Log in »

Thalidomide (tha LI doe mide)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Thalomid

Brand Names: Canada

Thalomid

Warning

  • Do not take this drug if you are pregnant. Use during pregnancy may cause birth defects or loss of the unborn baby. If you get pregnant while taking this drug or within 4 weeks after care ends, call your doctor right away.
  • You must have 2 pregnancy tests that show you are NOT pregnant before starting this drug. You must have pregnancy tests done while taking this drug. Talk with your doctor.
  • Use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust for at least 4 weeks before care begins, during care, and for at least 4 weeks after care ends.
  • The chance of blood clots in your veins or lungs may be raised with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have any chest pain or pressure; coughing up blood; shortness of breath; or pain, warmth, or swelling of the legs or arms.
  • You may only get this drug from the Thalomid REMS™ program.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat multiple myeloma.
  • It is used to treat skin signs of leprosy.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to thalidomide or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing stairs.
  • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • Do not donate blood while using this drug and for 1 month after stopping.
  • If you touch a broken capsule, or the drug inside the capsule, wash the area with soap and water.
  • 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.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • Avoid alcohol or other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • This drug may cause nerve problems. Most of the time, nerve problems have happened after long-term use over a few months. Nerve problems have also happened after short-term use. Signs of nerve problems may happen some time after care has stopped. The signs may go away slowly or may not go away at all. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Do not touch capsules if you are pregnant or of childbearing age.
  • Certain drugs may cause birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control to not work. Be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all drugs you take. You will need to see if you need to use other forms of birth control while taking this drug.
  • If you have sex without using 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust, if you think you may be pregnant, or if you miss your period, call your doctor right away.
  • If you are a man and have sex with a pregnant female or a female who can get pregnant, always use a latex or synthetic condom during sex. Do this even if you have had a vasectomy. Use a latex or synthetic condom during care, during any breaks in care, and for at least 4 weeks after care ends.
  • If you are a man and have unprotected sex with a female who is or could get pregnant, or your female partner gets pregnant, call your doctor right away.
  • If you are a man, do not donate sperm while using this drug and for 1 month after stopping.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Seizures.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Fast or slow heartbeat.
  • Signs of low calcium levels like muscle cramps or spasms, numbness and tingling, or seizures.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Patients with cancer who take this drug may be at greater risk of getting a bad and sometimes deadly health problem called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). Call your doctor right away if you have a fast heartbeat or a heartbeat that does not feel normal; any passing out; trouble passing urine; muscle weakness or cramps; upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools or not able to eat; or feel sluggish.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • The chance of heart attack or stroke due to blood clots may be raised. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of heart attack like chest pain that may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach; sweating that is not normal; or feeling sick or throwing up. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of stroke like change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other; eyesight, speech, or balance problems; change in thinking clearly and with logic; or very bad headache.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Swelling.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Not hungry.
  • Dry skin.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Anxiety.
  • Shakiness.
  • Weight loss.
  • Weight gain.
  • Change in sex ability.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
  • Take with water at bedtime at least 1 hour after the evening meal.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • Wear gloves when touching this drug.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If it has been less than 12 hours since a normal dose, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it and go back to your normal time.
  • If it has been 12 hours or more since the missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store in the original container at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.