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Have you taken Alimta?


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If you are currently taking or have taken Alimta, you know that the constipation it can cause is a primary side-effect. I have been taking Alimta for over a year and it has taken me until recently to find the routine that works best for me. Ducalox and Senacot either gave me diarrhea or horrific cramping. I finally settled on Miralax. I take a full dose the day of my infusion and half doses for the next four days. I also take collace daily. This routine seems to work to keep my bowels moving regularly without diarrhea. The only problem is I'm having increasing problems with naseau, gas and headaches. This particular problem predates my cancer dx by a considerable amount of time but this time it's really persistent. Not only is it physically distressing, but since the radiologists are saying they think they see something troubling in my abdomen, it is emotionally distressing as well.

Three oncologists and my PCP do not think there is an abdomial problem and I've decided to go with them. You can see, however, that when I am having this intestinal distress, it's hard not to have my faith that I'm o.k. shaken. Also, I've never been having the problem when I see a doctor so I really haven't told them all about it. So, help me out here, anyone who has been on Alimta, have you had intestinal distress as I've described as a result of the Alimta or the laxatives you have/had to take? It's been a week now and this time seems the worst ever.

Any relevant input would be GREATLY appreciated.

Judy in KW

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Hi, KW Judy! Glad your Miralax routine is working for you — that's a major accomplishment, as you've been having trouble finding a balance for a good while. But since your nausea/gas/headache problems started before cancer ever came into the picture, then the return of those problems probably doesn't have any connection with cancer, except that the stress of long-term chemo may allow issues which have been lying just under the surface for a while to break through into the open. That happened to me with my longtime skin problems.

For me, the main side effect of Alimta was random swelling here and there, right leg then left leg then cheeks (the ones on my face!) then left arm and back and forth. I was sent for ultrasound on three occasions looking for blood clots (negative) and for an echocardiogram looking for heart insufficiency (negative), and this persisted for the entire year I was on Alimta. Now that I'm off Alimta there's no more swelling except for what was already there before I got cancer. During my later months on Alimta I did start to get a slightly nauseated or out-of-sorts feeling 2 or 3 days after each infusion, but a Compazine tablet was always able to fix that within a half hour.

About the headaches, how's your caffeine intake? I'm pretty sure I've told this story before, but bottom line, when I cut out caffeine completely (even switching to no-caffeine Pepsi for my daily soda) to reduce heartburn problems, the frequent morning headaches which have been part of my life forever suddenly went away. That was a total surprise, but a very welcome one. Aloha,


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Thanks Ned. I gave up coffee about a year ago but do give in to an occasional cup when I need to get going lol. These headaches are a particular variety that only come paired with nausea. But thanks for helping talk me down. Becky also threw in the matter of allergies and a lightbulb went on. I've been abusing dairy which I am not supposed to ingest. Oh well, no more peach ice cream, sour cream dip or Stan's fabulous mac and cheese. I'm going cold turkey on dairy.

Judy in KW :mrgreen: Had to edit and put in Mr Green, Dominick said.

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