Lenalidomide

How It Works:

Lenalidomide is an immunomodulatory and an antiangiogenic agent. It works by stopping the growth of cancer cells in the body.

Side Effects:

irregular heartbeat, dizziness, vasculitis, itching redness of skin, weight loss, fever and flu, diarrhea, dry mouth, fainting, deafness, mood change, tinnitus, nausea, changes to blood thyroid hormone, tremor, rashes, heart problems, numbness, stomach, muscle aches and weakness, tiredness, decreased appetite, difficulty swallowing, dehydration, vomiting, iron overload, depression, muscle cramps, increased sweating, flaking or peeling skin, toothache, high or low blood pressure, cataract, movement difficulty, abnormal liver test results, skin cracking, kidney problems, potassium or magnesium in the blood, dry skin, pains in hands or feet, chest pain or shortness of breath, stomach pain, phosphate, diabetes., impaired balance, hives, darkening of skin, tingling or burning sensation, bone/ joint pain, difficulty sleeping, low levels of calcium, generalized swelling, heartburn, skin eruptions, blurred vision, bleeding from the gums, confusion, constipation, sore inflamed mouth, Anemia, or bowels

Used For:

Lenalidomide is used in adults in combination with other medicines to treat multiple myeloma (a type of cancer which affects plasma cells, a certain type of white blood cell) and alone to treat myelodysplastic syndromes (collection of many different blood and bone marrow diseases).  It is also used to treat mantle cell lymphoma (aggressive variety of cancer that occurs in lymph nodes).

Instructions:

  • You may be monitored with regular blood tests before and during the treatment as lenalidomide may cause a fall in the white blood cells and platelets, required to fight infection and blood clotting.
  • Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury and avoid contact with people who have colds or infections.
  • You should not donate blood, semen or serum during treatment and for 4 week after the end of treatment.
  • You may be at risk of developing acute myelogenous leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma tumor lysis syndrome, fatal liver problems, severe skin reactions and fatal heart problems during treatment with lenalidomide. You should discuss in advance the benefits and risks of taking lenalidomide.
  • Lenalidomide is not recommended for use in children and adolescents under 18 years.
  • You should use proper contraceptive methods at least 4 weeks before, during and until 4 weeks after stopping treatment. 
  • Woman of childbearing potential will be required to undergo pregnancy tests before, every 4 weeks and after the treatment.
  • You should inform your doctor or dentist that you take lenalidomide before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Do not drive or operate machines while taking lenalidomide as it may make you feel dizzy, tired, sleepy or have blurred vision.

Frequently Ask Questions:

Q. Is lenalidomide safe during pregnancy?Lenalidomide should not be used in pregnancy or by those who plan to become pregnant as it is highly unsafe for the growing baby.
Q. Is it safe to use lenalidomide during breastfeeding?Lenalidomide is not safe for the baby and should not be used by women who are breastfeeding.
Q. What is lenalidomide/ What is lenalidomide used for / is lenalidomide a chemotherapy drug/ a cytotoxic?Lenalidomide an immunomodulatory and an antiangiogenic agent andis used to treat multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes and mantle cell lymphoma in certain patients. It is a chemotherapy-like drug and has the same cytotoxic effects as chemotherapy drugs as in to kill myeloma cells but the mechanism of action is different.
Q. How is lenalidomide administered?Lenalidomide is administered orally as a capsule.
Q. How does lenalidomide work?Lenalidomide works by affecting the body’s immune system and directly attacking the cancer cells. 
Q. Does lenalidomide cause hair loss?Hair loss could be a side effect of using lenalidomide. Always consult your doctor before its use.
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