تالیدومید
Thalidomide (Thalomid)
تالیدومید

نام ژنریک

Thalidomide

شکل دارویی

اشكال دارويي:


Capsules : 100mg


Tablet: 100mg

موارد مصرف

موارد و مقدار مصرف


الف) مالتيپل ميلوما تازه تشخيص داده شده.


بزرگسالان: 200 ميلي‌گرم خوراكي روزانه همراه با آب كافي، يك ساعت بعد از شام و ترجيحاً قبل از خواب مصرف شود. دگزامتازون خوراكي به ميزان 40 ميلي‌گرم روزانه در روزهاي 1 تا 4، 9 تا 12، 17 تا 20 به كار رود. دورة درماني هر 28 روز يك بار تكرار شود.


ب) درمان حاد اريتم ندوزوم لپرزوم (ENL) متوسط - شديد.


بزرگسالان و كودكان بزرگتر از 12 سال: 300-100 ميلي‌گرم خوراكي، روزانه قبل از خواب تجويز شود. اگر وزن بيمار كمتر از 50 كيلوگرم است با دوزهاي كمتر (mg 100) درمان شروع شود.


پ) درمان نگهدارنده جهت پيشگيري و مهار عوارض جلدي ENL.


بزرگسالان و كودكان بزرگتر از 12 سال: تا 400 ميلي‌گرم خوراكي
روزانه قبل از خواب يا در دوزهاي منقسم، حداقل يك ساعت بعد از غذا تجويز شود.


ت) آفت دهاني مكرر.


بزرگسالان: 100 تا 300 ميلي‌گرم خوراكي روزانه مصرف مي‌شود. گاهي موارد دوزهاي بالاتر تا 600 ميلي‌گرم مورد نياز است.


ث)بيماري پيوند عليه ميزبان (GVHD).


بزرگسالان: 1600-800 ميلي‌گرم خوراكي روزانه تجويز مي‌شود. دارو نبايد به صورت پروفيلاكسي تجويز شود.

موارد منع مصرف

موارد منع مصرف و احتياط


موارد منع مصرف: حساسيت به دارو يا ديگر تركيبات فرمولاسيون، نوروپاتي محيطي، حاملگي و در زناني كه مي‌توانند باردار شوند مگر اينكه درمان جايگزين ديگر مناسب نبوده و بيمار همه شرايط را جهت تجويز تاليدوميد طبق برنامه System for Thalidomide Education and Prescribing Safety (STEPS) داشته باشد.


موارد احتياط: دارو باعث براديكاردي مي‌شود. در بيماران قلبي با احتياط به كار رود. به دنبال مصرف دارو واكنش‌هاي حساسيتي مانند استيون - جانسون نكروز سمي اپيدرم گزارش شده است. دارو را متوقف كرده و راش‌هاي پوستي را بررسي كنيد. اگر ضايعات از نوع اگزفولياتيو، پورپوريك يا تاولي باشند و شك به استيون - جانسون يا نكروز سمي اپيدرم داريد، دارو را قطع كنيد. دارو باعث ايجاد نوتروپني مي‌شود. در صورت افت نوتروفيل (ANC) به كمتر از
mm3/750 درمان را متوقف كنيد.


دارو مي‌تواند باعث افت فشارخون وضعيتي و همچنين نوروپاتي محيطي به صورت برگشت‌ناپذير شود، در صورت بروز علائم سريعاً دارو قطع شود.


به دليل ايجاد اثر آرام‌بخشي، انجام فعاليت‌هايي كه نياز به هوشياري بالا دارند با احتياط انجام شود. دارو مي‌تواند باعث ايجاد تشنج شود. در بيماران با سابقه تشنج،‌ يا كساني كه داروهايي مصرف مي‌كنند يا شرايطي را دارند كه احتمال تشنج را افزايش مي‌دهد با احتياط به كار رود.


در بيماراني كه در معرض خطر ترومبوز هستند مانند بيماريهاي نئوپلاستيك، التهابي، شيمي‌درماني با مصرف اين دارو ريسك ترومبوز افزايش مي‌يابد. مصرف همزمان دگزامتازون ريسك ترومبوز وريد عمقي و آمبولي ريوي را افزايش مي‌دهد. از نظر علائم ترومبوآمبوليسم بيمار را مانيتور كنيد. در بيماران با ريسك بالا از داروهاي ضد انعقاد يا آسپيرين به صورت پروفيلاكسي استفاده كنيد.


در بيماران با مشكلات قلبي، كبدي، نورولوژيك، كليوي و يبوست با احتياط استفاده شود.


در بيماران مبتلا به ايدز با احتياط به كار رود، چون دارو تعداد ويروس‌ها را افزايش مي‌دهد.


با توجه به تراتوژن بودن دارو، روشهاي پيشگيري از بارداري بايد 4 هفته قبل از درمان شروع شده و حين درمان و تا 4 هفته بعد از قطع دارو ادامه يابد.

عوارض جانبی دارو

عوارض جانبي


اعصاب مرکزي: بي‌قراري، ضعف، سرگيجه، خواب‌آلودگي، تب، سردرد، بي‌خوابي، بي‌حالي، تحريك‌پذيري، درد، پارستزي، نوروپاتي محيطي، ترمور، سرگيجه.


قلبي - عروقي: براديكاردي، افت فشارخون وضعيتي، ادم محيطي.


چشم، گوش، حلق و بيني: ورم ملتحمه، فارنژيت، سينوزيت.


دستگاه گوارش: دردهاي شكمي، بي‌اشتهايي، يبوست، اسهال، خشكي دهان، نفخ، كانديدياز دهاني، تهوع.


ادراري - تناسلي: آلبومينوري، هماچوري، ناتواني جنسي.


هماتولوژيك: آنمي، لكوپني، لنفادنوپاتي، نوتروپني.


عضلاني - اسكلتي: درد كمر و گردن، رژيديتي گردن.


پوست: آكنه، درماتيت قارچي، راش ماكولوپاپولار، اختلالات ناخن، خارش، تعريق، سندرم استيون - جانسون.


ساير عوارض: ادم صورت، لرز، هايپرپيگمانتاسيون، واكنش‌هاي حساسيتي، افزايش تعداد ويروس HIV، عفونت،‌ لنفادنوپاتي، تراتوژنيسيتي.


مسموميت و درمان


اطلاعات كافي در دست نيست. مصرف بيش از اندازه باعث خواب طولاني مدت مي‌شود.

موارد قابل توجه

-

تداخل دارویی

تداخل دارويي


مصرف همزمان باربيتوراتها، كلرپرومازين و رزرپين اثرات سداتيو تاليدوميد را افزايش مي‌دهد.


مصرف همزمان تاليدوميد با داروهايي كه عارضة نوروپاتي محيطي دارند، اين عارضه را تشديد مي‌كند.

مکانیزم اثر

تداخل دارويي


مصرف همزمان باربيتوراتها، كلرپرومازين و رزرپين اثرات سداتيو تاليدوميد را افزايش مي‌دهد.


مصرف همزمان تاليدوميد با داروهايي كه عارضة نوروپاتي محيطي دارند، اين عارضه را تشديد مي‌كند.

فارماكوكینتیك

فارماكوكينتيك


جذب: دارو به آهستگي از دستگاه گوارش جذب مي‌شود.


پخش: اطلاعاتي در دست نيست.


متابوليسم: متابوليسم دقيق دارو مشخص نيست.


دفع: نيمه‌ عمر متوسط دارو 7-5 ساعت است. راه دقيق دفع دارو مشخص نيست.

سایر اطلاعات

طبقه‌بندي فارماكولوژيك: تعديل كننده سيستم ايمني.


طبقه‌بندي درماني: Antileprotic.


طبقه‌بندي مصرف در بارداري: رده X


نام‌هاي تجاري: Myrin, Talidex


ملاحظات اختصاصي


1- دارو بايد با احتياط و آموزش كامل به بيمار تجويز شود.


2- با توجه به تراتوژن بودن دارو، آموزش به بيماران جهت پيشگيري از بارداري بايد صورت گيرد.


3- خانمهايي كه تحت عمل هيستركتومي (برداشت رحم) قرار نگرفته و تا 2 سال آينده نيز منوپوز نمي‌شوند، حتي با وجود سابقه‌اي از نازايي، قابليت بارداري را دارند. در اين موارد انجام تست حاملگي، 24 قبل از شروع دارو الزامي است. اين تست بايد هفتگي در ماه اول درمان و سپس ماهانه انجام شود. اگر دوره‌هاي قاعدگي نامنظم است، تست هر دو هفته يك بار بايد انجام گيرد. هرگونه تغيير در دوره‌هاي قاعدگي بايد تست حاملگي انجام گيرد.


4- در موارد نوريت‌هاي شديد ناشي از ENL، كورتيكواستروئيدها همزمان تجويز مي‌شوند كه با بهبودي يا برطرف شدن نوريت مي‌توان آن را قطع كرد.


5- بيماراني كه جهت درمان يا پيشگيري از عود ENL به درمان طولاني مدت احتياج دارند يا ضمن درمان بيماري آنها شعله‌ور مي‌شود، بايد از حداقل دوز مؤثر دارو استفاده كنند. قطع دارو بايد به آهستگي طي 6-3 ماه صورت گيرد. به نحوي كه هر 4-2 هفته، 50 ميلي‌گرم دوز دارو كاهش يابد.


6- CBC بايد به طور مرتب قبل و حين درمان مانيتور شود. در صورت افت تعداد نوتروفيل‌ها به كمتر از mm3 /750 دارو قطع شود.


7- بيمار را از نظر علائم نوروپاتي مانند بي‌حسي، احساس كرختي، سوزش، درد در دست و پا، ماهانه طي 3 ماه اول درمان و سپس به طور منظم بعد از آن پيگيري كنيد.


نكات قابل توصيه به بيمار


1- به دليل اثرات تراتوژن دارو، هيچگونه اهداء خون يا اسپرم ضمن درمان با اين دارو جايز نيست.


2- حداقل دو روش مطمئن پيشگيري از بارداري از يك ماه قبل از درمان تا يك ماه بعد از قطع آن بايد استفاده شود.


3- هرگونه علائم احتمالي حاملگي را سريعاً به پزشك خود اطلاع دهيد.


4- در صورت بروز حاملگي بلافاصله مصرف دارو قطع شود.


5- با توجه به احتمال سرگيجه و افت فشارخون وضعيتي ناشي از اين دارو، وضعيت خود را از حالت خوابيده به ايستاده به آهستگي تغيير دهيد.


6- دارو باعث ايجاد خواب‌آلودگي مي‌شود. طي مصرف دارو، فعاليت‌هايي كه نياز به هوشياري بالا دارند را با احتياط انجام دهيد. و از مصرف الكل و ساير داروهاي آرام‌بخش اجتناب كنيد.


7- دارو را موقع خواب حداقل يك ساعت بعد از شام و با يك ليوان آب مصرف كنيد.


8- دارو باعث واكنش‌هاي حساسيتي مي‌شود. هرگونه بثورات جلدي، تب، طپش قلب، افت فشارخون يا ديگر عوارض را به پزشك خود اطلاع دهيد.


مصرف در سالمندان: تفاوتي از نظر ايمني و اثربخشي بين سالمندان و افراد جوان نيست.


مصرف در كودكان: ايمني و اثربخشي دارو در كودكان كوچكتر از 12 سال اثبات نشده است.


مصرف در شيردهي: ترشح دارو در شيردهي مشخص نيست. بهتر است يا شيردهي يا مصرف دارو در اين دوران قطع شود.


مصرف در بارداري: دارو روي جنين اثرات سوء دارد، حداقل دو روش مطمئن پيشگيري از بارداري از يك ماه قبل از شروع دارو تا يك ماه بعد از قطع آن استفاده شود.


اثر بر آزمايشهاي تشخيصي


دارو باعث افزايش سطح ALT، AST، LDH و ليپيدهاي خون مي‌شود. ميزان هموگلوبين، نوتروفيل و WBC كاهش مي‌يابد.

Thalidomide (Thalomid)

THALOMID®
(thalidomide) Capsules 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg & 200 mg

WARNING

SEVERE, LIFE-THREATENING HUMAN BIRTH DEFECTS

IF THALIDOMIDE IS TAKEN DURING PREGNANCY, IT CAN CAUSE SEVERE BIRTH DEFECTS OR DEATH TO AN UNBORN BABY. THALIDOMIDE SHOULD NEVER BE USED BY WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT OR WHO COULD BECOME PREGNANT WHILE TAKING THE DRUG. EVEN A SINGLE DOSE [1 CAPSULE (REGARDLESS OF STRENGTH)] TAKEN BY A PREGNANT WOMAN DURING HER PREGNANCY CAN CAUSE SEVERE BIRTH DEFECTS.

