lenalidomide

Pronunciation: LEN a LID o mide

Brand: Revlimid

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

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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 if you 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.

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

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 not listed in this medication guide.

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

To make sure you can safely take lenalidomide, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

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

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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.

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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.

Using lenalidomide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia or lymphoma. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

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.

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

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.

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

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Take each dose with a full glass of water. Swallow the capsule whole, without breaking it open.

To be sure lenalidomide is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested every week for the first two months of treatment, and then every month after that. Visit your doctor regularly.

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Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

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

What should I avoid while taking lenalidomide?

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

What are the possible side effects of lenalidomide?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

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;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • lower back pain, blood in your urine;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth;
  • muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes;
  • fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, feeling short of breath, confusion, fainting;
  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, diarrhea, constipation;
  • dry or itchy skin;
  • runny or stuffy nose;
  • muscle or joint pain;
  • headache; or
  • tiredness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect lenalidomide?

There may be other drugs that can interact with lenalidomide. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about lenalidomide.


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.

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