Generic Name: Lenalidomide (le na LID oh mide)
Brand Name: Revlimid
Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
- Do not take lenalidomide if you are pregnant. Use during pregnancy may cause birth defects or loss of the unborn baby. If you get pregnant while taking lenalidomide or within 4 weeks after care ends, call your doctor right away.
- You must have 2 pregnancy tests that show you are NOT pregnant before starting lenalidomide. You must have pregnancy tests done while taking lenalidomide. Talk with your doctor.
- Use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust for at least 4 weeks before care begins, during care, during any breaks in care, and for at least 4 weeks after care ends.
- This medicine may stop your bone marrow from making some of the cells that your body needs. You will be closely watched by your doctor. Tell your doctor right away about any fever, sore throat, signs of infection, bleeding, shortness of breath, or feeling tired.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- The chance of blood clots may be raised with lenalidomide in certain patients. This may be blood clots in the arms, legs, or lungs; heart attack; or stroke. Your doctor may have you take a blood thinner to prevent blood clots. Follow what your doctor has told you to do. Call your doctor right away if you have any chest pain or pressure; coughing up blood; shortness of breath; or pain, warmth, or swelling of the legs or arms. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of heart attack like chest pain that may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach; sweating that is not normal; or feeling sick or throwing up. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of stroke like change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other; eyesight, speech, or balance problems; change in thinking clearly and with logic; or very bad headache.
- You may only get lenalidomide through a special program. Talk with your doctor.
Uses of Lenalidomide:
- It is used to treat multiple myeloma.
- It is used to treat a type of lymphoma.
- It is used to treat a health problem called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Lenalidomide?
- If you have an allergy to lenalidomide or any part of lenalidomide.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are lactose intolerant.
- If you have a type of leukemia called chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In people with CLL, more deaths happened with lenalidomide than with a certain other drug. Very bad heart problems also happened more often.
- If you are taking pembrolizumab.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take lenalidomide.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with lenalidomide.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take lenalidomide with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Lenalidomide?
- This medicine may add to the chance of getting some types of cancer. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely. Tell your doctor if you get signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- Patients with cancer who take lenalidomide may be at a greater risk of getting a bad health problem called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast heartbeat or a heartbeat that does not feel normal; any passing out; trouble passing urine; muscle weakness or cramps; upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools, or not able to eat; or feel sluggish.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with lenalidomide. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with lenalidomide. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.
- In people with mantle cell lymphoma, there may be a risk of early death with lenalidomide. For more information, talk with your doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use lenalidomide with care. You could have more side effects.
- If you are a man and have sex with a pregnant female or a female who can get pregnant, always use a latex or synthetic condom during sex. Do this even if you have had a vasectomy. Use a latex or synthetic condom during care, during any breaks in care, and for at least 4 weeks after care ends.
- If you are a man and have unprotected sex with a female who is or could get pregnant, or your female partner gets pregnant within 4 weeks of your last dose, call your doctor right away.
- If you have sex without using 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust, if you think you may be pregnant, or if you miss your period, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Lenalidomide) best taken?
Use lenalidomide as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take lenalidomide at the same time of day.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking lenalidomide as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Take with or without food.
- Take with a full glass of water.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Do not open the capsules.
- Pregnant women or females of childbearing age must not touch the capsules. Talk with the doctor.
- If you touch a broken capsule, or the drug inside the capsule, wash the area with soap and water.
- If a broken capsule or the drug inside the capsule touches your eyes, rinse your eyes right away with water.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take lenalidomide. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Do not donate blood while using lenalidomide and for 1 month after stopping.
- If you are a man, do not donate sperm while using lenalidomide and for 1 month after stopping.
- Smoking may raise the chance of blood clots while taking lenalidomide. Tell your doctor if you smoke.
- If you have upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools (diarrhea), or are not hungry, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
- This medicine may affect how much of some other drugs are in your body. If you are taking other drugs, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while taking lenalidomide with your other drugs.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with lenalidomide may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it and go back to your normal time.
- If it has been 12 hours or more since the missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Signs of thyroid problems like a change in weight without trying, feeling nervous and excitable, feeling restless, feeling very weak, hair thinning, low mood (depression), neck swelling, not able to focus, not able to handle heat or cold, period (menstrual) changes, shakiness, or sweating.
- Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, seizures, not hungry, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Low mood (depression).
- Very bad headache.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Swollen gland.
- Change in eyesight.
What are some other side effects of Lenalidomide?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Back pain.
- Bone pain.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Dry skin.
- Sweating a lot.
- Nose and throat irritation.
- Change in taste.
- Not able to sleep.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Belly pain.
- Dry mouth.
- Not hungry.
- Weight loss.
- Joint pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Lenalidomide?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time lenalidomide is refilled. If you have any questions about lenalidomide, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about lenalidomide
- Lenalidomide Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 10 Reviews
- Drug class: miscellaneous antineoplastics
Other brands: Revlimid