BECAUSE OF THIS TOXICITY AND IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE THE CHANCE OF FETAL EXPOSURE TO THALOMID® (thalidomide) AS NEGLIGIBLE AS POSSIBLE, THALOMID® (thalidomide) IS APPROVED FOR MARKETING ONLY UNDER A SPECIAL RESTRICTED DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM APPROVED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PROGRAM IS CALLED THE “SYSTEM FOR THALIDOMIDE EDUCATION AND PRESCRIBING SAFETY (S.T.E.P.S.®)”.

UNDER THIS RESTRICTED DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM, ONLY PRESCRIBERS AND PHARMACISTS REGISTERED WITH THE PROGRAM ARE ALLOWED TO PRESCRIBE AND DISPENSE THE PRODUCT. IN ADDITION, PATIENTS MUST BE ADVISED OF, AGREE TO, AND COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE S.T.E.P.S.® PROGRAM IN ORDER TO RECEIVE PRODUCT.

PLEASE SEE THE FOLLOWING BOXED WARNINGS CONTAINING SPECIAL INFORMATION FOR PRESCRIBERS, FEMALE PATIENTS, AND MALE PATIENTS ABOUT THIS RESTRICTED DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM.

PRESCRIBERS

THALOMID® (thalidomide) may be prescribed only by licensed prescribers who are registered in the S.T.E.P.S.® program and understand the risk of teratogenicity if thalidomide is used during pregnancy. Major human fetal abnormalities related to thalidomide administration during pregnancy have been documented: amelia (absence of limbs), phocomelia (short limbs), hypoplasticity of the bones, absence of bones, external ear abnormalities (including anotia, micro pinna, small or absent external auditory canals), facial palsy, eye abnormalities (anophthalmos, microphthalmos), and congenital heart defects. Alimentary tract, urinary tract, and genital malformations have also been documented.1 Mortality at or shortly after birth has been reported at about 40%.2

Effective contraception (see CONTRAINDICATIONS) must be used for at least 4 weeks before beginning thalidomide therapy, during thalidomide therapy, and for 4 weeks following discontinuation of thalidomide therapy. Reliable contraception is indicated even where there has been a history of infertility, unless due to hysterectomy or because the patient has been postmenopausal for at least 24 months. Two reliable forms of contraception must be used simultaneously unless continuous abstinence from heterosexual sexual contact is the chosen method. Women of childbearing potential should be referred to a qualified provider of contraceptive methods, if needed. Sexually mature women who have not undergone a hysterectomy or who have not been postmenopausal for at least 24 consecutive months (i.e., who have had menses at some time in the preceding 24 consecutive months) are considered to be women of childbearing potential.

Before starting treatment, women of childbearing potential should have a pregnancy test (sensitivity of at least 50 mIU/mL). The test should be performed within the 24 hours prior to beginning thalidomide therapy. A prescription for thalidomide for a woman of childbearing potential must not be issued by the prescriber until a written report of a negative pregnancy test has been obtained by the prescriber.

Male Patients: Because thalidomide is present in the semen of patients receiving the drug, males receiving thalidomide must always use a latex condom during any sexual contact with women of childbearing potential even if he has undergone a successful vasectomy.

Once treatment has started, pregnancy testing should occur weekly during the first 4 weeks of use, then pregnancy testing should be repeated at 4 weeks in women with regular menstrual cycles. If menstrual cycles are irregular, the pregnancy testing should occur every 2 weeks. Pregnancy testing and counseling should be performed if a patient misses her period or if there is any abnormality in menstrual bleeding.

If pregnancy does occur during thalidomide treatment, thalidomide must be discontinued immediately.

Any suspected fetal exposure to THALOMID® (thalidomide) must be reported immediately to the FDA via the MedWatch number at 1-800-FDA-1088 and also to Celgene Corporation at 1-888-423-5436. The patient should be referred to an obstetrician/gynecologist experienced in reproductive toxicity for further evaluation and counseling.

FEMALE PATIENTS

Thalidomide is contraindicated in WOMEN of childbearing potential unless alternative therapies are considered inappropriate AND the patient MEETS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS (i.e., she is essentially unable to become pregnant while on thalidomide therapy):

  • she understands and can reliably carry out instructions.
  • she is capable of complying with the mandatory contraceptive measures, pregnancy testing, patient registration, and patient survey as described in the System for Thalidomide Education and Prescribing Safety (S.T.E.P.S.®) program.
  • she has received both oral and written warnings of the hazards of taking thalidomide during pregnancy and of exposing a fetus to the drug.
  • she has received both oral and written warnings of the risk of possible contraception failure and of the need to use two reliable forms of contraception simultaneously (see CONTRAINDICATIONS), unless continuous abstinence from heterosexual sexual contact is the chosen method. Sexually mature women who have not undergone a hysterectomy or who have not been postmenopausal for at least 24 consecutive months (i.e., who have had menses at some time in the preceding 24 consecutive months) are considered to be women of childbearing potential.
  • she acknowledges, in writing, her understanding of these warnings and of the need for using two reliable methods of contraception for 4 weeks prior to beginning thalidomide therapy, during thalidomide therapy, and for 4 weeks after discontinuation of thalidomide therapy.
  • she has had a negative pregnancy test with a sensitivity of at least 50 mIU/mL, within the 24 hours prior to beginning therapy. (See PRECAUTIONS, CONTRAINDICATIONS)
  • if the patient is between 12 and 18 years of age, her parent or legal guardian must have read this material and agreed to ensure compliance with the above.

MALE PATIENTS

Thalidomide is contraindicated in sexually mature MALES unless the PATIENT MEETS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

  • he understands and can reliably carry out instructions.
  • he is capable of complying with the mandatory contraceptive measures that are appropriate for men, patient registration, and patient survey as described in the S.T.E.P.S.® program.
  • he has received both oral and written warnings of the hazards of taking thalidomide and exposing a fetus to the drug.
  • he has received both oral and written warnings of the risk of possible contraception failure and of the presence of thalidomide in semen. He has been instructed that he must always use a latex condom during any sexual contact with women of childbearing potential, even if he has undergone a successful vasectomy.
  • he acknowledges, in writing, his understanding of these warnings and of the need to use a latex condom during any sexual contact with women of childbearing potential, even if he has undergone a successful vasectomy. Sexually mature women who have not undergone a hysterectomy or who have not been postmenopausal for at least 24 consecutive months (i.e., who have had menses at any time in the preceding 24 consecutive months) are considered to be women of childbearing potential.
  • if the patient is between 12 and 18 years of age, his parent or legal guardian must have read this material and agreed to ensure compliance with the above.

VENOUS THROMBOEMBOLIC EVENTS

The use of THALOMID® (thalidomide) in multiple myeloma results in an increased risk of venous thromboembolic events, such as deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolus. This risk increases significantly when thalidomide is used in combination with standard chemotherapeutic agents including dexamethasone. In one controlled trial, the rate of venous thromboembolic events was 22.5% in patients receiving thalidomide in combination with dexamethasone compared to 4.9% in patients receiving dexamethasone alone (p = 0.002). Patients and physicians are advised to be observant for the signs and symptoms of thromboembolism. Patients should be instructed to seek medical care if they develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or arm or leg swelling. Preliminary data suggest that patients who are appropriate candidates may benefit from concurrent prophylactic anticoagulation or aspirin treatment.

DRUG DESCRIPTION

THALOMID® (thalidomide), α-(N-phthalimido) glutarimide, is an immunomodulatory agent. The empirical formula for thalidomide is C13H10N2O4 and the gram molecular weight is 258.2. The CAS number of thalidomide is 50-35-1.

Chemical Structure of thalidomide

THALOMID® (thalidomide) Structural Formula Illustration

Note: •= asymmetric carbon atom

Thalidomide is an off-white to white, odorless, crystalline powder that is soluble at 25°C in dimethyl sulfoxide and sparingly soluble in water and ethanol. The glutarimide moiety contains a single asymmetric center and, therefore, may exist in either of two optically active forms designated S-(-) or R-(+). THALOMID® (thalidomide) is an equal mixture of the S-(-) and R-(+) forms and, therefore, has a net optical rotation of zero.

THALOMID® (thalidomide) is available in 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg and 200 mg capsules for oral administration. Active ingredient: thalidomide. Inactive ingredients: pregelatinized starch and magnesium stearate. The 50 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide, and black ink. The 100 mg capsule shell contains black iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and black ink. The 150 mg capsule shell contains FD&C blue #2, black iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and black and white ink. The 200 mg capsule shell contains FD&C blue #2, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and white ink.

REFERENCES

1. Manson JM. 1986. Teratogenicity. Cassarett and Doull's Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons. Third Edition. Pages 195-220. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co.

2. Smithels RW and Newman CG. 1992. J. Med. Genet. 29(10):716-723.

What are the possible side effects of thalidomide (Thalomid)?

Stop using this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, coughing up blood;
  • pain or swelling in your arm, thigh, or calf;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • slow heartbeats, shallow breathing, feeling like you might pass out;
  • a red, blistering, peeling skin...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Thalomid »

What are the precautions when taking thalidomide (Thalomid)?

Before taking thalidomide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have a certain medical condition. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a certain immune system problem (neutropenia).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: numbness/tingling of arms/legs, seizures.

Caution is advised when using this drug in people with HIV because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. While thalidomide is used to treat muscle wasting...

Read All Potential Precautions of Thalomid »

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/23/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

INDICATIONS

Multiple Myeloma

THALOMID® (thalidomide) in combination with dexamethasone is indicated for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

The effectiveness of THALOMID® (thalidomide) is based on response rates. (See Clinical Studies section.) There are no controlled trials demonstrating a clinical benefit, such as an improvement in survival.

Erythema Nodosum Leprosum

THALOMID® (thalidomide) is indicated for the acute treatment of the cutaneous manifestations of moderate to severe erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL).

THALOMID® (thalidomide) is not indicated as monotherapy for such ENL treatment in the presence of moderate to severe neuritis.

THALOMID® (thalidomide) is also indicated as maintenance therapy for prevention and suppression of the cutaneous manifestations of ENL recurrence.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

THALOMID ® (thalidomide) MUST ONLY BE ADMINISTERED IN COMPLIANCE WITH ALL OF THE TERMS OUTLINED IN THE S.T.E.P.S.® PROGRAM. THALOMID® (thalidomide) MAY ONLY BE PRESCRIBED BY PRESCRIBERS REGISTERED WITH THE S.T.E.P.S.® PROGRAM AND MAY ONLY BE DISPENSED BY PHARMACISTS REGISTERED WITH THE S.T.E.P.S.® PROGRAM.

Drug prescribing to women of childbearing potential should be contingent upon initial and continued confirmed negative results of pregnancy testing.

Multiple Myeloma

THALOMID® (thalidomide) is administered in combination with dexamethasone in 28-day treatment cycles. The dose of THALOMID® (thalidomide) is 200 mg administered orally once daily with water, preferably at bedtime and at least 1-hour after the evening meal. The dose of dexamethasone is 40 mg daily administered orally on days 1-4, 9-12, and 17-20 every 28 days.

Patients who develop side effects such as constipation, oversedation, or peripheral neuropathy may benefit by either temporarily discontinuing the drug or continuing at a lower dose. With the abatement of these side effects, the drug may be started at a lower dose or at the previous dose based on clinical judgment.

Erythema Nodosum Leprosum

For an episode of cutaneous ENL, THALOMID® (thalidomide) dosing should be initiated at 100 to 300 mg/day, administered once daily with water, preferably at bedtime and at least 1 hour after the evening meal. Patients weighing less than 50 kilograms should be started at the low end of the dose range.

In patients with a severe cutaneous ENL reaction, or in those who have previously required higher doses to control the reaction, THALOMID® (thalidomide) dosing may be initiated at higher doses up to 400 mg/day once daily at bedtime or in divided doses with water, at least 1 hour after meals.

In patients with moderate to severe neuritis associated with a severe ENL reaction, corticosteroids may be started concomitantly with THALOMID® (thalidomide). Steroid usage can be tapered and discontinued when the neuritis has ameliorated.

Dosing with THALOMID® (thalidomide) should usually continue until signs and symptoms of active reaction have subsided, usually a period of at least 2 weeks. Patients may then be tapered off medication in 50 mg decrements every 2 to 4 weeks.

