Pemetrexed

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Precautions

Before using pemetrexed, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, radiation treatment.

Pemetrexed can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).

To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using pemetrexed. Pemetrexed may harm an unborn baby. Female patients should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 6 months after stopping treatment. Male patients with female partners should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 3 months after stopping treatment. If you or your partner become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug and for 1 week after stopping treatment is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, stomach upset, changes in taste, constipation, mouth sores, and tiredness may occur. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen nausea and vomiting. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.

This medication may affect male fertility. Consult your doctor for more details.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: numbness/tingling skin, swelling ankles/feet/hands, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), signs of liver disease (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).

This medication may decrease bone marrow function, an effect that may lead to a low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. This effect can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause easy bruising/bleeding. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: unusual tiredness, pale skin, signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills), easy bruising/bleeding.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: blisters or sores, signs of lung problems (such as new or worsening shortness of breath, cough).

Pemetrexed may cause a serious skin reaction that looks like a severe sunburn (radiation recall) on any area that has been treated with radiation weeks to years before. Get medical help right away if you have skin redness, pain, tenderness, swelling, peeling, or blisters.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Pemetrexed can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious and that can be prevented by taking corticosteroid medication (see How to Use section). However, you may not be able to tell the rash apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Get medical help right away if you develop any rash.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

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Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

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Information expires December 2018.