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Side Effects of Pemetrexed

Preventing and Reducing Side Effects of Pemetrexed

During clinical trials, researchers realized that some pemetrexed side effects could be prevented at least somewhat by taking folic acid, vitamin B12, and a corticosteroid. As a result, the following measures are usually taken to help prevent side effects:
  • You must take folic acid (as recommended by your healthcare provider) for at least 5 out of the 7 days before your pemetrexed infusion and continue until at least 21 days after your last dose.
  • You must also receive vitamin B12 injections while taking this medication. You should get your first B12 injection during the week before your first pemetrexed infusion and then once after every three doses of pemetrexed (usually about once every nine weeks for most people).
  • Your healthcare provider may choose to give you a corticosteroid medication, such as dexamethasone, to help prevent skin rashes due to pemetrexed. In most cases, the steroid is taken the day before, the day of, and the day after the infusion.

Final Thoughts

You may experience some or none of the side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have problems with a medicine that you have never tried.
Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any adverse reactions while taking this medication. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you develop something that "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effects of pemetrexed, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
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