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Thalidomide

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Thalomid®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Thalomid®

    Uses
    • It is used to treat multiple myeloma.
    • It is used to treat macroglobulinemia.
    • It is used to treat graft versus host effects after a bone marrow transplant.
    • It is used to treat mouth sores.
    • It is used to treat skin signs of leprosy.
    • Thalidomide lowers the body's harmful response to diseases of the immune system.
    • It harms cancer cells causing their death.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Take with water at bedtime at least 1 hour after the evening meal.
    • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • If you are a woman of childbearing age, take a pregnancy test before starting this drug.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from light.
    • Protect from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Do not take if you are pregnant. Use during pregnancy may cause birth defects. Women must use 2 helpful kinds of birth control during care. A man must use a latex condom even if he has had a vasectomy. A written explanation of the risks must be presented, read, and signed by the patient before getting this drug. If a patient is younger than 18 years of age, this written warning must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
    • This drug may cause blood clots in your veins or lungs. Call your doctor right away if you have any chest pain, shortness of breath, or pain or swelling of the legs or arms.
    • You may only get this drug from the S.T.E.P.S.® program.
    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.
    • Please read the medication guide.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to thalidomide or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you are of childbearing age, but are not using 2 kinds of birth control or if you are planning to get pregnant during your care or within 4 weeks after care has ended.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • Do not donate blood while using this drug and for 1 month after stopping.
    • If you have HIV infection, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have seizures, talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
    • Avoid beer, wine, mixed drinks, or other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
    • Use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust before care begins, during care, and for 4 weeks after care ends.
    • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work to stop pregnancy. Use 2 kinds of birth control while taking this drug.
    • If you are a man and have sex, use a latex condom even if you have had a vasectomy.
    • If you are a man, do not donate sperm while using this drug and for 1 month after stopping.

    Side Effects

    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • Feeling tired or weak.
    • Hard stools (constipation). Drinking more liquids, working out, or adding fiber to your diet may help. Talk with your doctor about a stool softener or laxative.
    • Headache.
    • Anemia and low white blood cell count.
    • Low calcium levels.
    • Swelling.
    • Rash.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Not hungry.
    • Blood clots may rarely happen.
    • Nerve problems may happen.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Chest pain or pressure.
    • Swelling, warmth, or pain in the leg or arm.
    • Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.
    • If you think you have a blood clot.
    • Any rash.
    • For women, if you get pregnant while taking this drug.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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