Lenalidomide is very similar to thalidomide, a drug which has caused severe (possibly fatal) birth defects when used during pregnancy. If lenalidomide is taken during pregnancy, it may also cause severe (possibly fatal) birth defects. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant must not use lenalidomide. Women must have two negative pregnancy tests before starting lenalidomide (the first test 10 to 14 days before the first dose and the second test within 24 hours before the first dose). Women must also continue to have pregnancy tests regularly during treatment (every 2 to 4 weeks).
Female patients must use 2 effective forms of birth control (or completely avoid sexual intercourse) for 4 weeks before starting lenalidomide, during use, and for 4 weeks after stopping this drug. Talk to your doctor about reliable birth control choices. If your period is late or if you have irregular bleeding, or if you have sexual intercourse at any time without using 2 effective forms of birth control, stop taking this medication and contact your doctor right away.
Because lenalidomide also passes into semen, men who use this drug and have sex with women must use a latex condom during all sexual contact, even if they have had a vasectomy. Continue using condoms and other birth control as directed until 4 weeks after lenalidomide treatment has been stopped.
To receive this medication, all doctors, pharmacists, and patients must understand, agree to, and carefully follow the requirements of the Revlimid REMS Program created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These requirements apply in the United States. If you live in Canada or any other country, consult your doctor and pharmacist for your country's regulations.
This medication may cause a low number of white blood cells and platelets. Your doctor will monitor you closely while you take this medication and may adjust the dose of the medication or stop the medication based on your lab test results. Get medical help right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, swollen lymph nodes, chills, cough), easy bleeding/bruising.
Lenalidomide may rarely cause blood clots (such as pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis). You may be at increased risk for blood clots if you smoke, or have a history of blood clots, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, or if you are immobile (such as on very long plane flights or being bedridden). If you use estrogen-containing products, these may also increase your risk. To lower your risk, your doctor may prescribe an additional medication. Before using lenalidomide, if you have any of these conditions report them to your doctor or pharmacist. Get medical help right away if you have any signs of a blood clot, including: shortness of breath, chest/jaw/left arm pain, unusual sweating, confusion, pain/swelling/redness in the groin/calf, sudden/severe headaches, trouble speaking, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes.
Lenalidomide is used to treat various types of cancers. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. It is also used to treat anemia in patients with certain blood/bone marrow disorders (myelodysplastic syndromes-MDS). Lenalidomide may lessen the need for blood transfusions.Lenalidomide is not recommended for the treatment of a certain type of cancer (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) because of the increased risk of serious heart-related side effects and death. If you have this type of cancer, talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication.
How to use Revlimid
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Swallow this medication whole with water. For treatment of certain conditions, you may be instructed to take this medication in cycles (once daily for 21 days, then stopping the medication for 7 days). The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and lab test results. Be sure to follow your doctor's directions carefully.
Do not open, chew, or break the capsules, or handle them any more than needed. If any of the powder from the capsule gets on your skin, wash the area with soap and water.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from broken capsules. All people should wash their hands thoroughly after handling this drug.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.