Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Leukemia & Lymphoma

Font Size

Thalidomide OK'd for Multiple Myeloma

FDA Approves Thalidomide With Strict Rules to Prevent Birth Defects
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 26, 2006 -- The FDA has approved thalidomide -- a drug known to cause severe birth defects -- to help treat newly diagnosed multiple myelomamultiple myeloma, a cancercancer of the bone marrow.

Thalidomide was approved for use in combination with another drug, dexamethasone, for multiple myeloma. Thalidomide will be sold under the name Thalomid by Celgene Corporation. The drug will come in capsules in doses of 50 milligrams, 100 milligrams, and 200 milligrams.

The FDA had previously approved thalidomide -- with strict rules to help prevent birth defects -- to treat debilitating and disfiguring skin sores associated with erythema nodosum leprosum, an inflammatory complication of leprosy.

Those strict rules are also in place for Thalomid's use in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

"If thalidomide is taken during pregnancypregnancy, it can cause severe birth defects or death to an unborn baby," states the drug's warning label. "Thalidomide should never be used by women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant while taking the drug," the label continues.

Thalidomide also carries the risk of potentially dangerous clots in the veins, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolismpulmonary embolism. DVT are clots in the deep veins of the legs. Pulmonary embolism is a clot that travels through the bloodstream to the lungs.

Today on WebMD

stem cells
What are they and why do we need them?
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Do you know the symptoms?
Vitamin D
New Treatments For Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
Pets Improve Your Health