Alimta: learn more about medication, dosage and prices

The lung cancer is a disease that usually is diagnosed in people over 50 years old and already in advanced stages.

According to the INCA, in addition to smoking , it can be triggered by other factors, such as exposure to air pollution, recurrent lung infections, vitamin A deficiency and excess, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( pulmonary emphysema and chronic bronchitis ), genetic factors and family history of lung cancer .

For the treatment of the problem, one of the medications used is Alimta. See more information about it:

What is Alimta?

Alimta is the trade name of the active ingredient Pemetrexede disodium – chemotherapy – medicine administered intravenously (applied in the vein) and used to treat some types of lung cancer.

It is also used as an alternative if other types of chemotherapy have not worked.

The drug is manufactured by Eli Lilly – a pharmaceutical company – and is a reference medication, that is, it is the first medication based on the active principle to be registered.

What is the medicine Alimta for?

Alimta is used to treat lung cancer at different stages. It is used in cases of cancers that cannot be removed with surgery and also as initial chemotherapy in cases of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

For cases of malignant pleural mesothelioma – malignant tumor – that cannot be removed by surgery, Alimta must be used together with Cisplatin – a drug to fight tumors.

As an initial chemotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, use should also be made in combination with Cisplatin.

In cases of treatment of this type of cancer when there has been previous chemotherapy, it is recommended to use Alimta as an isolated agent.

Is Alimta chemotherapy?

-Yeah . Alimta is a chemotherapy, which is a type of systemic treatment for cancer that uses drugs to destroy the cells that make up the tumor.

In general, chemotherapy medications can be administered orally (tablets) or injected, in addition to being able to be used topically (creams, for example). This depends on each substance and each disease to be treated.

After administration, the substances reach the blood and are carried throughout the body.

What is Cisplatin in chemotherapy?

Cisplatin is an antineoplastic agent – a drug used to fight tumors. It works by destroying and inhibiting the proliferation of diseased cells that cause cancer. It is administered intravenously (into the vein) and the application must be performed by a qualified professional.

The drug is used in conjunction with other drugs, such as Alimta, in some types of the disease.

In this case, it helps to fight sick cells that promote the multiplication of lung cancer tumors.

What are the dosages of Alimta?

According to the package insert, the recommended dose of Alimta is 500mg / m², which must be administered into the vein for 10 minutes, with a 21-day interval between applications.

For cases of use in conjunction with the drug Cisplatin, it is indicated to use 75mg / m² of the substance, administered in the vein for, generally, a period of 2 hours, 30 minutes after the application of Alimta, which may vary according to the indication.

Despite the indications, it is necessary to follow the instructions recommended by the responsible physician.

The product should be administered only by trained professionals, in hospital facilities.

What are the side effects of the medication?

Like other medicines, Alimta can cause side effects. In general, the most common ones with isolated use are:

  • Skin peeling;
  • Fatigue;
  • Itch;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Spots on the skin;
  • Changes in kidney enzymes;
  • Swelling;
  • Dizziness;
  • Rise from lacrimação.

It is worth mentioning that each organism can react differently to the treatment. That way, not all people will necessarily experience all the side effects.

Price and where to find?

The Alimta can be found in physical and online pharmacies, with white prescription – when there is no revenue retention.

It is a high-cost drug, available in the following presentations:

The Alimta 100mg vial with 10mL  has a cost of approximately R $ 1,660 to R $ 1,974 *.

Already Alimta 500 mg vial with 50 ml can be found with an average price of R $ R $ 7,827 to $ 9,870 *.

Patients who have a medical prescription to use the medication and are unable to purchase the medication can request free access to the drug in court.

For that, it is necessary to open a judicial process, presenting documents such as medical report, exams, application and budget in three different pharmacies.

For the realization of the quotation, it is possible to obtain assistance in advising on the quotation of high-cost medications , which makes a personalized quote in a simple and easy way.

* Prices consulted in November 2019. Prices may change.

Are you generic?

Yes. Alimta has generic drugs, those formed by the same substance as the reference drug, but which are not sold under the trade name.

Among them are:

  • Glenmark Disodium Pemetrexede ;
  • Accord Farma Disodium Pemetrexede ;
  • Pemetrexede Disódico Blau .

The generic version has proven effects, however, it is important to talk to the responsible doctor about the use of the non-reference medication.


Lung cancer is a common disease, with more than 150 thousand cases per year in Brazil.

Its causes are varied and the problem may be related to smoking, secondhand smoke or even family history.

For the treatment of this disease, there are medications like Alimta.

The Healthy Minute brings other complete contents on diseases and medicines . Check out!

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