Lenalidomide is utilized for the treatment of multiple myeloma. This medicine belongs to a group of medications which affect how your immune system works (immuno-modulatory).
Uses of Lenalidomide
- Multiple myeloma (a type of cancer which affects a certain kind of white blood cell, called the plasma cell. These cells collect in the bone marrow and divide, becoming out of control. This can damage the bones and kidneys)read less
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (the blood cells become abnormal and do not function properly)
- Mantle cell lymphoma (B-cells grow in an uncontrolled way and build up in the lymph tissue, bone marrow or blood)
- Follicular Lymphoma or Marginal Zone Lymphoma
Contraindications of Lenalidomide
When should one not use Lenalidomide
- Allergic to this medicine
- Kidney impairment
- Liver impairment
Side effects of Lenalidomide
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Blood clots in the veins (serious side effect)
- Low blood counts (anaemia, low neutrophils, low platelets, low WBCs)
- Bleeding or bruising in the absence of injury
- Chest pain or leg pain
- Low levels of potassium and sodium in the blood
- Infections of all types
- Shortness of breath
- Constipation, diarrhea, nausea
- Redness of skin, rashes
- Blurred vision
- Clouding of your eye (cataract)
- Kidney problems
- Increase in liver test results
- Changes to a protein in the blood that can cause swelling of the arteries (vasculitis)
- Increases in your blood sugar level (diabetes)
- Decreases in your blood sugar
- Dry skin
Precautions and Warnings of Lenalidomide
Can I take Lenalidomide during pregnancy?
- It is adviced not to use this medicine during pregnancy as this medicine may harm your unborn baby
- Inform your doctor if you are planning pregnancy or are pregnant
Can I take Lenalidomide while breastfeeding?
It is not advised to breastfeed as it is unknown if it passes into human milk.
Can I drive if I have consumed Lenalidomide?
If you feel dizzy, tired, sleepy, have vertigo or blurred vision, do not drive.
Can I consume alcohol with Lenalidomide?
Alcohol consumption increases the adverse effects of the medicine.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- You have had blood clots in the past - you have an increased risk of developing blood clots in the veins and arteries during treatment
- You have any signs of an infection, such as a cough or fever
- You have or have ever had a previous viral infection, particularly Hepatitis B infection
- You have kidney problems
- You have had a heart attack
Mode of Action of Lenalidomide
How Does It Work?
Lenalidomide acts by inhibiting the growth of new blood cells in tumors; it stimulates the immune system and decreases the cell growth factor. It alters certain genes present in the cancer cells and programs them to kill themselves.
Interactions of Lenalidomide
Interactions with other medicines
- Some medicines used to prevent pregnancy such as oral contraceptives, as they may stop working
- Some medicines used for heart problems – such as Digoxin
- Some medicines used to thin the blood – such as Warfarin
Interactions with food items
- Multiple myeloma can cause anemia
- Patient should have iron rich diet like beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, spinach, and other leafy greens
- A person should also include sources of vitamin C with non-heme iron like bell peppers, oranges, berries, and lemon juice, in their diet to improve absorption
Dosage of Lenalidomide
- Overdose may cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
- Peripheral neuropathy may develop in an overdose
- Bone marrow suppression occurs which will lead to anaemia, low WBC count, low immunity, low platelet count, and easy bleeding/ bruising tendency
- Inform your doctor immediately in case you suspect an overdose
Missed a Dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to compensate for the missed dose.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What should I discuss with my healthcare expert before taking Lenalidomide?
A: Give a detailed account of your medical and surgical history. The doctor should also know about other health supplements like herbal medications, nutritional supplements that you may take before starting this medication.
Q: What are the precautions should I take while on this medicine?
A: The dosage regimen of the medicine should be followed regularly. Any miscalculation in the dose will have severe effects.
Q: Why there is a bleeding tendency while taking this medicine?
A: Lenalidomide is known to decrease the platelet count in the body (platelets are required to stop bleeding), so there are chances of bleeding tendency while taking this medicine.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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