What is Alimta used for?
Alimta is used as a treatment for:
- malignant pleural mesothelioma, a type of cancer that affects the inside lining of the chest cavity. Alimta is given with cisplatin, another anti-cancer medicine (chemotherapy).
- non-small cell lung cancer. Alimta is given alone after a patient has already tried prior chemotherapy.
Alimta has not been studied in children
Who should not be treated with Alimta?
You should not be given Alimta if you are allergic to Alimta or any of the ingredients in Alimta.
Special Warning(s) with Alimta:
- It is very important to take folic acid and vitamin B12 during your treatment with Alimta to lower your chances of harmful side effects.
- Women who can become pregnant should not become pregnant during treatment with Alimta. Alimta may harm the unborn baby.
What should I tell my health care provider?
Tell your health care provider if you are:
- pregnant, are trying to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
- taking other medicines, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Alimta and other medicines may affect each other, causing serious side effects. Especially tell your health care provider if you are taking medicines called “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” (NSAIDs) for pain or swelling. There are many NSAID medicines. If you are not sure, ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of your medicines are NSAIDs.
What are some possible side effects of Alimta? (This list is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Alimta. Your health care provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.)
Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, diarrhea, or mouth sores. These symptoms could mean you have an infection.
Some common side effects with Alimta when used with cisplatin include:
- Stomach upset, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Low blood cell counts:
- Low red blood cells (which may make you feel tired, get tired easily, appear pale, and become short of breath)
- Low white blood cells (which may give you a greater chance for infection)
- Low platelets (which may give you a greater chance for bleeding)
- Mouth, throat, or lip sores (stomatitis, pharyngitis)
- Loss of appetite
Date created: March 30, 2004; Last Updated: February 18, 2005