Thalomid

Generic Name: Thalidomide

  • What is Thalomid?

    Thalomid is used in combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). MM is cancer of a certain type of white blood cell called a plasma cell.

    This drug is also used to prevent, suppress, and treat moderate-to-severe erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL). ENL is an inflammatory complication of leprosy that results in painful skin lesions on the arms, legs, and face.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Thalomid?

    Thalomid should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. This drug can cause severe birth defects or death. To receive Thalomid, both men and women must enroll in the S.T.E.P.S Program (System for Thalomide Education and Prescribing Safety) to get both oral and written warnings about pregnancy. Both men and women should initiate usage of latex condoms when sexually active, to prevent pregnancy; women should be started on oral contraceptive pills, as well as have a negative pregnancy test 24 hours before beginning treatment with Thalomid. Also, Thalomid when used to treat multiple myeloma may lead to an increased risk of blood clot formation. Seek medical care if you experience shortness of breath, leg or arm swelling or pain, or chest pain, as these may be signs of a blood clot related problem.
  • Who should not take Thalomid?

    Do not take Thalomid if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Also, you must not begin therapy with this drug if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Thalomid can cause severe birth defects and even death to your unborn child.
  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Thalomid?

    Mention all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Thalomid. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing. If you have had seizures before, tell your doctor, as Thalomid may cause seizures to begin again.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Multiple Myeloma

    Adults and children 12 years and older: The usual dosage of Thalomid is given in combination with dexamethasone in 28-day treatment cycles. The dose of Thalomid is 200 milligrams (mg) administered orally once daily with water, preferably at bedtime and at least 1 hour after the evening meal. The dose of dexamethasone is 40 mg daily administered orally on Days 1-4, 9-12, and 17-20 every 28 days.

    Erythema Nodosum Leprosum

    Adults and children 12 years and older: Thalomid should be started at 100-300 mg a day, given once daily with water, preferably at bedtime and at least 1 hour after the evening meal. Patients weighing less than 110 pounds should be started at a lower dose. For more severe reactions, Thalomid may be initiated at higher doses up to 400 mg once daily. Continue with dosing until signs and symptoms of active reaction have subsided, usually a period of at least 2 weeks. Your doctor may then gradually reduce your dose in order to avoid abrupt discontinuation of the medication.

  • How should I take Thalomid?

    Thalomid should be taken with water, at least 1 hour after dinner.
  • What should I avoid while taking Thalomid?

    While taking Thalomid, avoid donating blood or sperm. Because this drug may cause sleepiness, it is best to avoid hazardous activities such as driving or operating machinery until you know how Thalomid affects you.
  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Thalomid?

    Thalomid may increase sedation if taken with barbiturates, alcohol, chlorpromazine, and reserpine.
  • What are the possible side effects of Thalomid?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects for MM patients may include: confusion, constipation, embolism, rash, trouble breathing

    Side effects for ENL patients may include: dizziness, headache, impotence, itchiness, pain, rash, sleepiness, tiredness, weakness

  • Can I receive Thalomid if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing. Thalomid should not be taken during pregnancy, as it may cause severe birth defects or even death to your unborn baby. Also, this drug may pass into breast milk.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Thalomid?

    Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose.
  • How should I store Thalomid?

    Store at room temperature and protect from light.