It is very important to take folic acid and vitamin B12 during your treatment with pemetrexed to lower your chances of harmful side effects. You must start taking 400 to 1000 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day for at least 5 days out of the 7 days before your first dose of pemetrexed. You must keep taking folic acid every day during the time you are getting treatment with pemetrexed, and for 21 days after your last treatment. You can get folic acid vitamins over-the-counter. Folic acid is also found in many multivitamin pills. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for help if you are not sure how to choose a folic acid product. Your doctor will give you vitamin B12 injections while you are getting treatment with pemetrexed. You will get your first vitamin B12 injection during the week before your first dose of pemetrexed, and then about every 9 weeks during treatment.
You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
Pemetrexed is given together with certain other medicines. If you are using a combination of medicines, it is important that you receive each one at the proper time. If you are taking some of these medicines by mouth, ask your doctor to help you create a plan to take them at the right times.
Your doctor will prescribe a medicine called a corticosteroid (cortisone medicine) to take for 3 days during your treatment with pemetrexed. Corticosteroid medicines lower your chances for getting skin reactions with pemetrexed.
This medicine comes with a patient information insert. It is very important that you read and understand this information. Be sure to ask your doctor about anything you do not understand.