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Multiple Myeloma


Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell. Plasma cells make antibodies to help your body fight infection. You may have high amounts of plasma cells that do not work correctly. Your body may make so many plasma cells or antibodies that they damage your bones and other healthy tissue.



  • Medicines are given to stop myeloid cells from growing and to kill new cancer cells. You may also be given medicine to decrease pain. Do not take NSAIDs. They may cause kidney damage in people with multiple myeloma.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or oncologist as directed:

You may need to return for more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids can help prevent dehydration and kidney damage from multiple myeloma.

  • Exercise and stay active. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise may help keep your bones strong and prevent a fracture.

  • Eat healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Good nutrition can help you feel better, have more energy, and decrease the risk for infection. A dietitian may help you plan meals with healthy foods.

  • Avoid people who have a cold or the flu. Also try to stay away from large groups of people to decrease your risk.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You are vomiting repeatedly and cannot keep food down.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have chills, cough, or feel weak and achy.

  • Your pain is worse or does not go away after you take pain medicine.

  • You cannot control your urine or bowel movements.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You had a bad fall and you may have broken a bone.

  • You feel dizzy or faint.

  • You cannot think clearly.

  • You feel weak or numb on one side of your body.

  • You have sudden chest pain, pounding or racing of your heart, or shortness of breath.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Multiple Myeloma (Discharge Care)