and during treatment with pemetrexed injection. Your doctor may change your dose of pemetrexed injection, delay treatment, or permanently stop your treatment based on the results of the blood tests.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before receiving pemetrexed injection,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
If you miss an appointment to receive a dose of pemetrexed injection, call your doctor as soon as possible.
Pemetrexed injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment :
Pemetrexed injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to pemetrexed injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: April 15, 2019.