Alimta is the standard chemotherapy drug used to treat pleural mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer. Doctors at an infusion center inject the liquid solution into the patient's vein, where Alimta begins the process of preventing cancer cells from multiplying. The drug, which is generically known as pemetrexed, is typically administered every 21 days during cancer treatment therapy. Alimta has a similar chemical composition to folic acid and is in a class of medications called antifolate antineoplastic agents.
Alimta FDA Approval
Commercially manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company, Alimta obtained FDA approval in 2004 for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma. It was approved in 2008 for use against non-small cell lung cancer and has shown to be effective against peritoneal mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, and other cancers. Alimta is administered in conjunction with a drug called cisplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapy drug kills harmful cells.
Alimta Side Effects
Patients receiving Alimta as part of their treatment regimens should be aware of some of the side effects, which include vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and constipation. Patients may also experience confusion, dizziness, weakness, tiredness, mood changes, and depression. Headaches, pale skin, fast heartbeat, difficulty sleeping, and joint or muscle pain may occur as well. Patients who suffer these side effects for a long period of time should alert their doctor to see if another treatment would be more appropriate.
Other side effects are more serious and require immediate medical attention. These include diarrhea, bruising, or bleeding, sores of the lips, mouth or throat, and trouble breathing or swallowing. Excessive coughing, chills, or fever could indicate an infection and should be addressed immediately. Other major symptoms include numbness, weakness, tingling or burning in extremities, chest pain, difficulty with speech, hives, rash, itching, or decreased urination.
Want To Learn More About Alimta?
As with any cancer, early diagnosis and treatment is very important to life expectancy and survival rate. When mesothelioma is caught during Stage I or II, patients usually have greater outcomes and prognoses. At that point, Alimta may become a key part of treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma or non-small cell lung cancer, you may be wondering what to expect from medications. Please get in touch with us, and we will happily get you the information you need.