Patients who have a documented history of requiring prolonged maintenance treatment to prevent the recurrence of cutaneous ENL or who flare during tapering, should be maintained on the minimum dose necessary to control the reaction. Tapering off medication should be attempted every 3 to 6 months, in decrements of 50 mg every 2 to 4 weeks.

HOW SUPPLIED

(THIS PRODUCT IS ONLY SUPPLIED TO PHARMACISTS REGISTERED WITH THE S.T.E.P.S. ® PROGRAM - See BOXED WARNINGS)

THALOMID® (thalidomide) Capsules are supplied in the following dosages:

50 mg capsules [white opaque], imprinted “Celgene / 50 mg” with a “Do Not Get Pregnant” logo.
Individual blister packs of 28 capsules (NDC 59572-205-14).
Boxes of 280 containing 10 prescription packs of 28 capsules each (NDC 59572-205-94).

50 mg capsules [white opaque], imprinted “Celgene / 50 mg” with a “Do Not Get Pregnant” logo.
Individual blister packs of 1 capsule (NDC 59572-205-17).
Boxes of 10 containing 10 prescription packs of 1 capsule each (NDC 59572-205-97).

100 mg capsules [tan], imprinted “Celgene / 100 mg” with a “Do Not Get Pregnant” logo.
Individual blister packs of 28 capsules (NDC 59572-210-15).
Boxes of 140 containing 5 prescription packs of 28 capsules each (NDC 59572-210-95).

150 mg capsules [tan and blue], imprinted “Celgene/ 150 mg” with a “Do Not Get Pregnant” logo.
Individual blister packs of 28 capsules (NDC 59572-215-13).
Boxes of 112 containing 4 prescription packs of 28 capsules (NDC 59572-215-93).

200 mg capsules [blue], imprinted “Celgene / 200 mg” with a “Do Not Get Pregnant” logo.
Individual blister packs of 28 capsules (NDC 59572-220-16).
Boxes of 84 containing 3 prescription packs of 28 capsules each (NDC 59572-220-96).

Storage And Dispensing

PHARMACISTS NOTE:

BEFORE DISPENSING THALOMID ® (thalidomide), YOU MUST ACTIVATE THE AUTHORIZATION NUMBER ON EVERY PRESCRIPTION BY CALLING THE CELGENE CUSTOMER CARE CENTER AT 1-888-423-5436 AND OBTAINING A CONFIRMATION NUMBER. YOU MUST ALSO WRITE THE CONFIRMATION NUMBER ON THE PRESCRIPTION. YOU SHOULD ACCEPT A PRESCRIPTION ONLY IF IT HAS BEEN ISSUED WITHIN THE PREVIOUS 7 DAYS (TELEPHONE PRESCRIPTIONS ARE NOT PERMITTED); DISPENSE NO MORE THAN A 4-WEEK (28-DAY) SUPPLY. A NEW PRESCRIPTION IS REQUIRED FOR FURTHER DISPENSING. DISPENSE BLISTER PACKS INTACT (CAPSULES CANNOT BE REPACKAGED); DISPENSE SUBSEQUENT PRESCRIPTIONS ONLY IF FEWER THAN 7 DAYS OF THERAPY REMAIN ON THE PREVIOUS PRESCRIPTION; AND EDUCATE ALL STAFF PHARMACISTS ABOUT THE DISPENSING PROCEDURE FOR THALOMID® (thalidomide).

This drug must not be repackaged.

Store at 25° C (77° F); excursions permitted to 15-30° C (59-86° F). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature]. Protect from light.

Rx only and only able to be prescribed and dispensed under the terms of the S.T.E.P.S.® Restricted Distribution Program

Manufactured for Celgene Corporation, 86 Morris Avenue, Summit, New Jersey 07901. 1-(888) 423-5436

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/23/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

SIDE EFFECTS

The most serious toxicity associated with thalidomide is its documented human teratogenicity. (See BOXED WARNINGS and CONTRAINDICATIONS.) The risk of severe birth defects, primarily phocomelia or death to the fetus, is extremely high during the critical period of pregnancy. The critical period is estimated, depending on the source of information, to range from 35 to 50 days after the last menstrual period. The risk of other potentially severe birth defects outside this critical period is unknown, but may be significant. Based on present knowledge, thalidomide must not be used at any time during pregnancy.

Because thalidomide is present in the semen of patients receiving the drug, males receiving thalidomide must always use a latex condom during any sexual contact with women of childbearing potential.

Thalidomide is associated with drowsiness/somnolence, peripheral neuropathy, dizziness/orthostatic hypotension, neutropenia, and HIV viral load increase. (See WARNINGS)

Hypersensitivity to THALOMID® (thalidomide) and bradycardia in patients treated with thalidomide have been reported. (See PRECAUTIONS)

Somnolence, dizziness, and rash are the most commonly observed adverse events associated with the use of thalidomide. Thalidomide has been studied in controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials in patients with multiple myeloma and ENL and in people who are HIV-seropositive. In addition, thalidomide has been administered investigationally for more than 20 years in numerous indications. Adverse event profiles from these uses are summarized in the sections that follow.

Other Adverse Events

Due to the nature of the longitudinal data that form the basis of this product's safety evaluation, no determination has been made of the causal relationship between the reported adverse events listed below and thalidomide. These lists are of various adverse events noted by investigators in patients to whom they had administered thalidomide under various conditions. The use of thalidomide may not limit disease progression and/or death.

Adverse Events in Multiple Myeloma Controlled Clinical Trial

The safety analysis was conducted on 204 patients who received study drug in the randomized trial. Table 6 lists the most common treatment-emergent signs and symptoms (occurring at ≥ 10%) that were observed. The most frequently reported adverse events were constipation, sensory neuropathy, confusion, hypocalcemia, edema, dyspnea, thrombosis/embolism, and rash/desquamation (occurring in ≥ 20% of patients and with a frequency of ≥ 10% in patients treated with THALOMID® (thalidomide)/dexamethasone compared with dexamethasone alone).

Twenty-three percent of patients (47/204) discontinued due to adverse events; thirty percent (31/102) from the THALOMID® (thalidomide)/dexamethasone arm and sixteen percent (16/102) from the dexamethasone alone arm.

Table 6: Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events in ≥ 10% of All Patients Adverse Event (Safety Population; N=204)

Organ System Class/ Preferred Term Thal+ Dex
(N=102)
Dex Alone
(N=102)
All Events [n,(%)] Grade 3 Events [n,(%)] Grade 4 Events [n,(%)] All Events [n,(%)] Grade 3 Events [n,(%)] Grade 4 Events [n,(%)]
Metabolic/ Laboratory 97 (95.1) 30 (29.4) 15(14.7) 96 (94.1) 28(27.5) 6 (5.9)
 Hyperglycemia 74 (72.5) 12 (11.8) 4(3.9) 81 (79.4) 17(16.7) 2 (2.0)
  Hypocalcemia 73 (71.6) 9 (8.8) 6(5.9) 60 (58.8) 4(3.9) 1 (1.0)
  Hyponatremia 44 (43.1) 11 (10.8) 2(2.0) 49 (48.0) 13(12.7) 2 (2.0)
  Hypokalemia 23 (22.5) 4 (3.9) 1(1.0) 23 (22.5) 0(0.0) 1 (1.0)
  Hyperkalemia 19 (18.6) 1 (1.0) 2(2.0) 20 (19.6) 2(2.0) 0 (0.0)
Neurology 92 (90.2) 27 (26.5) 5( 4.9) 76 (74.5) 15(14.7) 4 (3.9)
  Neuropathy-sensory 55 (53.9) 3 (2.9) 1(1.0) 28 (27.5) 1(1.0) 0 (0.0)
  Confusion 29 (28.4) 6 (5.9) 3(2.9) 12 (11.8) 2(2.0) 3 (2.9)
  Anxiety/agitation 26 (25.5) 1 (1.0) 0(0.0) 14 (13.7) 3(2.9) 0 (0.0)
  Tremor 26 (25.5) 1 (1.0) 0(0.0) 6 (5.9) 0(0.0) 0 (0.0)
  Insomnia 23 (22.5) 0 (0.0) 0(0.0) 48 (47.1) 5(4.9) 0 (0.0)
  Depression 22 (21.6) 2 (2.0) 0(0.0) 24 (23.5) 1(1.0) 0 (0.0)
  Neuropathy-motor 22 (21.6) 7 (6.9) 1(1.0) 16 (15.7) 5(4.9) 1 (1.0)
  Dizziness/ lightheadedness 20 (19.6) 1 (1.0) 0(0.0) 14 (13.7) 0(0.0) 0 (0.0)
Constitutional Symptoms 91 (89.2) 17 (16.7) 3(2.9) 84 (82.4) 15(14.7) 2 (2.0)
  Fatigue 81 (79.4) 14 (13.7) 3(2.9) 72 (70.6) 12(11.8) 2 (2.0)
  Fever 24 (23.5) 1 (1.0) 0(0.0) 20 (19.6) 3(2.9) 0 (0.0)
  Weight loss 23 (22.5) 1 (1.0) 0(0.0) 21 (20.6) 2(2.0) 0 (0.0)
  Weight gain 22 (21.6) 1 (1.0) 0(0.0) 13 (12.7) 0(0.0) 0 (0.0)
Blood/ Bone Marrow 88 (86.3) 25 (24.5) 9(8.8) 96 (94.1) 10(9.8) 10 (9.8)
  Hemoglobin (decreased) 79 (77.5) 13 (12.7) 3(2.9) 88 (86.3) 5(4.9) 1 (1.0)
  Leukocytes (decreased) 36 (35.3) 6 (5.9) 1(1.0) 30 (29.4) 1(1.0) 2 (2.0)
  Neutrophils (decreased) 32 (31.4) 8 (7.8) 5(4.9) 24 (23.5) 3(2.9) 8 (7.8)
  Platelets (decreased) 24 (23.5) 2 (2.0) 2(2.0) 34 (33.3) 3(2.9) 0 (0.0)
Gastrointestinal 83 (81.4) 19 (18.6) 3(2.9) 70 (68.6) 8(7.8) 0 (0.0)
  Constipation 56 (54.9) 8 (7.8) 0(0.0) 29 (28.4) 1(1.0) 0 (0.0)
  Anorexia 29 (28.4) 4 (3.9) 0(0.0) 25 (24.5) 2(2.0) 0 (0.0)
  Nausea 29 (28.4) 5 (4.9) 0(0.0) 23 (22.5) 1(1.0) 0 (0.0)
  Vomiting 12 (11.8) 2 (2.0) 0(0.0) 12 (11.8) 1(1.0) 0 (0.0)
  Diarrhea 12 (11.8) 1 (1.0) 0(0.0) 17 (16.7) 3(2.9) 0 (0.0)
  Dyspepsia 8 (7.8) 1 (1.0) 0(0.0) 19 (18.6) 1(1.0) 0 (0.0)
  Cardiovascular 70 (68.6) 24 (23.5) 14(13.7) 60 (58.8) 17(16.7) 5 (4.9)
  Edema 58 (56.9) 6 (5.9) 0(0.0) 47 (46.1) 4(3.9) 0 (0.0)
  Thrombosis/ embolism 23 (22.5) 13 (12.7) 9(8.8) 5 (4.9) 3(2.9) 2 (2.0)
  Hypotension 16 (15.7) 7 (6.9) 2(2.0) 15 (14.7) 2(2.0) 3 (2.9)
  Hypertension 11 (10.8) 1 (1.0) 0(0.0) 12 (11.8) 9(8.8) 0 (0.0)
Pain 64 (62.7) 8 (7.8) 2(2.0) 66 (64.7) 15(14.7) 0 (0.0)
  Bone pain 31 (30.4) 3 (2.9) 2(2.0) 37 (36.3) 11(10.8) 0 (0.0)
  Pain-other 25 (24.5) 4 (3.9) 0(0.0) 26 (25.5) 3(2.9) 0 (0.0)
  Headache 20 (19.6) 3 (2.9) 0(0.0) 23 (22.5) 0(0.0) 0 (0.0)
  Myalgia 17 (16.7) 0 (0.0) 0(0.0) 14 (13.7) 1(1.0) 0 (0.0)
  Arthralgia 13 (12.7) 0 (0.0) 0(0.0) 10 (9.8) 2(2.0) 0 (0.0)
Pulmonary 52 (51.0) 15 (14.7) 6(5.9) 51 (50.0) 15(14.7) 5 (4.9)
  Dyspnea 43 (42.2) 10 (9.8) 3(2.9) 32 (31.4) 12(11.8) 4 (3.9)
  Cough 15 (14.7) 0 (0.0) 0(0.0) 19 (18.6) 0(0.0) 0 (0.0)
Dermatology/ Skin 48 (47.1) 5 (4.9) 1(1.0) 35 (34.3) 2(2.0) 0 (0.0)
  Rash/desquamation 31 (30.4) 4 (3.9) 0(0.0) 18 (17.6) 2(2.0) 0 (0.0)
  Dry skin 21 (20.6) 0 (0.0) 0(0.0) 11 (10.8) 0(0.0) 0 (0.0)
  Hepatic 47 (46.1) 5 (4.9) 2(2.0) 45 (44.1) 3(2.9) 1 (1.0)
  Alkaline phosphatase (increased) 27 (26.5) 0 (0.0) 0(0.0) 29 (28.4) 1(1.0) 0 (0.0)
  SGOT (increased) 25 (24.5) 1 (1.0) 1(1.0) 24 (23.5) 1(1.0) 1 (1.0)
  Bilirubin (increased) 14 (13.7) 1 (1.0) 1(1.0) 10 (9.8) 1(1.0) 1 (1.0)
Renal/ Genitourinary 43 (42.2) 3 (2.9) 3(2.9) 49 (48.0) 4(3.9) 3 (2.9)
  Creatinine 36 (35.3) 1 (1.0) 1(1.0) 43 (42.2) 2(2.0) 2 (2.0)
Musculoskeletal 42 (41.2) 8 (7.8) 2(2.0) 41 (40.2) 11(10.8) 3 (2.9)
  Muscle weakness 41 (40.2) 6 (5.9) 1(1.0) 38 (37.3) 10(9.8) 3 (2.9)
Infection/ Febrile Neutropenia  23 (22.5) 5 (4.9) 2(2.0) 28 (27.5) 6(5.9) 6 (5.9)
  Infection without neutropenia 19 (17.6) 4 (3.9) 1(1.0) 18 (17.6) 4(3.9) 2 (2.0)

