Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Pemetrexed

Pemetrexed

Last updated on 14/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions   |   Tips   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Pemetrexed

CHINESE NAME: 培美曲塞

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Alimta 愛寧達

DRUG CLASS: Antineoplastics

SUB CLASS: Antimetabolites

USED FOR: Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), Malignant pleural mesothelioma

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 100 mg, 500 mg (solution for infusion)

What is Pemetrexed for?

Pemetrexed is an antifolate that inhibits enzymes thymidylate synthase, dihydrofolate reductase, GARFT, AICARFT and other enzymes to suppress the synthesis of DNA and thus cell growth. Therefore, it can be used in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and malignant pleural mesothelioma.

How to use it?

Pemetrexed is to be injected into the veins over 10 minutes prior to the administration of platinum and after pembrolizumab if given on the same day.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma
Adult and elderly
500 mg/m2 on day 1 of each 21-day cycle together with cisplatin for 4-6 cycles, or until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Non-small cell lung cancer
Adult and elderly
500 mg/m2 on day 1 of each 21-day cycle, possible with other agents including pembrolizumab, carboplatin or cisplatin. Doses are individualised based on its toxicity to blood.

What are the side effects of Pemetrexed?

Common side effects of Pemetrexed include, but not limited to, fatigue, desquamation, skin rash, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, stomatitis, pharyngitis and anemia.

Who should not take Pemetrexed?

– People allergic to Pemetrexed or any component of the formulation.
– People being administered with yellow fever vaccine.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Initiate Folic acid supplementation 1 week before first dose of Pemetrexed and continue for full course of therapy, and for 21 days after last Pemetrexed dose.
– Institute vitamin B12 1 week before the first dose; administer every 9 weeks thereafter.

Common dosing schedule:
Pemetrexed injections are prescribed in institutions by the physicians as a 21-day cycle.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs. 

Some common medications Pemetrexed may interact with:
– Baricitinib
– 5-aminosalicylic acid derivatives, e.g. Balsalazide, Mesalamine, Sulfasalazine
– Deferiprone
– Vaccines, e.g. BCG, Smallpox and Monkeypox, COVID-19
– Tacrolimus

Pemetrexed may interact with many other medications. Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Pemetrexed in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Pemetrexed is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Pemetrexed in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.