Thalidomide

Description

Thalidomide is used to treat a type of blood cancer known as multiple myeloma. It is also used to treat a complication of leprosy characterized by symptoms such as painful nodules or plaques on the skin, fever, tiredness, arthritis, etc. (erythema nodosum leprosum). This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women due to the increased risk of harmful effects on the unborn baby.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Thalidomide

  • Decrease in white blood cells and platelets
  • Dizziness and Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Skin rash
  • Decreased heartbeat

Uses of Thalidomide

What is it prescribed for?

  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Erythema Nodosum Leprosum
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The amount of time required for this medicine to show its action is not clinically established.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Consumption of alcohol is not recommended during treatment with this medicine due to the increased risk of side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, difficulty in concentrating, etc. It is advised that you do not perform any activities that require high mental alertness such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you consume alcohol during treatment with this medicine.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women due to the increased risk of serious adverse effects on the unborn baby including the absence of arms and legs.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding for a specific period of time or prescribe an alternative medicine based on your clinical condition.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to thalidomide or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women due to the increased risk of harmful effects on the unborn baby.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women due to the increased risk of serious adverse effects on the unborn baby including the absence of arms and legs.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding for a specific period of time or prescribe an alternative medicine based on your clinical condition.
General warnings

Driving or operating machinery

This medicine may cause symptoms such as drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, muscle weakness, etc. in some patients. It is advised that you do not perform any activities such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you experience any of these symptoms during treatment with this medicine.

Heart Attack

This medicine should be used with extreme caution due to an increase in the risk of a heart attack. This risk is especially higher in patients with known risk factors of a heart attack. Close monitoring of heart function and vital signs is recommended for such patients. Replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Peripheral neuropathy

This medicine should be used with extreme caution due to the increased risk of peripheral neuropathy, a condition associated with symptoms such as tingling, numbness, unusual sensations, weakness, burning pain, etc. Close monitoring for signs/symptoms of neuropathy monthly for the first 3 months of therapy and regularly thereafter is recommended during treatment with this medicine. Appropriate patient/caregiver counseling, corrective measures, dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Contraception and sexual intercourse

Female patients of child-bearing potential should always use at least 2 methods of reliable birth control to avoid pregnancy during treatment with this medicine. Contraception must begin at least 4 weeks prior to beginning therapy and continue for at least 4 weeks after discontinuation of therapy. Male patients receiving this medicine should always use a latex or synthetic condom during any sexual contact with females of child-bearing potential while taking this medicine and for up to 28 days after discontinuation of therapy.

Use in children

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients less than 18 years of age since the safety and efficacy of use are not clinically established. However, your doctor may prescribe this medicine if the benefits significantly outweigh the risks.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed one.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

N/A

Instructions

Consumption of alcohol is not recommended during treatment with this medicine due to the increased risk of side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, difficulty in concentrating, etc. It is advised that you do not perform any activities that require high mental alertness such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you consume alcohol during treatment with this medicine.
Interaction with Medicine

Live attenuated vaccines and related products

Clozapine

Ethinyl Estradiol

Cyclophosphamide

Disease interactions

Disease

Information not available.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take this medicine exactly as instructed by the doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts than prescribed. Your dose is likely to change during the course of treatment based on your clinical condition and therapeutic response. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor immediately. Ensure that the treatment course is completed. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor.
Miscelleneous

To be taken after food

To be taken at bedtime only

May cause sleepiness

How it works
This medicine strengthens the immune system and blocks the actions of certain chemicals in the body that are responsible for causing multiple myeloma and complications of leprosy (erythema nodosum leprosum).
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Immunomodulatory Agents, Leprostatics, Miscellaneous antineoplastics

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 28 July 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/6317#PREGNANCY

[Internet]. Ebs.tga.gov.au. 2018 [cited 28 July 2018]. Available from:

https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2010-PI-03581-3

[Internet]. Bad.org.uk. 2018 [cited 28 July 2018]. Available from:

http://www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=3451&itemtype=document

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Information on this page was last updated on 10 Aug 2018

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.