Incidence in ENL Controlled Clinical Trials

Table 7 lists treatment-emergent signs and symptoms that occurred in THALOMID® (thalidomide)-treated patients in controlled clinical trials in ENL. Doses ranged from 50 to 300 mg/day. All adverse events were mild to moderate in severity, and none resulted in discontinuation. Table 7 also lists treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred in at least three of the THALOMID® (thalidomide)-treated HIV-seropositive patients who participated in an 8-week, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Events that were more frequent in the placebo-treated group are not included. (See WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, and DRUG INTERACTIONS)

Table 7: Summary of Adverse Events (AEs) Reported in Celgene-sponsored Controlled Clinical Trials

Body System/ Adverse Event All AEs Reported in ENL Patients AEs Reported in ≥ 3 HIV-seropositive Patients
Thalidomide Placebo
(N=35)
50 to 300 mg/day
(N=24)
100 mg/day
(N=36)
200 mg/day
(N=32)
Body as a Whole 16(66.7%) 18(50.0%) 19 (59.4%) 13(37.1%)
  Abdominal pain 1(4.2%) 1(2.8%) 1 (3.1%) 4(11.4%)
  Accidental injury 1(4.2%) 2(5.6%) 0 1(2.9%)
  Asthenia 2(8.3%) 2(5.6%) 7 (21.9%) 1(2.9%)
  Back pain 1(4.2%) 2(5.6%) 0 0
  Chills 1(4.2%) 0 3 (9.4%) 4(11.4%)
  Facial edema 1(4.2%) 0 0 0
  Fever 0 7(19.4%) 7 (21.9%) 6(17.1%)
  Headache 3(12.5%) 6(16.7%) 6 (18.7%) 4(11.4%)
  Infection 0 3(8.3%) 2 (6.3%) 1(2.9%)
  Malaise 2(8.3%) 0 0 0
  Neck pain 1(4.2%) 0 0 0
  Neck rigidity 1(4.2%) 0 0 0
  Pain 2(8.3%) 0 1 (3.1%) 2(5.7%)
Digestive System 5(20.8%) 16(44.4%) 16 (50.0%) 15(42.9%)
  Anorexia 0 1(2.8%) 3 (9.4%) 2(5.7%)
  Constipation 1(4.2%) 1(2.8%) 3 (9.4%) 0
  Diarrhea 1(4.2%) 4(11.1%) 6 (18.7%) 6(17.1%)
  Dry mouth 0 3(8.3%) 3 (9.4%) 2(5.7%)
  Flatulence 0 3(8.3%) 0 2(5.7%)
  Liver function tests multiple abnormalities 0 0 3 (9.4%) 0
  Nausea 1(4.2%) 0 4 (12.5%) 1(2.9%)
  Oral moniliasis 1(4.2%) 1(11.1%) 2 (6.3%) 0
  Tooth pain 1(4.2%) 0 0 0
Hemic and Lymphatic 0 8(22.2%) 13 (40.6%) 10(28.6%)
  Anemia 0 2(5.6%) 4 (12.5%) 3(8.6%)
  Leukopenia 0 6(16.7%) 8 (25.0%) 3(8.6%)
  Lymphadenopathy 0 2(5.6%) 4 (12.5%) 3(8.6%)
Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders 1(4.2%) 8(22.2%) 12 (37.5%) 8(22.9%)
  Edema peripheral 1(4.2%) 3(8.3%) 1 (3.1%) 0
  Hyperlipemia 0 2(5.6%) 3 (9.4%) 1(2.9%)
  SGOT increased 0 1(2.8%) 4 (12.5%) 2(5.7%)
Nervous System 13(54.2%) 19(52.8%) 18 (56.3%) 12(34.3%)
  Agitation 0 0 3 (9.4%) 0
  Dizziness 1(4.2%) 7(19.4%) 6 (18.7%) 0
  Insomnia 0 0 3 (9.4%) 2(5.7%)
  Nervousness 0 1(2.8%) 3 (9.4%) 0
  Neuropathy 0 3(8.3%) 0 0
  Paresthesia 0 2(5.6%) 5 (15.6%) 4(11.4%)
  Somnolence 9(37.5%) 13(36.1%) 12 (37.5%) 4(11.4%)
  Tremor 1(4.2%) 0 0 0
  Vertigo 2(8.3%) 0 0 0
Respiratory System 3(12.5%) 9(25.0%) 6 (18.7%) 9(25.7%)
  Pharyngitis 1(4.2%) 3(8.3%) 2 (6.3%) 2(5.7%)
  Rhinitis 1(4.2%) 0 0 4(11.4%)
  Sinusitis 1(4.2%) 3(8.3%) 1 (3.1%) 2(5.7%)
Skin and Appendages 10(41.7%) 17(47.2%) 18 (56.3%) 19(54.3%)
  Acne 0 4(11.1%) 1 (3.1%) 0
  Dermatitis fungal 1(4.2%) 2(5.6%) 3 (9.4%) 0
  Nail disorder 1(4.2%) 0 1 (3.1%) 0
  Pruritus 2(8.3%) 1(2.8%) 2 (6.3%) 2(5.7%)
  Rash 5(20.8%) 9(25.0%) 8 (25.0%) 11(31.4%)
  Rash maculo-papular 1(4.2%) 6(16.7%) 6 (18.7%) 2(5.7%)
  Sweating 0 0 4 (12.5%) 4(11.4%)
Urogenital System 2(8.3%) 6(16.7%) 2 (6.3%) 4(11.4%)
  Albuminuria 0 3(8.3%) 1 (3.1%) 2(5.7%)
  Hematuria 0 4(11.1%) 0 1(2.9%)
  Impotence 2(8.3%) 1(2.8%) 0 0

Other Adverse Events Observed in ENL Patients

Thalidomide in doses up to 400 mg/day has been administered investigationally in the United States over a 19-year period in 1465 patients with ENL. The published literature describes the treatment of an additional 1678 patients. To provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of the individuals having adverse events, similar types of events were grouped into a smaller number of standardized categories using a modified COSTART dictionary/terminology. These categories are used in the listing below. All reported events are included except those already listed in the previous table. Due to the fact that these data were collected from uncontrolled studies, the incidence rate cannot be determined. As mentioned previously, no causal relationship between thalidomide and these events can be conclusively determined at this time . These are reports of all adverse events noted by investigators in patients to whom they had administered thalidomide.

Body as a Whole: Abdomen enlarged, fever, photosensitivity, upper extremity pain.

Cardiovascular System: Bradycardia, hypertension, hypotension, peripheral vascular disorder, tachycardia, vasodilation.

Digestive System: Anorexia, appetite increase/weight gain, dry mouth, dyspepsia, enlarged liver, eructation, flatulence, increased liver function tests, intestinal obstruction, vomiting.

Hemic and Lymphatic: ESR decrease, eosinophilia, granulocytopenia, hypochromic anemia, leukemia, leukocytosis, leukopenia, MCV elevated, RBC abnormal, spleen palpable, thrombocytopenia.

Metabolic and Endocrine: ADH inappropriate, amyloidosis, bilirubinemia, BUN increased, creatinine increased, cyanosis, diabetes, edema, electrolyte abnormalities, hyperglycemia, hyperkalemia, hyperuricemia, hypocalcemia, hypoproteinemia, LDH increased, phosphorus decreased, SGPT increased.

Muscular Skeletal: Arthritis, bone tenderness, hypertonia, joint disorder, leg cramps, myalgia, myasthenia, periosteal disorder.

Nervous System: Abnormal thinking, agitation, amnesia, anxiety, causalgia, circumoral paresthesia, confusion, depression, euphoria, hyperesthesia, insomnia, nervousness, neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, peripheral neuritis, psychosis.

Respiratory System: Cough, emphysema, epistaxis, pulmonary embolus, rales, upper respiratory infection, voice alteration.

Skin and Appendages: Acne, alopecia, dry skin, eczematous rash, exfoliative dermatitis, ichthyosis, perifollicular thickening, skin necrosis, seborrhea, sweating, urticaria, vesiculobullous rash.

Special Senses: Amblyopia, deafness, dry eye, eye pain, tinnitus.

Urogenital: Decreased creatinine clearance, hematuria, orchitis, proteinuria, pyuria, urinary frequency.

Other Adverse Events Observe d in HIV-seropositive Patients

In addition to controlled clinical trials, THALOMID® (thalidomide) has been used in uncontrolled studies in 145 patients. Less frequent adverse events that have been reported in these HIV-seropositive patients treated with THALOMID® (thalidomide) were grouped into a smaller number of standardized categories using modified COSTART dictionary/terminology and these categories are used in the listing below. Adverse events that have already been included in the tables and narrative above, or that are too general to be informative are not listed.

Body as a Whole: Ascites, AIDS, allergic reaction, cellulitis, chest pain, chills and fever, cyst, decreased CD4 count, facial edema, flu syndrome, hernia, thyroid hormone level altered, moniliasis, photosensitivity reaction, sarcoma, sepsis, viral infection.

Cardiovascular System: Angina pectoris, arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, cerebral ischemia, cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure, deep thrombophlebitis, heart arrest, heart failure, hypertension, hypotension, murmur, myocardial infarct, palpitation, pericarditis, peripheral vascular disorder, postural hypotension, syncope, tachycardia, thrombophlebitis, thrombosis.

Digestive System: Cholangitis, cholestatic jaundice, colitis, dyspepsia, dysphagia, esophagitis, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal disorder, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gum disorder, hepatitis, pancreatitis, parotid gland enlargement, periodontitis, stomatitis, tongue discoloration, tooth disorder.

Hemic and Lymphatic: Aplastic anemia, macrocytic anemia, megaloblastic anemia, microcytic anemia.

Metabolic and Endocrine: Avitaminosis, bilirubinemia, dehydration, hypercholesteremia, hypoglycemia, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased lipase, increased serum creatinine, peripheral edema.

Muscular Skeletal: Myalgia, myasthenia.

Nervous System: Abnormal gait, ataxia, decreased libido, decreased reflexes, dementia, dysesthesia, dyskinesia, emotional lability, hostility, hypalgesia, hyperkinesia, incoordination, meningitis, neurologic disorder, tremor, vertigo.

Respiratory System: Apnea, bronchitis, lung disorder, lung edema, pneumonia (including Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia), rhinitis.

Skin and Appendages: Angioedema, benign skin neoplasm, eczema, herpes simplex, incomplete Stevens- Johnson syndrome, nail disorder, pruritus, psoriasis, skin discoloration, skin disorder.

Special Senses: Conjunctivitis, eye disorder, lacrimation disorder, retinitis, taste perversion.

Other Adverse Events Observed in Post-Marketing Use

Cardiovascular System: Cardiac arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, tachycardia, sick sinus syndrome and EKG abnormalities.

Digestive System: Intestinal perforation.

