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Alimta and side effects


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I need someones help desperately with possible side effects from the Alimta. Last fall I began chemo on Avastin but after a small TIA my onc doc changed it to Alimta. I just had round seven (getting them every three weeks). I also get Zometa, folic acid, B12.

Initally I was getting extremely fatigued with frequent dizzy spells, to the point of needeing a wheel chair to shop or an arm for support. These symptons lasted about 16 days ... went away just in time for the next treatment. My doc reduced dosage by 25% but still the symptons persist (sometimes lasting all day) and now go away after about 8 days. I've seen a neurosurgeon, had a CT, PET, MRI and MRA scans and all seems to be okay.

The Alimta has worked very well, my brain mets, spine mets and bone mets are gone and the spot on my lung has "improved significanly" but I'm very frustrated Can anyone help.

Mary Jo

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Hi Mary Jo

I have been on Alimta for about 7 months now. The two biggest side effects are fatigue and shortness of breath. They really get to me sometimes, especially the SOB. Now the last month and a half I have been developing TERRIBLE swelling in my feet - absolutely horrid, blood red, and then they peel like a sunburn afterwards. Of course, they are always back to nomral by the time I see the doc. He told me that swelling in hands and feet are also a side effect of Alimta.

Last time I talked to the doc about the fatigue and SOB he asked if I wanted to take a break from the Alimta - of course I told him I would have to be crawling on all four to do that!!! And of course, I probably do a lot to aggravate my side effects by digging in the garden all day every day but I refuse to let it get me down.

Hang in there if you can. I know others will come along who have had worse problems with Alimta than I do. Its one of those chemo where its either a piece of cake or a problem. But you are doing so well on it and thats what counts the most!!

Hugs - Patti B.

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Hi, Mary Jo:

There's another thread on Alimta side effects that's still active here...

http://lungevity.org/l_community/viewto ... highlight=

though it's recently morphed into a discussion of ports and PICC lines. Several members are currently having some problems with Alimta, and you might have something to offer one another. Alimta is "supposed" to be more easily tolerated than, for example, Taxol and Taxotere, but that doesn't seem to be true for many people.

If you haven't already, please visit cancergrace.org (the previous onctalk.com has been folded into GRACE, Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education). There's a wealth of information there, especially on lung cancer, constantly updated by a Seattle oncologist who is an internationally-recognized expert on lung cancer and who gives high priority to promptly answering questions from people like you and me. A lot of us have "dual citizenship" so to speak, and have the same usernames there as here.



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Hi Maryjo. I am so sorry to hear about the symptoms you are experiencing. I have just started on Alimta....exactly the same as you, B12, zometa, etc. Haven't had first zometa infusion yet, that will be in between the alimta ones. I have experienced nothing yet of what you are going through. I was a bit feverish but in hindsight I don' t think that was chemo related.

Ned referred you to a chain we have going here so check that out.

I hope you start to feel better soon. I have named us a club, called Out on a Limb, for anyone who is on Alimta...so we can all share our experiences. Open to all new members.

Take care and I hope you have a great Friday.


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