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If you're starting treatment, it's never too early to ask about your options. Click to select topics of interest to you. Topics you select will be added to your discussion guide.

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What is “histology”?
Why does histology matter?
What is my histology?
What is advanced nonsquamous NSCLC?
How far along is my cancer (stage), and what does that mean for me?
Why might a continuous treatment approach be important for me?
What are the requirements for a continuous treatment approach?
What are my treatment options?
Why did you recommend this option to treat my lung cancer?
What should I expect from my treatment?
When will I know if my treatment is working?
If it’s working, how can I keep it that way for as long as possible?
What does initial therapy mean?
Is ALIMTA right for me?
What is cisplatin?
What has research shown about ALIMTA plus cisplatin?
How should I prepare for initial treatment?
How will initial treatment be given?
How should I take care of myself after initial treatment?
How will I know if my initial treatment is working?
Why do I need to take vitamin B12 shots?
Why am I taking daily folic acid supplements?
How will taking a corticosteroid help reduce my risk of side effects?
Is there anything I should avoid while taking ALIMTA?
What are the most serious side effects with ALIMTA plus cisplatin?
What are the most common side effects?
How can I work with my healthcare team to help manage side effects?
Will you use routine blood work to help monitor my side effects?
When should I call your office about my side effects?
When should I go to the emergency room because of side effects?
If I’ve already had chemotherapy, what are my treatment options?
What should I expect from my treatment this time?
What factors could affect the outlook of my disease?
What are the side effects I should be looking for?
How will my treatment be given?
Why is it important for me to think about food and nutrition?
What if I’m sick to my stomach (have nausea) and can’t eat?
What foods do you recommend for me?
Is it safe to exercise while I’m going through chemotherapy?
If I’m weak and not feeling well, are there still ways to exercise safely?
What types of exercise would you recommend for my fitness level?
Can I still go to the gym?
How can I help manage my side effects?
When should I contact my healthcare team about my side effects?
When should I go to the emergency room because of side effects?
What are the Lilly PatientOne eligibility requirements?
How do I apply for Lilly PatientOne financial assistance?
What do I need to bring to the oncologist’s office to apply?
How long does it take to get approved?
Can the Lilly PatientOne Co-pay Program help me save on my co-pay or coinsurance?
Can Lilly PatientOne help if my insurance denies coverage for ALIMTA?
What if I don’t have health insurance? Can Lilly PatientOne still help?
How could a support group help me?
What cancer support groups are nearby?
How do I find support groups online?

If you're starting treatment, it's never too early to ask about your options. Click to select topics of interest to you. Topics you select will be added to your discussion guide.

Download or email this guide to help you have better discussions with your doctor.

Select All
Can you help me understand the potential benefit of maintenance therapy?
What are the risks of maintenance therapy?
How do I meet the requirements for maintenance therapy?
When will we know if my maintenance treatment is working?
How will ALIMTA maintenance treatment be given?
How will maintenance therapy be different from my initial treatment?
How will I know if my maintenance treatment is working?
Why do I need to take vitamin B12 shots?
Why am I taking daily folic acid supplements?
How will taking a corticosteroid help reduce my risk of side effects?
Is there anything I should avoid while taking ALIMTA?
What are the most serious side effects with ALIMTA as a single agent (by itself)?
What are the most common side effects?
Will my side effects be the same as what I experienced in initial therapy with ALIMTA plus cisplatin?
How can I work with my healthcare team to help manage side effects?
Will I still need routine blood work?
When should I call your office about my side effects?
When should I go to the emergency room because of side effects?
Why is it important for me to think about food and nutrition?
What if I’m sick to my stomach (have nausea) and can’t eat?
What foods do you recommend for me?
Is it safe to exercise while I’m going through chemotherapy?
If I’m weak and not feeling well, are there still ways to exercise safely?
What types of exercise would you recommend for my fitness level?
Can I still go to the gym?
How can I help manage my side effects?
When should I contact my healthcare team about my side effects?
When should I go to the emergency room because of side effects?
What are the Lilly PatientOne eligibility requirements?
How do I apply for Lilly PatientOne financial assistance?
What do I need to bring to the oncologist’s office to apply?
How long does it take to get approved?
Can the Lilly PatientOne Co-pay Program help me save on my co-pay or coinsurance?
Can Lilly PatientOne help if my insurance denies coverage for ALIMTA?
What if I don’t have health insurance? Can Lilly PatientOne still help?
How could a support group help me?
What cancer support groups are nearby?
How do I find support groups online?

If your loved one is starting treatment, it's never too early to ask about their options. Click to select topics of interest to you. Topics you select will be added to your discussion guide.

Download or email this guide to help you have better discussions with your doctor.

