Where is Lenalidomide used?

Lenalidomide is a prescription used for the treatment of multiple myeloma in adults. This is in the class of drugs called an immunomodulating agent that affects the way the immune system works. This has anti-angiogenic and anti-neoplastic properties. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. This is supplied as a capsule for oral use.

How does Lenalidomide work?

Lenalidomide works by stopping the cancerous plasma cells from increasing. Natural killer cells in the immune system, this drug also enhance the action of cells. These attack abnormal cells including cancerous cells naturally. To grow, cancerous cells need a blood supply that provides them with nutrients and oxygen. They also need this blood supply to spread. Cancerous cells stimulate blood vessels to grow into the tumor.

Another mode of action of this medicine is to stop the development of new blood vessels. This is used in combination with other medications for the treatment of multiple myeloma in people who have already received at least one previous therapy. This drug can reduce the production of healthy blood cells leaving people vulnerable to infection. Regular blood tests are necessary to monitor levels of blood cells.

How is Lenalidomide taken?

The medication is usually taken once a day. Each dose may be taken with or without a meal. The given dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the medication. Take each dose exactly as it is given by your doctor.

Take it regularly for the best benefit of this product. Do not suddenly stop this treatment without the consent of your doctor. In addition, you may be instructed to take this drug in cycles. It may be once a day for 21 days then stopping the medications for 7 days.

What are the possible side effects of Lenalidomide?

Common side effects:

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Let your doctor know if you have these serious side effects such as:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Worsening of your tumor
  • Serious skin reactions
  • Risk of new cancers

What are the precautions in taking Lenalidomide?

  • Before using Lenalidomide, let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to it or any other allergies. This product may have an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
  • Do not use this for the treatment of other diseases.
  • This drug may make you dizzy. Do not use any machinery or do any activity that needs your full alertness.
  • If you have any medical history especially of liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, chickenpox, and shingles, or organ transplant tell it to your doctor right away. 
  • While having Lenalidomide, limit alcoholic beverages.
  • This may rarely cause liver problems. For this reason, your liver function should be monitored at the same time as your blood cells.
  • Lenalidomide should be used with caution in elderly people, those with any disease of the nerves, with extensive cancer before the treatment is started, and those with angina or a history of a heart attack.
  • This drug is not recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women.