Lenalidomide (Oral route)
Fetal Risk: Lenalidomide, a thalidomide analogue, caused limb abnormalities in a developmental monkey study similar to birth defects caused by thalidomide in humans. If lenalidomide is used during pregnancy, it may cause birth defects or death to a developing baby. Pregnancy must be excluded before start of treatment. Prevent pregnancy during treatment by the use of 2 reliable methods of contraception. Lenalidomide is available only under a restricted distribution program called REVLIMID REMS(TM). Hematologic Toxicity: Lenalidomide can cause significant neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. For patients with del 5q myelodysplastic syndromes, monitor CBC weekly for the first 8 weeks of therapy and monthly thereafter. DVT and Pulmonary Embolism: Significantly increased risk of DVT and PE in patients with multiple myeloma receiving lenalidomide with dexamethasone .
Uses of This Medicine:
Lenalidomide is used to treat anemia (low red blood cells) in patients with a certain type of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Patients MDS may have very low red blood cell counts and require blood transfusions.
Lenalidomide is also used together with dexamethasone to treat multiple myeloma (plasma cell cancer) in patients who have received at least one previous treatment with another medicine.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription. The Revlimid® product is only available under a restricted distribution program. You will have to read and sign papers that explain how the medicine is used when you pick up your prescription.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, lenalidomide is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:
Before Using This Medicine:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of lenalidomide in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of lenalidomide in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have blood clotting problems, heart rhythm problem (e.g., atrial fibrillation), and kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving this medicine.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems—
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine:
Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Also, do not stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor.
This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Swallow the capsule whole. Do not break, chew, or open it. If you accidentally open the capsule and have contact with the powder, wash your skin with soap and clear water. If the medicine gets into your eyes, nose, or mouth, rinse them with water.
Take this medicine at the same time each day.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
If you missed your dose and it has been more than 12 hours, go ahead and skip your dose and wait until your next regular dose.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using This Medicine:
It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you are using this medicine to see if it is working properly and to allow for a change in the dose. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects. Keep all appointments with your doctor for the tests.
You should take the necessary precautions to avoid pregnancy while taking lenalidomide. Use one highly effective form of birth control (e.g., pills, implants, patch, IUD) plus an additional effective form of birth control (e.g., latex condom, cervical cap, diaphragm) at the same time, if abstinence is not the chosen method. Begin this 4 weeks before starting lenalidomide and continue it for 4 weeks after stopping the medicine.
Your doctor will want to see you every 4 weeks for pregnancy tests if you have a regular menstrual cycle, and every 2 weeks if you have an irregular cycle.
For male patients:
Call your doctor or 1-888-668-2528 for emergency contraception information if you think you are pregnant or, for males, if you think that your sexual partner may be pregnant.
Do not donate blood while taking lenalidomide.
You should not share this medicine with anyone, even if someone else has similar symptoms.
This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
This medicine may increase your risk of having blood clotting problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms while taking this medicine: anxiety, chest pain, fainting, fast heartbeat, sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing, or pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg.
Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
Lenalidomide may cause a serious type of reaction called tumor lysis syndrome. Your doctor may give you a medicine to help prevent this. Call your doctor right away if you have a decrease or change in urine amount, joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, lower back, side, or stomach pain, a rapid weight gain, swelling of the feet or lower legs, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of liver problems, such as dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, or yellow skin or eyes.
This medicine may increase your risk of getting certain cancers (e.g., acute myelogenous leukemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma). Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Side Effects of This Medicine:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Updated: 6/13/2013
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