Metabolic and Endocrine: Electrolyte imbalance including hypercalcemia or hypocalcemia, hyperkalemia and hypokalemia, hyponatremia, hypothyroidism, and increased alkaline phosphatase, tumor lysis syndrome.

Nervous System: Changes in mental status or mood including depression and suicide attempts, disturbances in consciousness including lethargy, syncope, loss of consciousness or stupor, seizures including grand mal convulsions and status epilepicus.

Skin and Appendages: Erythema multiforme.

Hemic and Lymphatic: Decreased white blood cell counts including neutropenia and febrile neutropenia, changes in prothrombin time.

Respiratory System: Pleural effusion.

Other Adverse Events in the Published Literature or Reported from Other Sources

The following additional events have been identified either in the published literature or from spontaneous reports from other sources: acute renal failure, amenorrhea, aphthous stomatitis, bile duct obstruction, carpal tunnel, chronic myelogenous leukemia, diplopia, dysesthesia, dyspnea, enuresis, erythema nodosum, erythroleukemia, foot drop, galactorrhea, gynecomastia, hangover effect, hypomagnesemia, hypothyroidism, lymphedema, lymphopenia, metrorrhagia, migraine, myxedema, nodular sclerosing Hodgkin's disease, nystagmus, oliguria, pancytopenia, petechiae, purpura, Raynaud's syndrome, stomach ulcer, and suicide attempt.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Physical and psychological dependence has not been reported in patients taking thalidomide. However, as with other tranquilizers/hypnotics, thalidomide too has been reported to create in patients habituation to its soporific effects.

Read the Thalomid (thalidomide) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Thalidomide has been reported to enhance the sedative activity of barbiturates, alcohol, chlorpromazine, and reserpine.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Medications known to be associated with peripheral neuropathy should be used with caution in patients receiving thalidomide.

Oral Contraceptives: In 10 healthy women, the pharmacokinetic profiles of norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol following administration of a single dose containing 1.0 mg of norethindrone acetate and 75 βg of ethinyl estradiol were studied. The results were similar with and without coadministration of thalidomide 200 mg/day to steady-state levels.

Important Non-Thalidomide Drug Interactions

Drugs That Interfere with Hormonal Contraceptives: Concomitant use of HIV-protease inhibitors, griseofulvin, modafinil, penicillins, rifampin, rifabutin, phenytoin, carbamazepine, or certain herbal supplements such as St. John's Wort with hormonal contraceptive agents may reduce the effectiveness of the contraception and up to one month after discontinuation of these concomitant therapies. Therefore, women requiring treatment with one or more of these drugs must use two OTHER effective or highly effective methods of contraception or abstain from heterosexual sexual contact while taking thalidomide.

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/23/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

WARNINGS

(See BOXED WARNINGS)

Birth Defects

Thalidomide can cause severe birth defects in humans. (See BOXED WARNINGS and CONTRAINDICATIONS.) Patients should be instructed to take thalidomide only as prescribed and not to share their thalidomide with anyone else. Because thalidomide is present in the semen of patients receiving the drug, males receiving thalidomide must always use a latex condom during any sexual contact with women of childbearing potential. The risk to the fetus from the semen of male patients taking thalidomide is unknown.

Thrombotic Events

The use of THALOMID® (thalidomide) in multiple myeloma results in an increased risk of venous thromboembolic events, such as deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolus. This risk increases significantly when thalidomide is used in combination with standard chemotherapeutic agents including dexamethasone. In one controlled trial, the rate of venous thromboembolic events was 22.5% in patients receiving thalidomide in combination with dexamethasone compared to 4.9% in patients receiving dexamethasone alone (p = 0.002). Patients and physicians are advised to be observant for the signs and symptoms of thromboembolism. Patients should be instructed to seek medical care if they develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or arm or leg swelling. Preliminary data suggest that patients who are appropriate candidates may benefit from concurrent prophylactic anticoagulation or aspirin treatment. (See BOXED WARNINGS)

Drowsiness and Somnolence

Thalidomide frequently causes drowsiness and somnolence. Patients should be instructed to avoid situations where drowsiness may be a problem and not to take other medications that may cause drowsiness without adequate medical advice. Patients should be advised as to the possible impairment of mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of hazardous tasks, such as driving a car or operating other complex or dangerous machinery.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Thalidomide is known to cause nerve damage that may be permanent. Peripheral neuropathy is a common, potentially severe, side effect of treatment with thalidomide that may be irreversible. Peripheral neuropathy generally occurs following chronic use over a period of months; however, reports following relatively shortterm use also exist. The correlation with cumulative dose is unclear. Symptoms may occur some time after thalidomide treatment has been stopped and may resolve slowly or not at all.

Few reports of neuropathy have arisen in the treatment of ENL despite long-term thalidomide treatment. However, the inability clinically to differentiate thalidomide neuropathy from the neuropathy often seen in Hansen's disease makes it difficult to determine accurately the incidence of thalidomide-related neuropathy in ENL patients treated with thalidomide.

Patients should be examined at monthly intervals for the first 3 months of thalidomide therapy to enable the clinician to detect early signs of neuropathy, which include numbness, tingling or pain in the hands and feet. Patients should be evaluated periodically thereafter during treatment. Patients should be regularly counseled, questioned, and evaluated for signs or symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Consideration should be given to electrophysiological testing, consisting of measurement of sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitudes at baseline and thereafter every 6 months in an effort to detect asymptomatic neuropathy. If symptoms of drug-induced neuropathy develop, thalidomide should be discontinued immediately to limit further damage, if clinically appropriate. Usually, treatment with thalidomide should only be reinitiated if the neuropathy returns to baseline status. Medications known to be associated with neuropathy should be used with caution in patients receiving thalidomide.

Dizziness and Orthostatic Hypotension

Patients should also be advised that thalidomide may cause dizziness and orthostatic hypotension and that, therefore, they should sit upright for a few minutes prior to standing up from a recumbent position.

Neutropenia

Decreased white blood cell counts, including neutropenia, have been reported in association with the clinical use of thalidomide. Treatment should not be initiated with an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of < 750/mm³. White blood cell count and differential should be monitored on an ongoing basis, especially in patients who may be more prone to neutropenia, such as patients who are HIV-seropositive. If ANC decreases to below 750/mm³ while on treatment, the patient's medication regimen should be re-evaluated and, if the neutropenia persists, consideration should be given to withholding thalidomide if clinically appropriate.

Increased HIV Viral Load

In a randomized, placebo controlled trial of thalidomide in an HIV-seropositive patient population, plasma HIV RNA levels were found to increase (median change = 0.42 log10 copies HIV RNA/mL, p = 0.04 compared to placebo).7 A similar trend was observed in a second, unpublished study conducted in patients who were HIVseropositive.13 The clinical significance of this increase is unknown. Both studies were conducted prior to availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Until the clinical significance of this finding is further understood, in HIV-seropositive patients, viral load should be measured after the first and third months of treatment and every 3 months thereafter.

PRECAUTIONS

General

The only type of thalidomide exposure known to result in drug associated birth defects are as a result of direct oral ingestion of thalidomide. Currently no specific data are available regarding the cutaneous absorption or inhalation of thalidomide in women of childbearing potential and whether these exposures may result in any birth defects. Patients should be instructed to not extensively handle or open THALOMID® (thalidomide) Capsules and to maintain storage of capsules in blister packs until ingestion. If there is contact with non-intact thalidomide capsules or the powder contents, the exposed area should be washed with soap and water.

Thalidomide has been shown to be present in the serum and semen of patients receiving thalidomide. If healthcare providers or other care givers are exposed to body fluids from patients receiving THALOMID® (thalidomide), appropriate precautions should be utilized, such as wearing gloves to prevent the potential cutaneous exposure to THALOMID® (thalidomide) or the exposed area should be washed with soap and water.

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity to THALOMID® (thalidomide) has been reported. Signs and symptoms have included the occurrence of erythematous macular rash, possibly associated with fever, tachycardia, and hypotension, and if severe, may necessitate interruption of therapy. If the reaction recurs when dosing is resumed, THALOMID® (thalidomide) should be discontinued.

Bradycardia

Bradycardia in association with thalidomide use has been reported. Cases of bradycardia have been reported, some required medical interventions. The clinical significance and underlying etiology of the bradycardia noted in some thalidomide-treated patients are presently unknown.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

Serious dermatologic reactions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, which may be fatal, have been reported. THALOMID® (thalidomide) should be discontinued if a skin rash occurs and only resumed following appropriate clinical evaluation. If the rash is exfoliative, purpuric, or bullous or if Stevens- Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis is suspected, use of THALOMID® (thalidomide) should not be resumed.

Seizures

Although not reported from pre-marketing controlled clinical trials, seizures, including grand mal convulsions, have been reported during post-approval use of THALOMID® (thalidomide) in clinical practice. Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. Most patients had disorders that may have predisposed them to seizure activity, and it is not currently known whether thalidomide has any epileptogenic influence. During therapy with thalidomide, patients with a history of seizures or with other risk factors for the development of seizures should be monitored closely for clinical changes that could precipitate acute seizure activity.

Information for Patients

(See BOXED WARNINGS)

Patients should be instructed about the potential teratogenicity of thalidomide and the precautions that must be taken to preclude fetal exposure as per the S.T.E.P.S.® program and boxed warnings in this package insert. Patients should be instructed to take thalidomide only as prescribed in compliance with all of the provisions of the S.T.E.P.S.® Restricted Distribution Program. Patients should be instructed to not extensively handle or open THALOMID® (thalidomide) Capsules and to maintain storage of capsules in blister packs until ingestion.

Patients should be instructed not to share medication with anyone else.

Patients should be instructed that thalidomide frequently causes drowsiness and somnolence. Patients should be instructed to avoid situations where drowsiness may be a problem and not to take other medications that may cause drowsiness without adequate medical advice. Patients should be advised as to the possible impairment of mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of hazardous tasks, such as driving a car or operating other complex machinery. Patients should be instructed that thalidomide may potentiate the somnolence caused by alcohol.

Patients should be instructed that thalidomide can cause peripheral neuropathies that may be initially signaled by numbness, tingling, or pain or a burning sensation in the feet or hands. Patients should be instructed to report such occurrences to their prescriber immediately.

Patients should also be instructed that thalidomide may cause dizziness and orthostatic hypotension and that, therefore, they should sit upright for a few minutes prior to standing up from a recumbent position.

Patients should be instructed that they are not permitted to donate blood while taking thalidomide. In addition, male patients should be instructed that they are not permitted to donate sperm while taking thalidomide.

Patients should be educated about the signs and symptoms of thromboembolism and instructed to seek medical care if they develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or arm or leg swelling.

Laboratory Tests

Pregnancy Testing: (See BOXED WARNINGS) Women of childbearing potential should have a pregnancy test performed (sensitivity of at least 50 mIU/mL). The test should be performed within the 24 hours prior to beginning thalidomide therapy and then weekly during the first 4 weeks of use, then at 4 week intervals in women with regular menstrual cycles or every 2 weeks in women with irregular menstrual cycles. Pregnancy testing and counseling should be performed if a patient misses her period or if there is any abnormality in menstrual bleeding.

Neutropenia: (See WARNINGS)

Increased HIV Viral Load: (See WARNINGS)

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Two-year carcinogenicity studies were conducted in male and female rats and mice. No compound-related tumorigenic effects were observed at the highest dose levels of 3,000 mg/kg/day to male and female mice (38-fold greater than the highest recommended daily human dose of 400 mg based upon body surface area [BSA]), 3,000 mg/kg/day to female rats (75-fold the maximum human dose based upon BSA), and 300 mg/kg/day to male rats (7.5-fold the maximum human dose based upon BSA).

Thalidomide was neither mutagenic nor genotoxic in the following assays: the Ames bacterial (S. typhimurium and E. coli) reverse mutation assay, a Chinese hamster ovary cell (AS52/XPRT) forward mutation assay, and an in vivo mouse micronucleus test.

Fertility studies were conducted in male and female rabbits; no compound-related effects in mating and fertility indices were observed at any oral thalidomide dose level including the highest of 100 mg/kg/day to female rabbits and 500 mg/kg/day to male rabbits (approximately 5- and 25-fold the maximum human dose, respectively, based upon BSA). Testicular pathological and histopathological effects (classified as slight) were seen in male rabbits at dose levels ≥ 30 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.5-fold the maximum human dose based upon BSA).

