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Alimta (Pemetrexed Disodium) - Drug Interactions, Contraindications, Overdosage, etc



Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Although ibuprofen (400 mg four times a day) can decrease the clearance of pemetrexed, it can be administered with ALIMTA in patients with normal renal function (creatinine clearance ≥80 mL/min). No dose adjustment of ALIMTA is needed with concomitant NSAIDs in patients with normal renal function [see Clinical Pharmacology].

Caution should be used when administering NSAIDs concurrently with ALIMTA to patients with mild to moderate renal insufficiency (creatinine clearance from 45 to 79 mL/min). NSAIDs with short elimination half-lives (e.g., diclofenac, indomethacin) should be avoided for a period of 2 days before, the day of, and 2 days following administration of ALIMTA.

In the absence of data regarding potential interaction between ALIMTA and NSAIDs with longer half-lives (e.g., meloxicam, nabumetone), patients taking these NSAIDs should interrupt dosing for at least 5 days before, the day of, and 2 days following ALIMTA administration. If concomitant administration of NSAIDs is necessary, patients should be monitored closely for toxicity, especially myelosuppression, renal, and gastrointestinal toxicity.

Nephrotoxic Drugs

ALIMTA is primarily eliminated unchanged renally as a result of glomerular filtration and tubular secretion. Concomitant administration of nephrotoxic drugs could result in delayed clearance of ALIMTA. Concomitant administration of substances that are also tubularly secreted (e.g., probenecid) could potentially result in delayed clearance of ALIMTA.


There have been few cases of ALIMTA overdose. Reported toxicities included neutropenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, mucositis, and rash. Anticipated complications of overdose include bone marrow suppression as manifested by neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia. In addition, infection with or without fever, diarrhea, and mucositis may be seen. If an overdose occurs, general supportive measures should be instituted as deemed necessary by the treating physician.

In clinical trials, leucovorin was permitted for CTC Grade 4 leukopenia lasting ≥3 days, CTC Grade 4 neutropenia lasting ≥3 days, and immediately for CTC Grade 4 thrombocytopenia, bleeding associated with Grade 3 thrombocytopenia, or Grade 3 or 4 mucositis. The following intravenous doses and schedules of leucovorin were recommended for intravenous use: 100 mg/m2, intravenously once, followed by leucovorin, 50 mg/m2, intravenously every 6 hours for 8 days.

The ability of ALIMTA to be dialyzed is unknown.


ALIMTA is contraindicated in patients who have a history of severe hypersensitivity reaction to pemetrexed.


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  2. OSHA Technical Manual, TED 1-0.15A, Section VI: Chapter 2. Controlling Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Drugs. OSHA, 1999. http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_vi/otm_vi_2.html
  3. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. ASHP guidelines on handling hazardous drugs. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2006; 63:1172-1193.
  4. Polovich, M., White, J. M., & Kelleher, L. O. (eds.) 2005. Chemotherapy and biotherapy guidelines and recommendations for practice (2nd. ed.) Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society.

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