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Pomalidomide Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of pomalidomide include: anemia, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, neuropathy, neutropenia, peripheral neuropathy, and thrombocytopenia. Other side effects include: acute myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, and febrile neutropenia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to pomalidomide: oral capsule

Along with its needed effects, pomalidomide may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking pomalidomide:

More common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bladder pain
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • bloody nose
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cloudy urine
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • cough
  • decreased or increased urination
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty with breathing
  • discouragement
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • ear congestion
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • feeling sad or empty
  • fever
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • incoherent speech
  • increased thirst
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • loss of voice
  • lower back or side pain
  • metallic taste
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • muscle weakness
  • nasal congestion
  • nausea
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • pain
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • rapid weight gain
  • runny nose
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stomach pain
  • tightness in the chest
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vomiting
  • weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
Less common
  • Anxiety
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
  • troubled breathing
Incidence not known
  • Difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • weakness or heaviness of the legs
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of pomalidomide may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Back pain
  • blurred vision
  • decreased appetite
  • difficulty with moving
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • increased hunger
  • increased sweating
  • joint pain
  • lack or loss of strength
  • muscle spasms or stiffness
  • night sweats
  • rash
Incidence not known
  • Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • sensation of spinning

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to pomalidomide: oral capsule


Common (1% to 10%): Thromboembolic events (venous: deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism; and arterial: myocardial infarction, stroke), cardiac failure
Frequency not reported: Atrial fibrillation, angina pectoris, congestive cardiac failure, hypotension[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Neutropenia (up to 53.3%), anemia (up to 45.7%), thrombocytopenia (up to 27%), leukopenia (up to 19.6%), lymphopenia (up to 15.2%)
Common (1% to 10%): Febrile neutropenia, neutropenic sepsis, sepsis, decreased neutrophil count, decreased white blood cell count, decreased platelet count, pancytopenia
Frequency not reported: Decreased lymphocyte count, septic shock, decreased hemoglobin[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Increased ALT
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hepatitis, hyperbilirubinemia
Frequency not reported: Increased AST
Postmarketing reports: Hepatic failure[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Allergic reactions (e.g. angioedema, urticaria)[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Dizziness (up to 22.4%), peripheral neuropathy (up to 21.5%), neuropathy (up to 18%), headache (up to 15%), tremor (up to 13.4%), confusional state (up to 13.4%)
Common (1% to 10%): Depressed level of consciousness, vertigo
Frequency not reported: Syncope[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Second primary malignancies (e.g., acute myelogenous leukemia)
Postmarketing reports: Tumor lysis syndrome[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea (up to 44.6%), upper respiratory tract infection (up to 37.4%), pneumonia (33.9%), cough (up to 22.3%), epistaxis (up to 16.8%), productive cough (up to 12.5%), oropharyngeal pain (up to 10.7%)
Common (1% to 10%): Interstitial lung disease, bronchopneumonia, bronchitis, nasopharyngitis, epistaxis
Frequency not reported: Pneumonitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, respiratory syncytial viral, pneumonia streptococcal, lobar pneumonia, lung infection, respiratory failure, bronchospasm[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Rash (up to 20.6%), hyperhidrosis (up to 16.1%), pruritus (up to 15%), night sweats (up to 12.5%), dry skin (up to 10.7%)
Frequency not reported: Cellulitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Constipation (up to 36.6%), nausea (up to 36.4%), diarrhea (up to 35.7%), vomiting (up to 14.3%)
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Clostridium difficile colitis
Frequency not reported: Abdominal pain[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Urinary tract infection (up to 17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Urinary retention, pelvic pain
Frequency not reported: Urosepsis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Decreased appetite (up to 23.4%), hypercalcemia (up to 21.5%), hyperglycemia (up to 15.2%), decreased weight (up to 15%), hyponatremia (up to 12.5%), hypokalemia (up to 12.1%), hypocalcemia (up to 11.6%), increased weight (up to 10.7%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dehydration, hyperkalemia
Frequency not reported: Failure to thrive[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Back pain (up to 34.6%), musculoskeletal chest pain (23.4%), muscle spasms (21.5%), bone pain (up to 18%), arthralgia (up to 16.8%), muscular weakness (up to 14%), musculoskeletal pain (up to 12.1%)
Common (1% to 10%): Extremity pain
Frequency not reported: Femur fracture, fall, compression fracture, spinal compression fracture[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (up to 16.1%), anxiety (up to 13.1%)
Frequency not reported: Mental status change[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased blood creatinine (up to 18.7%), renal failure (up to 15%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue and asthenia (up to 62.5%), infection (up to 55%), pyrexia (up to 32.1%), peripheral edema (up to 25.2%), chills (up to 12.5%)
Frequency not reported: Pain, general physical health deterioration, non-cardiac chest pain, multi-organ failure, viral infection[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Pomalyst (pomalidomide)." QLT Phototherapeutics Inc, Vancouver, AZ.

Some side effects of pomalidomide may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.