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category X

(See BOXED WARNING and CONTRAINDICATIONS)

Because of the known human teratogenicity of thalidomide, thalidomide is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant and who are not using the two required types of birth control or who are not continually abstaining from heterosexual sexual contact. If thalidomide is taken during pregnancy, it can cause severe birth defects or death to an unborn baby. Thalidomide should never be used by women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant while taking the drug. Even a single dose [1 capsule (regardless of strength)] taken by a pregnant woman can cause birth defects. If pregnancy does occur during treatment, the drug should be immediately discontinued. Under these conditions, the patient should be referred to an obstetrician/gynecologist experienced in reproductive toxicity for further evaluation and counseling. Any suspected fetal exposure to THALOMID® (thalidomide) must be reported to the FDA via the MedWatch program at 1-800-FDA-1088 and also to Celgene Corporation at 1-888-423-5436.

Because thalidomide is present in the semen of patients receiving the drug, males receiving thalidomide must always use a latex condom during any sexual contact with women of childbearing potential. The risk to the fetus from the semen of male patients taking thalidomide is unknown.

A pre- and postnatal reproductive toxicity study was conducted in pregnant female rabbits. Compound-related increased abortion incidences and elevated fetotoxicity were observed at the lowest oral dose level of 30 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.5-fold the maximum human dose based upon BSA) and all higher dose levels. Neonatal mortality was elevated at oral dose levels to the lactating female rabbits ≥ 150 mg/kg/day (approximately 7.5-fold the maximum human dose based upon BSA). No delay in postnatal development, including learning and memory functions, were noted at the oral dose level to the lactating female rabbits of 150 mg/kg/day (average thalidomide concentrations in milk ranged from 22 to 36 βg/ml).

Use in Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether thalidomide is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from thalidomide, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 12 years have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of subjects in this clinical study of thalidomide and dexamethasone combination, 50% were 65 and over, while 15% were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety and effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

REFERENCES

7. Jacobson JM, Greenspan JS, Spritzler J, et al. 1997. New Eng. J. Med. 336(21):1487-1493

13. Unpublished data, on file at Celgene.

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/23/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

OVERDOSE

There have been three cases of overdose reported, all attempted suicides. There have been no reported fatalities in doses of up to 14.4 grams, and all patients recovered without reported sequelae.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

(See BOXED WARNINGS)

Pregnancy: Category X

Due to its known human teratogenicity, even following a single dose, thalidomide is contraindicated in pregnant women and women capable of becoming pregnant. (See BOXED WARNINGS.) When there is no alternative treatment, women of childbearing potential may be treated with thalidomide provided adequate precautions are taken to avoid pregnancy. Women must commit either to abstain continuously from heterosexual sexual contact or to use two methods of reliable birth control, including at least one highly effective method (e.g., IUD, hormonal contraception, tubal ligation, or partner's vasectomy) and one additional effective method (e.g., latex condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap), beginning 4 weeks prior to initiating treatment with thalidomide, during therapy with thalidomide, and continuing for 4 weeks following discontinuation of thalidomide therapy. If hormonal or IUD contraception is medically contraindicated (see also PRECAUTIONS: DRUG INTERACTIONS), two other effective or highly effective methods may be used.

Women of childbearing potential being treated with thalidomide should have a pregnancy test (sensitivity of at least 50 mIU/mL). The test should be performed within the 24 hours prior to beginning thalidomide therapy and then weekly during the first 4 weeks of thalidomide therapy, then at 4 week intervals in women with regular menstrual cycles or every 2 weeks in women with irregular menstrual cycles. Pregnancy testing and counseling should be performed if a patient misses her period or if there is any abnormality in menstrual bleeding. If pregnancy occurs during thalidomide treatment, thalidomide must be discontinued immediately. Under these conditions, the patient should be referred to an obstetrician/gynecologist experienced in reproductive toxicity for further evaluation and counseling.

Because thalidomide is present in the semen of patients receiving the drug, males receiving thalidomide must always use a latex condom during any sexual contact with women of childbearing potential. The risk to the fetus from the semen of male patients taking thalidomide is unknown.

THALOMID® (thalidomide) is contraindicated in patients who have demonstrated hypersensitivity to the drug and its components.

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/23/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of thalidomide is not fully understood. Thalidomide possesses immunomodulatory, antiinflammatory and antiangiogenic properties. Available data from in vitro studies and clinical trials suggest that the immunologic effects of this compound can vary substantially under different conditions, but may be related to suppression of excessive tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) production and down-modulation of selected cell surface adhesion molecules involved in leukocyte migration.3-6 For example, administration of thalidomide has been reported to decrease circulating levels of TNF-α in patients with erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL)3, however, it has also been shown to increase plasma TNF-α levels in HIV-seropositive patients.7 Other antiinflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of thalidomide may include suppression of macrophage involvement in prostaglandin synthesis, and modulation of interleukin-10 and interleukin-12 production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Thalidomide treatment of multiple myeloma patients is accompanied by an increase in the number of circulating natural killer cells, and an increase in plasma levels of interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma (T cell-derived cytokines associated with cytotoxic activity). Thalidomide was found to inhibit angiogenesis in a human umbilical artery explant model in vitro. The cellular processes of angiogenesis inhibited by thalidomide may include the proliferation of endothelial cells.

Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism

Absorption

The absolute bioavailability of thalidomide from THALOMID® (thalidomide) Capsules has not yet been characterized in human subjects due to its poor aqueous solubility. However, the capsules are 90% bioavailable relative to an oral PEG solution. In studies of both healthy volunteers and subjects with Hansen's disease, the mean time to peak plasma concentrations (Tmax) of THALOMID® (thalidomide) ranged from 2.9 to 5.7 hours indicating that THALOMID® (thalidomide) is slowly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. While the extent of absorption (as measured by area under the curve [AUC]) is proportional to dose in healthy subjects, the observed peak concentration (Cmax) increased in a less than proportional manner (see Table 1 below). This lack of Cmax dose proportionality, coupled with the observed increase in Tmax values, suggests that the poor solubility of thalidomide in aqueous media may be hindering the rate of absorption.

Table 1: Pharmacokinetic Parameter Values for THALOMID® (thalidomide) Mean (%CV)

Population/Single Dose AUC0 ∞ µg•hr/mL Cmax µg/mL Tmax (hrs) Half-life (hrs)
Healthy Subjects (n=14)
50 mg 4.9 (16%) 0.62 (52%) 2.9 (66%) 5.52 (37%)
200 mg 18.9 (17%) 1.76 (30%) 3.5 (57%) 5.53 (25%)
400 mg 36.4 (26%) 2.82 (28%) 4.3 (37%) 7.29 (36%)
Patients with Hansen's Disease (n=6)
400 mg 46.4 (44.1%) 3.44 (52.6%) 5.7 (27%) 6.86 (17%)

Coadministration of THALOMID® (thalidomide) with a high fat meal causes minor ( < 10%) changes in the observed AUC and Cmax values; however, it causes an increase in Tmax to approximately 6 hours.

Distribution

In human blood plasma, the geometric mean plasma protein binding was 55% and 66%, respectively, for (+)-(R)- and (-)-(S)-thalidomide.8 In a pharmacokinetic study of thalidomide in HIV-seropositive adult male subjects receiving thalidomide 100 mg/day, thalidomide was detectable in the semen.

Metabolism

At the present time, the exact metabolic route and fate of thalidomide is not known in humans. Thalidomide itself does not appear to be hepatically metabolized to any large extent, but appears to undergo non-enzymatic hydrolysis in plasma to multiple products. In a repeat dose study in which THALOMID® (thalidomide) 200 mg was administered to 10 healthy females for 18 days, thalidomide displayed similar pharmacokinetic profiles on the first and last day of dosing. This suggests that thalidomide does not induce or inhibit its own metabolism.

Elimination

As indicated in Table 1 (above) the mean half-life of elimination ranges from approximately 5 to 7 hours following a single dose and is not altered upon multiple dosing. As noted in the metabolism subsection, the precise metabolic fate and route of elimination of thalidomide in humans is not known at this time. Thalidomide itself has a renal clearance of 1.15 mL/minute with less than 0.7% of the dose excreted in the urine as unchanged drug. Following a single dose, urinary levels of thalidomide were undetectable 48 hrs after dosing. Although thalidomide is thought to be hydrolyzed to a number of metabolites,9 only a very small amount (0.02% of the administered dose) of 4-OH-thalidomide was identified in the urine of subjects 12 to 24 hours after dosing.

Pharmacokinetic Data in Special Populations

HIV-seropositive Subjects: There is no apparent significant difference in measured pharmacokinetic parameter values between healthy human subjects and HIV-seropositive subjects following single dose administration of THALOMID® (thalidomide) Capsules.

Patients with Hansen's Disease: Analysis of data from a small study in Hansen's patients suggests that these patients, relative to healthy subjects, may have an increased bioavailability of THALOMID® (thalidomide). The increase is reflected both in an increased area under the curve and in increased peak plasma levels. The clinical significance of this increase is unknown.

Patients with Renal Insufficiency: The pharmacokinetics of thalidomide in patients with renal impairment have not been determined. In a study of 6 patients with end-stage renal disease, thalidomide (200 mg/day) was administered on a non-dialysis day and on a dialysis day. Comparison of concentration-time profiles on a non-dialysis day and during dialysis where blood samples were collected at least 10 hours following the dose, showed that the mean total clearance increased by a factor of 2.5 during hemodialysis. Because the dialysis was performed 10 hours following administration of the dose, the drug-concentration time curves were not statistically significantly different for days patients were on and off of dialysis. Thus, no dosage adjustment is needed for renally-impaired patients on dialysis.

Patients with Hepatic Disease: The pharmacokinetics of thalidomide in patients with hepatic impairment have not been determined.

Age: Analysis of the data from pharmacokinetic studies in healthy volunteers and patients with Hansen's disease ranging in age from 20 to 69 years does not reveal any age-related changes.

Pediatric: No pharmacokinetic data are available in subjects below the age of 18 years.

Gender: While a comparative trial of the effects of gender on thalidomide pharmacokinetics has not been conducted, examination of the data for thalidomide does not reveal any significant gender differences in pharmacokinetic parameter values.

Race: Pharmacokinetic differences due to race have not been studied.

Clinical Studies

Clinical Study in Multiple Myeloma

The efficacy of THALOMID® (thalidomide) in multiple myeloma was demonstrated in a randomized, multi-center open-label study of 207 newly diagnosed patients. This study randomized symptomatic patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma to THALOMID® (thalidomide) plus dexamethasone (Thal + Dex; N = 103) versus dexamethasone alone (Dex alone; N=104). The THALOMID® (thalidomide) dose was 200 mg daily and the dexamethasone dose was 40 mg orally once daily on days 1-4, 9-12, and 17-20 every 28-days. Each group was treated for four 28-day cycles.

Baseline demographic and disease characteristics for the study population are summarized in Tables 2 and 3 respectively.

Table 2: Baseline Patient Demographics

Characteristic Thal+ Dex
(N=103)
Dex alone
(N=104)
Age (years)
  Median 65 68
  Range 37– 83 38– 83
Gender1
  Male 53(51%) 61(59%)
  Female 50(49%) 42(40%)
Race2
  Caucasian 90(87%) 90(87%)
  Black 11(11%) 11(11%)
  Other 1(1%) 2(2%)
1Missing information for 1 patient in the Dex alone group
2Missing information for 1 patient per arm

Table 3: Baseline Disease Characteristics

Characteristic Thal+ Dex
(N=103)
Dex alone
(N=104)
Stage (Durie-Salmon), N (%)1
  I 14(13.6%) 17(16.3%)
  II 47(45.6%) 44(42.3%)
  III 41(39.8%) 43(41.3%)
Immunoglobulin Type, N (%)2
  IgA 21(20.4%) 22(21.2%)
  IgG 63(61.2%) 60(57.7%)
  IgM 0(0.0%) 1(1.0%)
  Biclonal 0(0.0%) 1(1.0%)
Lytic Lesions3
  None  28(27.1%) 14(13.5%)
  1-3 lesions 24(23.3%) 19(18.3%)
   > 3 lesions 34(33.0%) 41(39.4%)
Serum Light Chain4
  Kappa 59(57.3%) 53(51.0%)
  Lambda 28(27.2%) 40(38.5%)
1Missing information for 1 patient in Thal + Dex arm
2Missing information for 19 patients in Thal + Dex arm and 20 patients in Dex alone arm
3Missing information for 17 patients in Thal + Dex arm and 30 patients in Dex alone arm
4Missing information for 16 patients in Thal + Dex arm and 11 patients in Dex alone arm

Response rate was the primary endpoint. Response rates based on serum or urine paraprotein measurements were significantly higher in the combination arm (51.5% compared with 35.6% for dexamethasone alone).

