What is this medication?
LENALIDOMIDE (len a LID oh mide) treats blood and bone marrow cancers. It works by slowing down the growth of cancer cells.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Revlimid
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Blood clots
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Lactose intolerant
- Liver disease
- Thyroid disease
- Tobacco use
- An unusual or allergic reaction to lenalidomide, thalidomide, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with water. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not cut, crush, or chew this medication. Swallow the capsules whole. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can unless it is more than 12 hours late. If it is more than 12 hours late, skip the missed dose. Take the next dose at the normal time. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
This medication may interact with the following:
- Estrogen hormones
- Medications that help the body make more red blood cells, such as epoetin alfa or darbepoetin alfa
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. You may need blood work done while taking this medication.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. You may also notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips, or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
Talk to your care team about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medication.
Talk to your care team if you or your partner wish to become pregnant or think either of you might be pregnant. This medication can cause serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy or for 4 weeks after stopping treatment. Two negative pregnancy tests are required before starting this medication. A negative pregnancy test is also required every 2 to 4 weeks during treatment, even if you are not sexually active. Two reliable forms of contraception are recommended while you are taking this medication and for 4 weeks after stopping treatment. Talk to your care team about effective forms of contraception. If you become pregnant, miss a menstrual cycle, or stop using contraception, stop taking this medication. Call your care team. Severe birth defects may occur even if just 1 dose is taken.
Do not breastfeed while taking this medication. Talk to your care team about breastfeeding. Changes to your treatment plan may be needed.
If your partner can get pregnant, use a condom during sex while taking this medication and for 4 weeks after the last dose. Tell your care team right away if you think your partner might be pregnant. This medication can cause serious birth defects.
Do not donate sperm while taking this medication and for 4 weeks after the last dose.
Do not donate blood while you are talking this medication or for 4 weeks after stopping it. Donated blood may contain enough of this medication to cause birth defects in a fetus if transfused to someone who is pregnant.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
- Change in your skin, such as a new growth, a sore that doesn't heal, or a change in a mole
- Heart attack—pain or tightness in the chest, shoulders, arms, or jaw, nausea, shortness of breath, cold or clammy skin, feeling faint or lightheaded
- High thyroid levels (hyperthyroidism)—fast or irregular heartbeat, weight loss, excessive sweating or sensitivity to heat, tremors or shaking, anxiety, nervousness, irregular menstrual cycle or spotting
- Infection—fever, chills, cough, or sore throat
- Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism)—unusual weakness or fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, feelings of depression
- Rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
- Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
- Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS)—nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decrease in the amount of urine, dark urine, unusual weakness or fatigue, confusion, muscle pain or cramps, fast or irregular heartbeat, joint pain
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Back pain
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
It is important to get rid of the medication as soon as you no longer need it or it is expired. You can do this in two ways:
- Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
- If you cannot return the medication, follow the directions in the MedGuide.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Lenalidomide
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
- Wash your hands often.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
When to contact your doctor or health care provider:
Seek emergency help immediately and notify your health care provider, it you experience the following symptoms:
- sudden chest pain and shortness of breath.
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools.
- Blood in the urine.
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period).
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication).
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities).
- Leg or arm swelling, redness, pain and/or warm to touch.
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.