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Pomalidomide

Generic Name: Pomalidomide (poe ma LID oh mide)
Brand Name: Pomalyst

Medically reviewed: April 4, 2018

Warning

  • Do not take pomalidomide if you are pregnant. Use during pregnancy may cause birth defects or loss of the unborn baby. If you get pregnant while taking pomalidomide 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 pomalidomide. You must have pregnancy tests done while taking pomalidomide. 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.
  • The chance of blood clots may be raised with pomalidomide 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 pomalidomide through a special program. Talk with your doctor.

Uses of Pomalidomide:

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Pomalidomide?

  • If you have an allergy to pomalidomide or any other part of pomalidomide.
  • 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 of childbearing age, but are not using 2 kinds of birth control or if you are planning to get pregnant during your care or within 4 weeks after care has ended.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Ciprofloxacin or fluvoxamine.
  • If you are taking pembrolizumab.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take pomalidomide.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with pomalidomide.

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 pomalidomide 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 Pomalidomide?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take pomalidomide. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how pomalidomide affects you.
  • Do not donate blood while using pomalidomide and for 1 month after stopping.
  • If you smoke, talk with your doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Patients with cancer who take pomalidomide 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.
  • This medicine may add to the chance of getting some types of cancer. Talk with the doctor.
  • 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.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with pomalidomide. 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.
  • If you are 65 or older, use pomalidomide with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This medicine may cause you to not be able to get pregnant. Talk with the doctor.
  • 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.
  • 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 are a man, do not donate sperm while using pomalidomide and for 1 month after stopping.

How is this medicine (Pomalidomide) best taken?

Use pomalidomide as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • Take pomalidomide at the same time of day.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • Do not open the capsules.
  • 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.
  • If you are on dialysis and are taking pomalidomide on the day you get dialysis, take it after your dialysis. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.

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 kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Signs of lung or breathing problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough, or fever.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shakiness.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with pomalidomide. 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.

What are some other side effects of Pomalidomide?

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:

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 Pomalidomide?

  • 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 pomalidomide is refilled. If you have any questions about pomalidomide, 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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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