Erythema Nodosum Leprosum (ENL)

The primary data demonstrating the efficacy of thalidomide in the treatment of the cutaneous manifestations of moderate to severe ENL are derived from the published medical literature and from a retrospective study of 102 patients treated by the U.S. Public Health Service.

Two double-blind, randomized, controlled trials reported the dermatologic response to a 7-day course of 100 mg thalidomide (four times daily) or control. Dosage was lower for patients under 50 kg in weight.

Table 4: Double-Blind, Controlled Clinical Trials of Thalidomide in Patients with ENL: Cutaneous Response

Reference No. of Patients No. Treatment Courses* Percent Responding**
Iyer et al.10 Bull World Health Organization 1971;45:719 92 204 Thalidomide 75% Aspirin 25%
Sheskin et al.11 Int J Lep 1969;37:135 52 173 Thalidomide 66% Placebo 10%
* In patients with cutaneous lesions
**Iyer: Complete response or lesions absent
**Sheskin: Complete improvement + “striking” improvement (i.e., > 50% improvement)

Waters12 reported the results of two studies, both double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trials in a total of 10 hospitalized, steroid-dependent patients with chronic ENL treated with 100 mg thalidomide or placebo (three times daily). All patients also received dapsone. The primary endpoint was reduction in weekly steroid dosage.

Table 5: Double Blind, Controlled Trial of Thalidomide in Patients with ENL: Reduction in Steroid Dosage

Reference Duration of Treatment No. of Patients Number Responding
Thalidomide Placebo
Waters12 4 weeks 9 4/5 0/4
Lep Rev 1971;42:26 6 weeks (crossover) 8 8/8 1/8

Data on the efficacy of thalidomide in prevention of ENL relapse were derived from a retrospective evaluation of 102 patients treated under the auspices of the U.S. Public Health Service. A subset of patients with ENL controlled on thalidomide demonstrated repeated relapse upon drug withdrawal and remission with reinstitution of therapy.

Twenty U.S. patients between the ages of 11 and 17 years were treated with thalidomide, generally at 100 mg daily. Response rates and safety profiles were similar to that observed in the adult population.

Thirty-two other published studies containing over 1600 patients consistently report generally successful treatment of the cutaneous manifestations of moderate to severe ENL with thalidomide.

REFERENCES

3. Sampaio EP, Kaplan G, Miranda A, et al. 1993. J. Infect. Dis. 168(2):408-414.

4. Sarno EN, Grau GE, Vieira LM, et al. 1991. Clin. Exp. Immunol. 84:103-108.

5. Sampaio EP, Moreira AL, Sarno EN, et al. 1992. J. Exp. Med. 175:1729-1737.

6. Nogueira AC, Neubert R, Helge H, et al. 1994. Life Sciences. 55(2):77-92.

7. Jacobson JM, Greenspan JS, Spritzler J, et al. 1997. New Eng. J. Med. 336(21):1487-1493

8. Eriksson T, Björkman S, Roth B, et al. 1998. Chirality. 10(3): 223-228.

9. Schumaker H, Smith RL, and Williams RT. 1965. Br. J. Pharmacol. 25:324-337.

10. Iyer CGS, Languillon J, Ramanujam K, et al. 1971. Bull. WHO. 45:719-732.

11. Sheskin J and Convit J. 1969. Intl. J. Leprosy. 37:135-146.

12. Waters MFR. 1971 Lepr. Rev. 42:26-42.

13. Unpublished data, on file at Celgene.

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/23/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

PATIENT INFORMATION

Important Information and WARNINGS for All Patients Taking THALOMID ® (thalidomide)

WARNING

SEVERE, LIFE-THREATENING HUMAN BIRTH DEFECTS.

IF THALIDOMIDE IS TAKEN DURING PREGNANCY, IT CAN CAUSE SEVERE BIRTH DEFECTS OR DEATH TO AN UNBORN BABY. THALIDOMIDE SHOULD NEVER BE USED BY WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT OR WHO COULD BECOME PREGNANT WHILE TAKING THE DRUG. EVEN A SINGLE DOSE [1 CAPSULE (REGARDLESS OF STRENGTH)] TAKEN BY A PREGNANT WOMAN CAN CAUSE SEVERE BIRTH DEFECTS.

All Patients

  • The patient understands that severe birth defects can occur with the use of THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • The patient has been warned by his/her doctor that an unborn baby will almost certainly have severe birth defects and can even die, if a woman is pregnant or becomes pregnant while taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • THALOMID® (thalidomide) will be prescribed ONLY for the patient and must NOT be shared with ANYONE, even someone who has similar symptoms.
  • THALOMID® (thalidomide) must be kept out of the reach of children and should NEVER be given to women who are able to have children.
  • The patient cannot donate blood while taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • The patient has read the THALOMID® (thalidomide) patient brochure and/or viewed the videotape, “Important Information for Men and Women Taking THALOMID® (thalidomide)” and understands the contents, including other possible health problems from THALOMID® (thalidomide), “side effects.”
  • The patient's doctor has answered any questions the patient has asked.
  • The patient must participate in a telephone survey and patient registry, while taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).

Female Patients of Childbearing Potential

  • The patient must not take THALOMID® (thalidomide) if she is pregnant, breastfeeding a baby, or able to get pregnant and not using the required two methods of birth control.
  • The patient confirms that she is not now pregnant, nor will she try to become pregnant during THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy and for at least 4 weeks after she has completely finished taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • If the patient is able to become pregnant, she must use at least one highly effective method and one additional effective method of birth control (contraception) AT THE SAME TIME:

At least one highly effective method

IUD
Hormonal (birth control pills, injections, or implants)
Tubal ligation
Partner's vasectomy

AND

One additional effective method

Latex condom
Diaphragm
Cervical cap

  • These birth control methods must be used for at least 4 weeks before beginning THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, during THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, and for 4 weeks following discontinuation of THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy.
  • The patient must use these birth control methods unless she completely abstains from heterosexual sexual contact.
  • If a hormonal method (birth control pills, injections, or implants) or IUD is not medically possible for the patient, she may use another highly effective method or two barrier methods AT THE SAME TIME.
  • The patient must have a pregnancy test done by her doctor within the 24 hours prior to starting THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, then every week during the first 4 weeks of THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy.
  • Thereafter, the patient must have a pregnancy test every 4 weeks if she has regular menstrual cycles, or every 2 weeks if her cycles are irregular while she is taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • The patient must immediately stop taking THALOMID® (thalidomide) and inform her doctor:
    • If she becomes pregnant while taking the drug
    • If she misses her menstrual period, or experiences unusual menstrual bleeding
    • If she stops using birth control
    • If she thinks FOR ANY REASON that she may be pregnant.

The patient understands that if her doctor is not available, she can call 1-888-668-2528 for information on emergency contraception.

Female Patients Not of Childbearing Potential

  • The patient certifies that she is not now pregnant, nor of childbearing potential as she has been postmenopausal for at least 24 months (been through the change of life); or she has had a hysterectomy.
  • The patient or guardian certifies that a prepubertal female child is not now pregnant, nor is of childbearing potential as menstruation has not yet begun, and/or the child will not be engaging in heterosexual sexual contact for at least 4 weeks before THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, during THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, and for at least 4 weeks after stopping therapy.

Male Patients

  • The patient has been told by his doctor that he must NEVER have unprotected sexual contact with a woman who can become pregnant.
  • Because THALOMID® (thalidomide) is present in semen, his doctor has explained that he must either completely abstain from sexual contact with women who are pregnant or able to become pregnant, or he must use a latex condom EVERY TIME he engages in any sexual contact with women who are pregnant or may become pregnant while he is taking THALOMID® (thalidomide) and for 4 weeks after he stops taking the drug, even if he has had a successful vasectomy.
  • The patient must inform his doctor:
    • If he has had unprotected sexual contact with a woman who can become pregnant
    • If he thinks FOR ANY REASON, that his sexual partner may be pregnant.
      The patient understands that if his doctor is not available, he can call 1-888-668-2528 for information on emergency contraception.
  • The patient cannot donate semen or sperm while taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).

MEDICATION GUIDE

THALOMID®
(tha-lo-mid)
(thalidomide) Capsules

Read the Medication Guide that comes with THALOMID before you start taking it and each time you get a new prescription. There may be new information. This

Medication Guide does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment.

What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?

  • Before you begin taking THALOMID, you must read and agree to all of the instructions in the S.T.E.P.S.® program.
  • THALOMID can cause serious side effects including:
    Major birth defects (deformed babies) or death of an unborn baby. Females who are pregnant or who plan to become pregnant must not take THALOMID. THALOMID can cause serious side effects including severe, life-threatening human birth defects. Females must not become pregnant:
    • for 4 weeks before starting THALOMID
    • while taking THALOMID
    • during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment with THALOMID
    • for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID

If you become pregnant while taking THALOMID, stop taking it right away and call your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider is not available, you can call 1-888-668-2528 for medical information. Healthcare providers and patients should report all pregnancies to:

  • FDA MedWatch at 1-800-FDA-1088, and
  • Celgene Corporation at 1-888-423-5436

Males should know that THALOMID passes into semen or sperm.

  • Males, including those who have had a vasectomy, must use a latex condom during any sexual contact with a pregnant female or a female that can become pregnant, while taking THALOMID, during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment, and for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID. (If you or your partner
  • is allergic to latex, please consult with your healthcare provider.)
  • Do not have unprotected sexual contact with a female who is or could become pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider if you do have unprotected sexual contact with a female who is or could become pregnant.
  • Do not donate sperm while taking THALOMID, during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment, and for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID. If a female becomes pregnant with your sperm, the baby may be exposed to THALOMID and may be born with birth defects.

Men, if your female partner becomes pregnant, you should call your healthcare provider right away.

A higher chance for blood clots in your veins and lungs. Ask your healthcare provider about whether you should take aspirin or other medicines that can potentially prevent blood clotting. Call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you get any of these signs or symptoms:

What is THALOMID?

THALOMID is a prescription medicine taken, with the medicine dexamethasone, to treat people who have been newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells. Plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. Normal plasma cells produce proteins called antibodies. Some antibodies can attack and kill disease-causing germs. People with multiple myeloma may have low blood cell counts and immune problems, giving them a higher chance for getting infections such as pneumonia. They may also have bone pain and breaks (fractures).

THALOMID is also used to treat people when new lesions of leprosy flare up. THALOMID is not used by itself to treat the skin lesions when there is moderate to severe nerve pain. THALOMID is used as a treatment to keep the lesions in check or to prevent the skin lesions of leprosy from coming back (recurring).

Who should not take THALOMID?

  • Do not take THALOMID if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or become pregnant during THALOMID treatment. See “What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?”
  • Do not take THALOMID if you are allergic to anything in it. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in THALOMID.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking THALOMID?

Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • are pregnant or breastfeeding. THALOMID must not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. See “What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?” It is not known if THALOMID passes into your breast milk and harms your baby.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and non prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. THALOMID and other medicines may affect each other causing serious side effects.

Certain medicines can affect the way that birth control pills, injections, patches, or implants work. You could become pregnant. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you also take:

  • a penicillin antibiotic
  • an anti-HIV medicine
  • phenytoin (Fosphenytoin, Cerebyx, Dilantin-125, Extended Phenytoin Sodium, Prompt Phenytoin Sodium, Phenytek, Dilantin, Phenytoin Sodium)
  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol-XR, Teril, Epitol)
  • rifampin (Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane, Rifadin)
  • the herbal supplement St. John's Wort
  • modafinil (Nuvigil, Provigil)
  • griseofulvin (Grifulvin V, Gris-Peg)

Also see the patient brochure called “Important Information for Men and Women Taking Thalomid.”

Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if your medicine is one of these.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist.

How should I take THALOMID?

Take THALOMID exactly as prescribed and follow all the instructions of the S.T.E.P.S. program.

Before prescribing THALOMID, your healthcare provider will:

    • explain the S.T.E.P.S. program to you
    • have you sign the Patient-Physician Agreement Form
  • Keep THALOMID in the blister pack until you take your daily dose.
  • Swallow THALOMID capsules whole with water.
  • THALOMID is taken one time each day, at least 1 hour after your evening meal. Bedtime is the preferred time to take THALOMID.
  • Do not open the THALOMID capsules or handle them any more than needed. If you touch a broken THALOMID capsule or the medicine in the capsule, wash the area of your body with soap and water.
  • If you miss a dose of THALOMID and it has been less than 12 hours since your regular time, take it as soon as you remember. If it has been more than 12 hours, just skip your missed dose. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
  • If you take too much THALOMID or overdose, call your healthcare provider or poison control center right away.

