Patients taking trimetrexate will have their blood monitored regularly to check for the development of myelosuppression. Myelosuppression is a condition where a patient's bone marrow makes fewer blood cells and platelets than normal. As a result of this condition, patients have an increased risk of infection, may bleed more, and may experience symptoms of anemia. Trimetrexate may also cause damage to the kidneys and the liver. Some patients also experience nausea and vomiting, and may develop a rash or inflammation and sores in their mouths. Taking leucovorin with trimetrexate helps to reduce or eliminate the risk of experiencing many of these side effects.
Trimetrexate is known to interact with several other drugs. Some antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) and fluconazole (Diflucan) interfere with the way the body breaks down trimetrexate. The antibiotic erythromycin also has this effect. Patients taking these drugs will be monitored carefully. The toxic effects of trimetrexate
can be increased by other drugs. Patients should therefore tell their doctor about any medication they are taking whether it is prescription or over the counter.
Alison McTavish, M.S.
—A drug used to protect healthy cells from toxic chemotherapy.
—A condition where the bone marrow makes fewer blood cells and platelets than normal.
Alison McTavish M.S., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,