Pemetrexed (Trade name: Alimta) – Chemotherapy Drug Used In Lung Cancer Treatment

Pemetrexed is the chemotherapy drug which belongs to the class of antimetabolite. It acts by blocking enzyme thymidylate synthase which results in the inhibition of DNA synthesis.

Picture of Pemetrexed

Read more on what is lung cancer here.

Availability, Dosage and Administration

Pemetrexed is only available in liquid form (injectable form) and is administered by a doctor or nurse and it is to be injected into the vein (IV route).


It is available as 100mg/vial, 500mg/vial


Recommended dose is 500 mg/m2, IV every 3 weeks.


FDA approved for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer along with chemotherapy or as single agent.

Side effects

Most people don’t experience the listed symptoms but the side effects improve one the treatment is complete. The most common side effects are:

  • Poor appetite
  • Myelosuppression- It is the dose limiting side effect.
  • Fatigue
  • Hand foot syndrome- Rash
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomatitis


  • Before starting pemetrexed treatment, inform your doctor about other medications that you might be taking
  • Do not take any anti inflammatory drugs provided your doctor permits it.
  • Do not take any kind of vaccination or immunization without informing your doctor
  • Inform your doctor before starting the pemetrexed treatment if you are pregnant
  • Do not conceive a child while on the pemetrexed treatment. This applies to both men and women.

Read more on chemotherapy in the treatment of lung cancer.

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