The text only version may be available in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call emc accessibility on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PLGB14895/0231.
Alimta 100mg/500mg powder for concentrate for solution for infusion
ALIMTA® 100 mg powder for concentrate for solution for infusion
ALIMTA® 500 mg powder for concentrate for solution for infusion
1. What ALIMTA is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you use ALIMTA
3. How to use ALIMTA
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store ALIMTA
6. Contents of the pack and other information
ALIMTA is a medicine used in the treatment of cancer.
ALIMTA is given in combination with cisplatin, another anti-cancer medicine, as treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the lining of the lung, to patients who have not received prior chemotherapy.
ALIMTA is also given in combination with cisplatin for the initial treatment of patients with advanced stage of lung cancer.
Alimta can be prescribed to you if you have lung cancer at an advanced stage if your disease has responded to treatment or it remains largely unchanged after initial chemotherapy.
ALIMTA is also a treatment for patients with advanced stage of lung cancer whose disease has progressed after other initial chemotherapy has been used.
Talk to your doctor or hospital pharmacist before receiving ALIMTA.
If you currently have or have previously had problems with your kidneys, talk to your doctor or hospital pharmacist as you may not be able to receive ALIMTA.
Before each infusion you will have samples of your blood taken to evaluate if you have sufficient kidney and liver function and to check that you have enough blood cells to receive ALIMTA. Your doctor may decide to change the dose or delay treating you depending on your general condition and if your blood cell counts are too low. If you are also receiving cisplatin, your doctor will make sure that you are properly hydrated and receive appropriate treatment before and after receiving cisplatin to prevent vomiting.
If you have had or are going to have radiation therapy, please tell your doctor, as there may be an early or late radiation reaction with ALIMTA.
If you have been recently vaccinated, please tell your doctor, as this can possibly cause bad effects with ALIMTA.
If you have heart disease or a history of heart disease, please tell your doctor.
If you have an accumulation of fluid around your lungs, your doctor may decide to remove the fluid before giving you ALIMTA.
This medicine should not be used in children or adolescents, since there is no experience with this medicine in children and adolescents under 18 years of age.
Please tell your doctor if you are taking any medicine for pain or inflammation (swelling), such as medicines called “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” (NSAIDs), including medicines purchased without a doctor’s prescription (such as ibuprofen). There are many sorts of NSAIDs with different durations of activity. Based on the planned date of your infusion of ALIMTA and/or on the status of your kidney function, your doctor needs to advise you on which medicines you can take and when you can take them. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of your medicines are NSAIDs.
Please tell your doctor or hospital pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.
If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, tell your doctor. The use of ALIMTA should be avoided during pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss with you the potential risk of taking ALIMTA during pregnancy. Women must use effective contraception during treatment with ALIMTA and for 6 months after receiving the last dose.
If you are breast-feeding, tell your doctor.
Breast-feeding must be discontinued during treatment with ALIMTA.
Men are advised not to father a child during and up to 3 months following treatment with ALIMTA and should therefore use effective contraception during treatment with ALIMTA and for up to 3 months afterwards. If you would like to father a child during the treatment or in the 3 months following receipt of treatment, seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist. ALIMTA can affect your ability to have children. Talk to your doctor to seek advice about sperm storage before starting your therapy.
ALIMTA may make you feel tired. Be careful when driving a car or using machines.
ALIMTA 100 mg powder for concentrate for solution for infusion
This medicine contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per vial, that is to say essentially ‘sodium-free’.
ALIMTA 500 mg powder for concentrate for solution for infusion
This medicine contains 54 mg sodium (main component of cooking/table salt) in each vial. This is equivalent to 2.7 % of the recommended maximum daily dietary intake of sodium for an adult.
The dose of ALIMTA is 500 milligrams for every square metre of your body’s surface area. Your height and weight are measured to work out the surface area of your body. Your doctor will use this body surface area to work out the right dose for you. This dose may be adjusted, or treatment may be delayed depending on your blood cell counts and on your general condition. A hospital pharmacist, nurse or doctor will have mixed the ALIMTA powder with 9 mg/ml (0.9 %) sodium chloride solution for injection before it is given to you.
You will always receive ALIMTA by infusion into one of your veins. The infusion will last approximately 10 minutes.
When using ALIMTA in combination with cisplatin:
The doctor or hospital pharmacist will work out the dose you need based on your height and weight. Cisplatin is also given by infusion into one of your veins, and is given approximately 30 minutes after the infusion of ALIMTA has finished. The infusion of cisplatin will last approximately 2 hours.
You should usually receive your infusion once every 3 weeks.
Corticosteriods: your doctor will prescribe you steroid tablets (equivalent to 4 milligram of dexamethasone twice a day) that you will need to take on the day before, on the day of, and the day after ALIMTA treatment. This medicine is given to you to reduce the frequency and severity of skin reactions that you may experience during your anticancer treatment.
