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The Food and Drug Administration department approved of Alimta recently as an effective measure for treating malignant pleural mesothelioma – a rare form of carcinoma of the mesothelium lining (in the lungs or abdomen or heart) brought forth by asbestos exposure. It requires to be administered with Cisplatin, another medicine for treating cancer. Alimta blocks specific enzymes that accelerate the growth of the cancerous tumors. Thus, if someone thinks it to be a complete cure for malignant pleural mesothelioma, know that the drug just increases the median survival rate of cancer patients that Cisplatin alone has had provided all these years; it increased to 12.1 months per person on an average from the previous 9.3 months span.
Alimta is administered through the veins and is thus an intravenous drug. The frequency is one dose in about every 21 days. After 30 minutes of pushing Alimta, Cisplatin is infused after administering folic acid and vitamin B12 to the patient. This has been found to lower and at times, completely eliminate the side effects of Alimta. However, if you are pregnant or planning for pregnancy, stay away from the drug as it can harm substantially an embryo. The same is advised to patients
with renal disorders or the ones under non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
The most common side effects of Alimta are an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dropped platelets, leucocyte and erythrocyte count, infection, anemia, tiredness, sores in the face region, loss of appetite and rash. However, if preceded and succeeded with cortico-steroids (a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex or synthesized; administered as drugs they decrease swelling and response to the body’s immune process), Alimta treatment does not give rise to any skin reaction. In order to ensure reaction free treatment, your doctor or
physician will conduct regular blood tests prior to and after Almita treatment.