Select All
Why might a continuous treatment approach be important for me?
What are the requirements for a continuous treatment approach?
What are my treatment options?
Why did you recommend this option to treat my lung cancer?
What should I expect from my treatment?
When will I know if my treatment is working?
If it’s working, how can I keep it that way for as long as possible?
What does initial therapy mean?
Is ALIMTA right for me?
What is cisplatin?
What has research shown about ALIMTA plus cisplatin?
Why do I need to take vitamin B12 shots?
Why am I taking daily folic acid supplements?
How will taking a corticosteroid help reduce my risk of side effects?
Is there anything I should avoid while taking ALIMTA?
What are the most serious side effects with ALIMTA plus cisplatin?
What are the most common side effects?
How can I work with my healthcare team to help manage side effects?
Will you use routine blood work to help monitor my side effects?
When should I call your office about my side effects?
When should I go to the emergency room because of side effects?
Why is it important for me to think about food and nutrition?
What if I’m sick to my stomach (have nausea) and can’t eat?
What foods do you recommend for me?
Is it safe to exercise while I’m going through chemotherapy?
If I’m weak and not feeling well, are there still ways to exercise safely?
What types of exercise would you recommend for my fitness level?
Can I still go to the gym?
How can I help manage my side effects?
When should I contact my healthcare team about my side effects?
When should I go to the emergency room because of side effects?
What are the Lilly PatientOne eligibility requirements?
How do I apply for Lilly PatientOne financial assistance?
What do I need to bring to the oncologist’s office to apply?
How long does it take to get approved?
Can the Lilly PatientOne Co-pay Program help me save on my co-pay or coinsurance?
Can Lilly PatientOne help if my insurance denies coverage for ALIMTA?
What if I don’t have health insurance? Can Lilly PatientOne still help?
How could a support group help me?
What cancer support groups are nearby?
How do I find support groups online?

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Indications and Important Safety Information

What Is ALIMTA® (pemetrexed for injection) Approved For?

ALIMTA® (pemetrexed for injection) is approved by the FDA in combination with cisplatin (another chemotherapy drug) for the first (initial) treatment of advanced nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a specific type of NSCLC that has spread.

ALIMTA is approved by the FDA as a single agent (used alone) for maintenance treatment of patients with advanced nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after you have received 4 cycles of chemotherapy that contains platinum for first treatment and your cancer has not progressed.

ALIMTA is approved by the FDA as a single agent (used alone) for the treatment of patients with recurrent, metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a specific type of NSCLC, which has returned or spread after prior chemotherapy.

ALIMTA is not appropriate for people who have a different type of NSCLC called squamous cell.

Important Safety Information for ALIMTA

What is the most important information that I should know about ALIMTA?

ALIMTA can cause serious side effects including:

  • Low blood cell counts. Low blood cell counts can be severe, including low white blood cell counts (neutropenia), low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia), and low red blood cell counts (anemia). Your healthcare provider will do blood test to check your blood cell counts regularly during your treatment with ALIMTA. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs of infection, fever, bleeding, or severe tiredness during your treatment with ALIMTA.
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure. ALIMTA can cause severe kidney problems that can lead to death. Severe vomiting or diarrhea can lead to loss of fluids (dehydration) which may cause kidney problems to become worse. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a decrease in amount of urine.
  • Severe skin reactions. Severe skin reactions that may lead to death can happen with ALIMTA. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you develop blisters, skin sores, skin peeling, or painful sores, or ulcers in your mouth, nose, throat or genital area.
  • Lung problems (pneumonitis). ALIMTA can cause serious lung problems that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get any new or worsening symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, or fever.
  • Radiation recall. Radiation recall is a skin reaction that can happen in people who have received radiation treatment in the past and are treated with ALIMTA. Tell your healthcare provider if you get swelling, blistering, or a rash that looks like a sunburn in an area that was previously treated with radiation.

Who should not take ALIMTA?

ALIMTA may not be appropriate for some patients. If you are allergic to pemetrexed, tell your doctor because you should not receive it. It is not known if ALIMTA is safe and effective in children.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before receiving ALIMTA?

  • Before receiving ALIMTA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions including:
    • if you have kidney problems.
    • if you have had radiation therapy.
    • if you think you are pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant as ALIMTA can harm your unborn baby.
      • Females who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control (contraception) during treatment with ALIMTA and for 6 months after the final dose. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant during treatment with ALIMTA.
      • Males with female partners who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control (contraception) during treatment with ALIMTA and for 3 months after the final dose.
    • if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, as it is not known if ALIMTA passes into breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with ALIMTA and for 1 week after the final dose.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have kidney problems and take a medicine that contains ibuprofen. You should avoid taking ibuprofen for 2 days before, the day of, and 2 days after receiving treatment with ALIMTA.

How is ALIMTA given?

  • It is very important to take folic acid by mouth and receive vitamin B12 injections from your healthcare provider during your treatment with ALIMTA to lower your risk of harmful side effects.
  • Your healthcare provider will prescribe a medicine called a corticosteroid for you to take 2 times a day for 3 days, beginning the day before each treatment with ALIMTA.
  • ALIMTA is given to you by intravenous (IV) infusion (injection) into your vein. The infusion is given over 10 minutes. You will usually receive ALIMTA once every 21 days (3 weeks).

What are the possible side effects of ALIMTA?

The most common side effects of ALIMTA when given alone are:

  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

The most common side effects of ALIMTA when given with cisplatin are:

  • Vomiting
  • Swelling or sores in your mouth or sore throat
  • Constipation
  • Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia)
  • Low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia)
  • Low red blood cell counts (anemia)

ALIMTA may cause fertility problems in males. This may affect your ability to father a child. It is not known if these effects are reversible. Talk to your healthcare provider if this is a concern for you.

Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check for side effects during treatment with ALIMTA. Your healthcare provider may change your dose of ALIMTA, delay treatment, or stop treatment if you have certain side effects. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the side effects of ALIMTA. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

ALIMTA is available by prescription only.

For more information about all of the side effects of ALIMTA, please talk with your healthcare team, see the Patient Prescribing Information and full Prescribing Information, or call 1-800-545-5979.

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