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Alimta Side Effects

Michael Lewis

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First, thanks to those who brought happy support after my previous Alimta post.

Friday and Saturday went well, and I was actually thinking that maybe no side effects! Sunday changed that with very bad nausea, headache, vomiting. Until this morning, (Wed) have not been able to keep anything down. Finally changed nausea meds from Compazine to Lorazepam. Waves of nausea are mostly gone and my morning banana feels like it's gonna stay.

Overall impression?...if it gets no worse than this, It was a good choice, and I can tolerate a few miserable days over the long haul.


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Hi Michael

Glad to hear that the Alimta was tolerable. I have been on it for 7 cycles as I stated in your original post - has been fairly easy on me altho the fatigue and SOB gets a little worse each time.

I have never had any nausea with Alimta except when a new doc changed my anti-nausea "cocktail". After putting me back on my old reliable, I have had no problems again. You might want to talk to your onc about possibly giving you something else at the time of the infusion - never know - it might work better.

Wishing you continued success with the Alimta - please keep us posted.

Hugs - Patti B.

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Wow, Michael, that doesn't sound like much fun at all! Glad the Lorazepam (Ativan) is helping you rejoin the human race. I was prescribed Ativan when I started my Taxol/Carbo/Avastin program and told to take it for 3 or 4 days starting the first day after infusion "whether I needed it or not." Since I never had any tendency toward nausea I quit taking it after the 2nd cycle. I know some people have had considerable dependency and withdrawal issues with it, but according to the literature that shouldn't happen if it's used for less than a week at a time.

Thanks for the update, and keep 'em coming! Aloha,


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Hi Michael~

John tolerated Alimta pretty well in the beginning but he had problems as each treatment went on. He had terrible fatigue and just felt worse after each one. He had to get the shots to bring up his blood counts. He didn't have much nausea but it was hard on his appetite. He finally told the doctor he needed a break before the last treatment and that helped tremendously. He had a few weeks to feel better and handled the last one just fine-- so if you need some time ask for it, don't run yourself down.


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May I suggest our tried and true method? My husband and I watched the clock the day of any of his infusions and mentally noted the hour span until the first anti-nausea pill should be taken. (Like compazine every six hours. Pre-treatment infusion at 1:00 would mean compazine at 7:00pm)

He never had a bit of nausea and we followed this with every infusion. Some folks need a little more of a tweak with the actual med, like Kytril or Zofran. We also continued the anti-nausea for 5 days initially with each new treatment. We then would begin cutting it back to less days as we felt more sure that nausea wasn't going to be an issue.

Just like pain, it is best to stay ahead of the nausea. It's harder to get rid of once it happens.

Good luck.


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Hi Mike,

I noticed that wewere both diagnosed in March 2004 - Almost 4 years from that horrible diagnosis.

I hate to hear about people feeling nauseated. I swear that Zofran worked miracles for me. The drug is pretty expensive so they don't like to prescribe it much but if you still are struggling, maybe give it a try.

My fingers are crossed that the alimta remains tolerable and it works its magic.


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