Alimta is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.
Alimta is used to treat mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer associated with exposure to asbestos. Alimta is also used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has already been treated with other cancer medications.
You should not receive Alimta if you are allergic to pemetrexed.
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before you receive Alimta, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- bone marrow suppression;
- a weak immune system; or
- excess fluid in the space around your lung, liver, or other internal organs, including pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs) or ascites (fluid around the liver).
FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not receive Alimta without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether Alimta passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Alimta: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
- urinating less than usual, or not at all;
- chest pain, trouble breathing;
- swelling, rapid weight gain.
Less serious Alimta side effects may include:
- skin rash;
- numbness or tingling;
- depressed mood;
- sore throat;
- tired feeling;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, loss of appetite; or
- muscle pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.