Start fighting with ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) and platinum chemotherapy. Continue fighting over time with ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA.
Treatment will be given once every 21 days. This 3-week period is called a treatment cycle.
Once you’ve finished 4 cycles (about 3 months) with ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA and platinum (carboplatin or cisplatin) chemotherapy, you will stop taking platinum chemotherapy and continue to treat your cancer with ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA.
Your doctor may refer to this phase of your treatment as maintenance therapy.
You may stay on ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA for as long as your cancer remains stable or improves and you don't have any unacceptable side effects (or up to 35 cycles, about 2 years for KEYTRUDA).
Your doctor will continually monitor how you're responding and the level of your side effects to determine if you can keep taking ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA .
Additional vitamins and medicines
As a part of your treatment, you will also receive additional medications (including vitamin B12, folic acid, and corticosteroids) to help reduce your risk of certain side effects.
You must take folic acid every day by mouth beginning 7 days before your first dose of ALIMTA. You must keep taking folic acid every day during the time you are being treated with ALIMTA, and every day for 21 days after you receive your last dose of ALIMTA.
You will get your first vitamin B12 injection 1 week before your first dose of ALIMTA, and then about every 9 weeks during treatment. Do not substitute oral vitamin B12 for the vitamin B12 injection.
Your doctor will prescribe a medicine called a corticosteroid that you must take by mouth twice daily for 3 consecutive days, beginning the day before each treatment with ALIMTA, to reduce the possibility of experiencing skin-related side effects (like rash).
Talk to your doctor about your specific treatment plan and what may be best for you.
Your treatment day
On days you receive treatment, you should plan to spend a few hours at your doctor’s office or infusion center.
ALIMTA, KEYTRUDA, and a platinum chemotherapy are given through an intravenous (IV) infusion.
Each type of medicine will take a different amount of time. After 4 cycles of treatment, you will stop receiving platinum chemotherapy, which may make visits shorter in length.
Starting with ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA and platinum chemotherapy
*Your doctor will help determine if you will take cisplatin or carboplatin as your platinum chemotherapy
The most common side effects of ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA and platinum chemotherapy
In a clinical study, the most common side effects of ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA and platinum chemotherapy were:
- loss of appetite
- shortness of breath
23.0% of people who were treated with ALIMTA + KEYTRUDA and platinum chemotherapy stopped taking ALIMTA because of side effects compared to 11.4% of people who were treated with ALIMTA and platinum chemotherapy.