Pemetrexed is an anticancer agent which is used in the treatment of lung cancer. It should be used under the supervision of a qualified professional. Close monitoring of kidney function and blood cell count is necessary while receiving this medication.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Pemetrexed

  • Low WBC and Platelet count
  • Fever and chills
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Decreased urine output
  • Blood in urine and stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Hair loss
  • Change in mood

Uses of Pemetrexed

What is it prescribed for?

  • Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
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Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The peak effect of this medicine can be observed immediately after intravenous injection.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 6 to 9 hours.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit forming tendency has reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for pregnant women.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended in breastfeeding women.


Not recommended in patients with known allergy to Pemetrexed.
Warnings for special population


This medicine is not recommended for pregnant women.


This medicine is not recommended in breastfeeding women.
General warnings


Before starting the treatment, premedication with oral folic acid and intramuscular vitamin B12 is recommended to reduce the severity of hematologic and gastrointestinal toxicity.

Blood cell count

This medicine is known to decrease the neutrophils and platelets count. Blood reports should be obtained before initiating the treatment. The dose of this medicine should be reduced based on the absolute neutrophil count and platelet count.

Skin reactions

The medicine may cause severe skin reactions. To reduce the severity of these reactions, corticosteroids like dexamethasone should be given before, during and after Pemetrexed administration.


The patients receiving this medicine have a higher chance of developing infections. Hold the chemotherapy and start with broad-spectrum antibiotics if there are any signs and symptoms of fever. Close monitoring of the body temperature and the blood cell count is necessary.

Missed Dose

It is advised not to miss any dose. If you miss any dose, you should contact your doctor immediately.


Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol


Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.


Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine


Live attenuated vaccines and related products

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics

Disease interactions

Impaired kidney function

The medicine should be used with caution in patients with the kidney disease. Close monitoring of kidney function is necessary. It is not recommended in patients with Creatinine Clearance less than 45 ml/min.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
This medicine is given in multiple cycles. It is important to receive every scheduled dose and make a note of the next scheduled dose. Close monitoring of blood cell counts and kidney function is necessary.

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Does not cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by interfering in the DNA synthesis and stops the growth of the cells.
Legal Status









Schedule H

Pemetrexed - DrugBank [Internet]. 2017 [cited 9 June 2017]. Available from:

[Internet]. 2017 [cited 9 June 2017]. Available from:

DailyMed - pemetrexed disodium injection, powder, lyophilized, for solution [Internet]. 2017 [cited 9 June 2017]. Available from:

Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 2017 [cited 9 June 2017]. Available from:

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Information on this page was last updated on 5 Jan 2018


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