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Lenalidomide (LEN a-LID oh-mide)
Brand Name: Relimid
Dosage Form: oral capsule (10 mg; 15 mg; 2.5 mg; 20 mg; 25 mg; 5 mg).
Drug Classes: Miscellaneous Antineoplastics Other Immunosuppressants

What is Lenalidomide?

Lenalidomide can be used in the treatment of multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer), with or without other medicines.Lenalidomide can also be used to treat anaemia, which is a lack of blood red cells in patients who have myelodysplastic syndrome due to an abnormal chromosome. The disorder is also known as deletion 5q MDS because a part of the chromosome is missing. The bone marrow of people with this condition does not produce sufficient healthy blood cells.After other treatments have failed, lenalidomide can be used to treat mantle cell lymphoma or follicular lymphoma Lenalidomide can only be obtained through a specific program. Lenalidomide is only available under a special program. You must register for this programme and be aware of the risks and benefits. You must agree to comply with the programme's requirements for birth control.Lenalidomide can be used in other ways not mentioned in this guide.

Side effects of Lenalidomide

If you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling on your face or in your throat, or a severe reaction to the skin (fever or sore throat with burning eyes, skin rash, blistering or peeling skin, or red or purple rash), seek emergency medical attention.

Lenalidomide may cause serious side effects. If you experience:

  • Signs of a Stroke or Blood Clot: sudden numbness, weakness, or severe headache; difficulty with speech, vision, or hearing; shortness of breath; and swelling in the arm or leg.
  • Heart attack symptoms: chest pain or pressure, spreading pain to your jaw and shoulders, sweating
  • Liver problems: upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, and clay-coloured stools. Jaundice.
  • Low blood cell count—fever and chills; swollen lips, skin, or mouth sores; easy bruising.
  • Signs of an advancing tumour: swollen glands; low fever; rash or pain
  • Signs of tumour cell breakdown include: lower backache; blood in the urine; little or no urinating; numbness around your mouth; muscle weakness or tightness; feeling short of breath; confusion; and fainting.

Lenalidomide side effects may include:

  • Cold symptoms like stuffy noses, sneezing, and sore throats;
  • Sleep problems, tiredness;
  • Weakness;
  • Headache;
  • Tremors;
  • Nosebleed;
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever, cough, tiredness;
  • Itching, rash, swelling
  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and  constipation.

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. Reaching out to the FDA with reports of side effects is possible at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Never use lenalidomide if you are pregnant. Lenalidomide, even in small doses, can cause serious birth defects and death in a child if taken by either the mother or father at the time conception occurs or during pregnancy.You can prevent pregnancy whether you're a man, woman, or both. Women: Start using two types of birth control 4 weeks before starting lenalidomide, and continue for 4 weeks after stopping it. Men: Use a condom to prevent pregnancy while you are on treatment and up to four weeks after treatment is over.Lenalidomide may cause blood clots. If you experience symptoms like sudden numbness or tingling, severe headaches, difficulty with speech or vision, chest pain, shortness of breath, a bloody cough, or swelling of your arm or legs, stop using the medicine immediately and contact your doctor.

Before you take this drug

If you have an allergy to lenalidomide, then it is best not to use it.Lenalidomide may cause serious birth defects in the arms, legs, eyes, ears, faces, and hearts of babies if taken by either the mother or father at the time conception occurs or during pregnancy. Do not take lenalidomide while pregnant. If your period is delayed, tell your doctor immediately.For women, you will need to use birth control for 4 weeks prior to starting lenalidomide and then continue using it for 4 weeks following the end of your treatment. Women with fertility issues are also required to use birth control while taking lenalidomide. A negative pregnancy test is required 10–14 days prior to treatment, and then again 24 hours before. You will need to have a pregnancy check every 2 to 3 weeks while you are on lenalidomide.You must use a birth control method that has been proven to be highly effective. Examples include birth-control pills or an intrauterine device (IUD), tubal ligation, or your partner's vasectomy. You must use a barrier birth control method, such as a condom made of latex, a diaphragm, or a cervical collar.The most effective way to prevent pregnancy is by abstaining from sexual activity (abstinence).For men: A man who fathers a child while taking lenalidomide may cause birth defects in the baby. Prevent pregnancy by using a condom during treatment and up to four weeks after treatment. If you've had a vasectomie, you must still agree to use condoms even when having sexual relations with women who are able to become pregnant. If you've had sex without a condom, even once, you should contact your doctor.

Tell your doctor about any of the following:

  • Thalidoide can cause an allergic reaction.
  • Kidney disease (or dialysis if you have it);
  • Liver disease
  • A blood clot, stroke, or thrombosis
  • High cholesterol (or triglycerides)
  • A thyroid disorder
  • Lactose intolerance;
  • If you smoke

Lenalidomide can increase your risk of developing other cancers, such as lymphoma. Speak to your doctor about the specific risks you face.Lenalidomide should not be used while breastfeeding.

How to take Lenalidomide?

Read all instructions or guides that come with your medication and follow all directions. Follow the instructions on your prescription label. Lenalidomide should never be shared with anyone else, even if that person has the same condition as you.Take your medicine every day at the same time, with or without eating.Each dose should be taken with a glass of water. Swallow the capsule whole without opening it.Lenalidomide increases your risk of bleeding and infection. You will require frequent medical tests.A medicine that has been spilled from an opened capsule could be harmful if it comes into contact with your skin. In this case, you should wash your skin thoroughly with soap and warm water. You can ask your pharmacist or doctor how to safely dispose of and handle a broken capsule.Store away from heat and moisture at room temperature.

What happens if I miss the dose?

If you miss a dose, take it immediately. However, if the missed dose is more than 12 hours late, skip that dose. Never take two doses of the same medicine at once.

What happens if I overdose?

Call 1-800-222-1222 for poison help or seek immediate medical attention.

What should be avoided?

Do not expose another person to blood or semen through casual or sexual contact.

Interaction with other drug

Inform your physician if you also use pembrolizumab (Keytruda).Lenalidomide can be affected by other drugs, such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your doctor of all the medicines you are taking and those that you stop or start using.




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