Vitamin supplementation: your doctor will prescribe you oral folic acid (vitamin) or a multivitamin containing folic acid (350 to 1000 micrograms) that you must take once a day while you are taking ALIMTA. You must take at least 5 doses during the seven days before the first dose of ALIMTA. You must continue taking the folic acid for 21 days after the last dose of ALIMTA. You will also receive an injection of vitamin B12 (1000 micrograms) in the week before administration of ALIMTA and then approximately every 9 weeks (corresponding to 3 courses of ALIMTA treatment). Vitamin B12 and folic acid are given to you to reduce the possible toxic effects of the anticancer treatment.
If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
You must contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
Side effects with ALIMTA may include:
Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people)
Pharyngitis (a sore throat)
Low number of neutrophil granulocytes (a type of white blood cell)
Low white blood cells
Low haemoglobin level
Pain, redness, swelling or sores in your mouth
Loss of appetite
Abnormal blood tests showing reduced functionality of kidneys
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
Fever with low number of neutrophil granulocytes (a type of white blood cell)
Low platelet count
Loss of body fluids
Damage to the motor nerves which may cause muscle weakness and atrophy (wasting) primary in the arms and legs)
Damage to the sensory nerves that may cause lost of sensation, burning pain and unsteady gait
Inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white of the eye
Dryness of the conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white of the eye) and cornea (the clear layer in front of the iris and pupil.
Swelling of the eyelids
Eye disorder with dryness, tearing, irritation, and/or pain
Cardiac Failure (Condition that affects the pumping power of your heart muscles)
Irregular heart rhythm
Liver: increases in the chemicals in the blood made by the liver
Increased skin pigmentation
Rash on the body where each mark resembles a bullseye
Kidney stop working
Reduced functionality of kidney
Excess fluid in body tissue, causing swelling
Inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract
Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
Reduction in the number of red,white blood cells and platelets
Type of stroke when an artery to the brain is blocked
Bleeding inside the skull
Angina (Chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart)
Narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries
Increased heart rythm
Deficient blood distribution to the limbs
Blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs
Inflammation and scarring of the lining of the lungs with breathing problems
Passage of bright red blood from the anus
Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
Inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus
Inflammation of the lining of the large bowel, which may be accompanied by intestinal or rectal bleeding (seen only in combination with cisplatin)
Inflammation, edema, erythema, and erosion of the mucosal surface of the esophagus caused by radiation therapy
Inflammation of the lung caused by radiation therapy
Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
Destruction of red blood cells
Anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction)
Inflammatory condition of the liver
Redness of the skin
Skin rash that develops throughout a previously irradiated area
Very rare (affect up to 1 of 10 000 people)
Infections of skin and soft tissues
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a type of severe skin and mucous membranes reaction that may be life threatening)
Toxic epidermal necrolysis (a type of severe skin reaction that may be life threatening)
Autoimmune disorder that results in skin rashes and blistering on the legs, arms, and abdomen
Inflammation of the skin characterized by the presence of bullae which are filled with fluid
Skin fragility, blisters and erosions and skin scarring
Redness, pain and swelling mainly of the lower limbs
Inflammation of the skin and fat beneath the skin (pseudocellulitis)
Inflammation of the skin (dermatitis)
Skin to become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough
Intensely itchy spots
Not known: frequency cannot be estimated from the available data
Form of diabetes primarily due to pathology of the kidney
Disorder of the kidneys involving the death of tubular epithelial cells that form the renal tubules
You might have any of these symptoms and/or conditions. You must tell your doctor as soon as possible when you start experiencing any of these side effects.
If you are concerned about any side effects, talk to your doctor.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme, website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the vial label and carton.
This medicine does not require any special storage conditions.
Reconstituted and Infusion Solutions: The product should be used immediately. When prepared as directed, chemical and physical in-use stability of reconstituted and infusion solutions of pemetrexed were demonstrated for 24 hours at refrigerated temperature.
This medicine is for single use only; any unused solution must be disposed of in accordance with local requirement.
The active substance is pemetrexed.
ALIMTA 100 mg: Each vial contains 100 milligrams of pemetrexed (as pemetrexed disodium).
ALIMTA 500 mg: Each vial contains 500 milligrams of pemetrexed (as pemetrexed disodium).
After reconstitution, the solution contains 25 mg/ml of pemetrexed. Further dilution by a healthcare provider is required prior to administration.
The other ingredients are mannitol, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide.
ALIMTA is a powder for concentrate for solution for infusion in a vial. It is a white to either light yellow or green-yellow lyophilised powder.
It is available in packs of 1 vial.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
For any information about this medicine, please contact the local representative of the Marketing Authorisation Holder.
This leaflet was last revised in August 2022.