Alminta: Permetrexed

Alminta is a medication that is used in Lung Cancer treatment. This medication is used primarily to treat Non-Small Cell – Lung Cancer.

This medication can be used alone or in combination with other cancer medications.  It can be used in those patients where the cancer has moved to different parts of the body (Metastasis) or when the cancer has worsened despite a different cancer medication.

In some cases, this medication can be used for a Lung Cancer more associated with Asbestos. The cancer is known as Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Alminta is also called Permetrexed and is given as an injection.  It is in the class of medications called antifolate antineoplastic agents.  Its mechanism of action allows it to block the action of a certain type of substance in the body that allows certain cancer cells to multiply or grow in numbers.

Pemetrexed is given through an injection or infusion over ten minutes. It is given by a nurse at an infusion center and can be given once every 21 days (3-week cycle).

Supplements or additional vitamins may be given to help with side effects, transmission, and other reasons. This may or may not include: Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Steroids, and others.  Some of these supplements will be given prior to starting the medications (approximately 7 days).

If you have kidney disease. Please avoid IBU or similar (NSAIDs) for a few days prior and post-treatment. Discuss with your doctor.

Side Effects:

As with any medications, there are possible side effects.

For Alminta they include:

1.)  Nausea
2.)  Vomiting
3.)  Diarrhea
4.)  Weight loss
5.)  Constipation
6.)  Fatigue
7.)  Decrease or Loss of Appetite
8.)  Insomnia
9.)  Difficulty staying asleep
10.)  Joint Pain
11.)  Others

Severe Side effects are unlikely but may be a medical emergency.

Severe side effects include:

1.)  Severe Blistering of Skin
2.)  Peeling of Skin
3.)  Severe Swelling of Joint, etc
4.)  Chest Pain
5.)  Significant Rash – Severe redness – may or may not be associated with blistering
6.)  Significant Hives, Itching, etc
7.)  Others

Use During Pregnancy

If you are a female – Avoid this medication during pregnancy as it can lead to birth defects in an unborn child

If you are male – Use birth control while on the medication and up to at least 3 months following the last dose.

Your doctor may decide to evaluate a patient who is pregnant with this medication on a patient specific option only. Inform your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while taking this medication.

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