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All about: lenalidomide

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Generic Name: lenalidomide (len a LID o mide)
Brand Names: Revlimid

What is lenalidomide?

Lenalidomide affects the immune system. It helps promote immune responses to prevent inflammation in the body.

Lenalidomide treats anemia (a lack of red blood cells in the body) and multiple myeloma (cancer resulting from a progressive blood disease). It is used in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome caused by an abnormal chromosome. This disorder is also called deletion 5q MDS, because part of chromosome 5 is missing. In people with this disorder, the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells.

Lenalidomide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about lenalidomide?

Lenalidomide can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects or death of a baby if the mother or the father is taking this medication at the time of conception or during pregnancy. Even one dose of lenalidomide can cause major birth defects of the baby's arms and legs, bones, ears, eyes, face, and heart. Never use lenalidomide if you are pregnant.

For Women: You will be required to use two reliable forms of birth control beginning 4 weeks before you start taking lenalidomide and ending 4 weeks after you stop taking it. Any woman who has not had a hysterectomy or has not been in menopause for at least 24 months in a row must agree in writing to use birth control before, during, and after taking lenalidomide. Even women with fertility problems are required to use birth control while taking this medication. You must also have a negative pregnancy test at 10 to 14 days before treatment and again at 24 hours before. While you are taking lenalidomide, you will have a pregnancy test every 4 weeks.

Stop using lenalidomide and call your doctor at once if you quit using birth control, if your period is late, or if you think you might be pregnant.

For Men: You must not cause a woman to become pregnant while you are taking lenalidomide because the medicine may affect your sperm and cause birth defects in the baby. You must agree in writing to always use latex condoms when having sex with a woman who is able to get pregnant, even ifyou have had a vasectomy.

Lenalidomide is available only under a special program called RevAssist. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the dangers of this medication and that you agree to use birth control measures as required by the program.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Never give lenalidomide to another person, even if he or she has the same disorder for which you are being treated.

Do not donate blood or sperm while you are using lenalidomide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lenalidomide?

Before taking lenalidomide, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease; or
  • a history of blood clots or stroke.

You may not be able to take lenalidomide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Lenalidomide can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects or death of a baby if the mother or the father is taking this medication at the time of conception or during pregnancy. Even one dose of lenalidomide can cause major birth defects of the baby's arms and legs, bones, ears, eyes, face, and heart. Never use lenalidomide if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if your period is late while using the medication. It is not known if lenalidomide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

For Women: If you have not had a hysterectomy or have not been in menopause for at least 24 months in a row, you will be required to use two forms of birth control beginning 4 weeks before you start taking lenalidomide and ending 4 weeks after you stop taking it. Even women with fertility problems are required to use birth control while taking this medication. You must also have a negative pregnancy test at 10 to 14 days before treatment and again at 24 hours before. While you are taking lenalidomide, you will have a pregnancy test every 4 weeks.

The birth control method you use must be proven highly effective, such as birth control pills, an intrauterine device (IUD), a tubal ligation, or a sexual partner's vasectomy. The extra form of birth control you use must be a barrier method such as a latex condom, a diaphragm, or a cervical cap.

Stop using lenalidomide and call your doctor at once if you quit using birth control, if your period is late, or if you think you might be pregnant.

For Men: You must not cause a woman to become pregnant while you are taking lenalidomide because the medicine may affect your sperm and cause birth defects in the baby. You must agree in writing to always use latex condoms when having sex with a woman who is able to get pregnant, even if you have had a vasectomy. Contact your doctor if you have had unprotected sex, even once, or if you think your female sexual partner may be pregnant.

Lenalidomide is available only under a special program called RevAssist. Under this program, only registered doctors and pharmacists can prescribe and dispense lenalidomide. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the dangers of this medication and that you agree to use birth control measures as required by the program.

For patients between 12 and 18 years, a parent or legal guardian must read all written requirements for the RevAssist program and sign the agreements on behalf of the patient.

How should I take lenalidomide?

While you are using lenalidomide, you will be required to be listed on a patient registry and participate in occasional telephone surveys. You will be limited to a 28-day supply of lenalidomide each time your prescription is refilled. You may continue getting refills only if you participate fully in the RevAssist program and commit to all agreements.

Lenalidomide should be used exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Do not use more of the medication than recommended. Do not take lenalidomide for longer than your doctor has prescribed.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Swallow the capsule whole, without breaking it open.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested every week for the first two months of treatment, and then every month after that. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

You must not donate blood or sperm while you are using lenalidomide.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Never give lenalidomide to another person, even if he or she has the same disorder for which you are being treated.

Store lenalidomide at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of lenalidomide is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid while taking lenalidomide?

Do not donate blood or sperm while you are using lenalidomide.

Lenalidomide side effects

Stop using lenalidomide and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, coughing up blood;

  • pain or swelling in your arm, thigh, or calf;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding or weakness; or

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk with your doctor if you have any of these side effects:

  • nausea, diarrhea, constipation;

  • dry or itchy skin;

  • runny or stuffy nose;

  • muscle or joint pain;

  • headache; or

  • tiredness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect lenalidomide?

There may be other drugs that can affect lenalidomide. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about lenalidomide written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Lenalidomide is available with a prescription under the brand name Revlimid, through doctors and pharmacies registered with the RevAssist program. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Revlimid 5 mg-white, opaque capsules

  • Revlimid 10 mg-blue/green and pale yellow opaque capsules

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 7/3/06 11:08:02 AM.

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