Females who can become pregnant:

  • will have pregnancy tests weekly for 4 weeks, then every 4 weeks if your menstrual cycle is regular, or every 2 weeks if your menstrual cycle is irregular.
    If you miss your period or have unusual bleeding, you will need to have a pregnancy test and receive counseling.
  • must agree to use 2 different forms of effective birth control at the same time, for 4 weeks before, while taking, during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment, and for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID®.

Males who take THALOMID, even those who have had a vasectomy, must agree to use a latex condom during sexual contact with a pregnant female or a female who can become pregnant. (If you or your partner is allergic to latex, please consult with your healthcare provider.)

What should I avoid while taking THALOMID?

  • Females: Do not get pregnant and do not breastfeed while taking THALOMID. Males: Do not donate sperm. See “What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?, Who should not take THALOMID?, and What should I avoid while taking THALOMID?”
  • Do not share THALOMID® with other people. It may cause birth defects and other serious problems.
  • Do not donate blood while you take THALOMID, during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment, and for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID. If someone who is pregnant gets your donated blood, her baby may be exposed to THALOMID and may be born with birth defects.
  • THALOMID can cause dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid drinking alcohol, operating machinery, and driving a car when taking THALOMID. Avoid taking other medicines that may cause drowsiness without talking to your healthcare provider first.

What are the possible side effects of THALOMID?

THALOMID may cause serious side effects:

  • See “What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?”

THALOMID can also cause the following other side effects:

  • Drowsiness and sleepiness. See “What should I avoid while taking THALOMID?”
  • Nerve damage. Nerve damage is common with THALOMID. If the nerve damage is severe, it may not go away. Stop taking THALOMID and call your healthcare
  • provider right away if you have any of these early symptoms of nerve damage in your hands, legs, or feet:
    • numbness
    • tingling
    • pain
    • burning sensation
  • Dizziness and decreased blood pressure when changing positions. THALOMID may cause a decrease in your blood pressure, and you may feel dizzy when you go from a lying down or sitting position to standing up. When changing positions, sit upright for a few minutes before standing to help prevent this.
  • Decreased white blood cell count. THALOMID can cause decreased white blood cell counts, including neutrophils. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that is important in fighting bacterial infections. Your healthcare provider should check your white blood count before and regularly while you take THALOMID. If your neutrophils are too low you should not start THALOMID and if they are low during treatment, your dose of THALOMID may need to be changed.
  • Increased HIV virus in the blood. If you are HIV positive, your healthcare provider will check your blood tests for this problem after one month and three months of treatment, then every 3 months after that.
  • Allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can happen with THALOMID and may be severe. Call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms of allergic reaction:
    • a red, itchy rash
    • fever
    • fast heartbeat
    • feel dizzy or faint
  • Slow heartbeat (bradycardia). Tell your healthcare provider if this is a problem for you. Report specific symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness or shortness of breath, to your healthcare provider.
  • Serious skin reactions. Serious skin reactions can happen with THALOMID and may cause death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any skin reaction while taking THALOMID.
  • Seizures. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a seizure while taking THALOMID.

Common side effects of THALOMID include:

These are not all the possible side effects of THALOMID. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store THALOMID?

  • Store THALOMID at room temperature, between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Protect from light.

Keep THALOMID and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about THALOMID

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not take THALOMID for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give THALOMID to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them and may cause birth defects.

This Medication Guide provides a summary of the most important information about THALOMID. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about THALOMID that is written for healthcare professionals. You can also call 1-888-423-5436 or visit www.THALOMID.com.

What are the ingredients in THALOMID?

Active ingredient: thalidomide

Inactive ingredients: pregelatinized starch and magnesium stearate.

The 50 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide and black ink. The 100 mg capsule shell contains black iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and black ink. The 150 mg capsule shell contains FD&C blue #2, black iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and black and white ink. The 200 mg capsule shell contains FD&C blue #2, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and white ink.

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/23/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

>

PATIENT INFORMATION

Important Information and WARNINGS for All Patients Taking THALOMID ® (thalidomide)

WARNING

SEVERE, LIFE-THREATENING HUMAN BIRTH DEFECTS.

IF THALIDOMIDE IS TAKEN DURING PREGNANCY, IT CAN CAUSE SEVERE BIRTH DEFECTS OR DEATH TO AN UNBORN BABY. THALIDOMIDE SHOULD NEVER BE USED BY WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT OR WHO COULD BECOME PREGNANT WHILE TAKING THE DRUG. EVEN A SINGLE DOSE [1 CAPSULE (REGARDLESS OF STRENGTH)] TAKEN BY A PREGNANT WOMAN CAN CAUSE SEVERE BIRTH DEFECTS.

All Patients

  • The patient understands that severe birth defects can occur with the use of THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • The patient has been warned by his/her doctor that an unborn baby will almost certainly have severe birth defects and can even die, if a woman is pregnant or becomes pregnant while taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • THALOMID® (thalidomide) will be prescribed ONLY for the patient and must NOT be shared with ANYONE, even someone who has similar symptoms.
  • THALOMID® (thalidomide) must be kept out of the reach of children and should NEVER be given to women who are able to have children.
  • The patient cannot donate blood while taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • The patient has read the THALOMID® (thalidomide) patient brochure and/or viewed the videotape, “Important Information for Men and Women Taking THALOMID® (thalidomide)” and understands the contents, including other possible health problems from THALOMID® (thalidomide), “side effects.”
  • The patient's doctor has answered any questions the patient has asked.
  • The patient must participate in a telephone survey and patient registry, while taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).

Female Patients of Childbearing Potential

  • The patient must not take THALOMID® (thalidomide) if she is pregnant, breastfeeding a baby, or able to get pregnant and not using the required two methods of birth control.
  • The patient confirms that she is not now pregnant, nor will she try to become pregnant during THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy and for at least 4 weeks after she has completely finished taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • If the patient is able to become pregnant, she must use at least one highly effective method and one additional effective method of birth control (contraception) AT THE SAME TIME:

At least one highly effective method

IUD
Hormonal (birth control pills, injections, or implants)
Tubal ligation
Partner's vasectomy

AND

One additional effective method

Latex condom
Diaphragm
Cervical cap

  • These birth control methods must be used for at least 4 weeks before beginning THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, during THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, and for 4 weeks following discontinuation of THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy.
  • The patient must use these birth control methods unless she completely abstains from heterosexual sexual contact.
  • If a hormonal method (birth control pills, injections, or implants) or IUD is not medically possible for the patient, she may use another highly effective method or two barrier methods AT THE SAME TIME.
  • The patient must have a pregnancy test done by her doctor within the 24 hours prior to starting THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, then every week during the first 4 weeks of THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy.
  • Thereafter, the patient must have a pregnancy test every 4 weeks if she has regular menstrual cycles, or every 2 weeks if her cycles are irregular while she is taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).
  • The patient must immediately stop taking THALOMID® (thalidomide) and inform her doctor:
    • If she becomes pregnant while taking the drug
    • If she misses her menstrual period, or experiences unusual menstrual bleeding
    • If she stops using birth control
    • If she thinks FOR ANY REASON that she may be pregnant.

The patient understands that if her doctor is not available, she can call 1-888-668-2528 for information on emergency contraception.

Female Patients Not of Childbearing Potential

  • The patient certifies that she is not now pregnant, nor of childbearing potential as she has been postmenopausal for at least 24 months (been through the change of life); or she has had a hysterectomy.
  • The patient or guardian certifies that a prepubertal female child is not now pregnant, nor is of childbearing potential as menstruation has not yet begun, and/or the child will not be engaging in heterosexual sexual contact for at least 4 weeks before THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, during THALOMID® (thalidomide) therapy, and for at least 4 weeks after stopping therapy.

Male Patients

  • The patient has been told by his doctor that he must NEVER have unprotected sexual contact with a woman who can become pregnant.
  • Because THALOMID® (thalidomide) is present in semen, his doctor has explained that he must either completely abstain from sexual contact with women who are pregnant or able to become pregnant, or he must use a latex condom EVERY TIME he engages in any sexual contact with women who are pregnant or may become pregnant while he is taking THALOMID® (thalidomide) and for 4 weeks after he stops taking the drug, even if he has had a successful vasectomy.
  • The patient must inform his doctor:
    • If he has had unprotected sexual contact with a woman who can become pregnant
    • If he thinks FOR ANY REASON, that his sexual partner may be pregnant.
      The patient understands that if his doctor is not available, he can call 1-888-668-2528 for information on emergency contraception.
  • The patient cannot donate semen or sperm while taking THALOMID® (thalidomide).

MEDICATION GUIDE

THALOMID®
(tha-lo-mid)
(thalidomide) Capsules

Read the Medication Guide that comes with THALOMID before you start taking it and each time you get a new prescription. There may be new information. This

Medication Guide does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment.

What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?

  • Before you begin taking THALOMID, you must read and agree to all of the instructions in the S.T.E.P.S.® program.
  • THALOMID can cause serious side effects including:
    Major birth defects (deformed babies) or death of an unborn baby. Females who are pregnant or who plan to become pregnant must not take THALOMID. THALOMID can cause serious side effects including severe, life-threatening human birth defects. Females must not become pregnant:
    • for 4 weeks before starting THALOMID
    • while taking THALOMID
    • during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment with THALOMID
    • for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID

If you become pregnant while taking THALOMID, stop taking it right away and call your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider is not available, you can call 1-888-668-2528 for medical information. Healthcare providers and patients should report all pregnancies to:

  • FDA MedWatch at 1-800-FDA-1088, and
  • Celgene Corporation at 1-888-423-5436

Males should know that THALOMID passes into semen or sperm.

  • Males, including those who have had a vasectomy, must use a latex condom during any sexual contact with a pregnant female or a female that can become pregnant, while taking THALOMID, during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment, and for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID. (If you or your partner
  • is allergic to latex, please consult with your healthcare provider.)
  • Do not have unprotected sexual contact with a female who is or could become pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider if you do have unprotected sexual contact with a female who is or could become pregnant.
  • Do not donate sperm while taking THALOMID, during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment, and for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID. If a female becomes pregnant with your sperm, the baby may be exposed to THALOMID and may be born with birth defects.

Men, if your female partner becomes pregnant, you should call your healthcare provider right away.

A higher chance for blood clots in your veins and lungs. Ask your healthcare provider about whether you should take aspirin or other medicines that can potentially prevent blood clotting. Call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you get any of these signs or symptoms:

What is THALOMID?

THALOMID is a prescription medicine taken, with the medicine dexamethasone, to treat people who have been newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells. Plasma cells are found in the bone marrow. Normal plasma cells produce proteins called antibodies. Some antibodies can attack and kill disease-causing germs. People with multiple myeloma may have low blood cell counts and immune problems, giving them a higher chance for getting infections such as pneumonia. They may also have bone pain and breaks (fractures).

THALOMID is also used to treat people when new lesions of leprosy flare up. THALOMID is not used by itself to treat the skin lesions when there is moderate to severe nerve pain. THALOMID is used as a treatment to keep the lesions in check or to prevent the skin lesions of leprosy from coming back (recurring).

Who should not take THALOMID?

  • Do not take THALOMID if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or become pregnant during THALOMID treatment. See “What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?”
  • Do not take THALOMID if you are allergic to anything in it. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in THALOMID.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking THALOMID?

Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • are pregnant or breastfeeding. THALOMID must not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. See “What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?” It is not known if THALOMID passes into your breast milk and harms your baby.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and non prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. THALOMID and other medicines may affect each other causing serious side effects.

Certain medicines can affect the way that birth control pills, injections, patches, or implants work. You could become pregnant. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you also take:

  • a penicillin antibiotic
  • an anti-HIV medicine
  • phenytoin (Fosphenytoin, Cerebyx, Dilantin-125, Extended Phenytoin Sodium, Prompt Phenytoin Sodium, Phenytek, Dilantin, Phenytoin Sodium)
  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol-XR, Teril, Epitol)
  • rifampin (Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane, Rifadin)
  • the herbal supplement St. John's Wort
  • modafinil (Nuvigil, Provigil)
  • griseofulvin (Grifulvin V, Gris-Peg)

Also see the patient brochure called “Important Information for Men and Women Taking Thalomid.”

Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if your medicine is one of these.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist.

How should I take THALOMID?

Take THALOMID exactly as prescribed and follow all the instructions of the S.T.E.P.S. program.

Before prescribing THALOMID, your healthcare provider will:

    • explain the S.T.E.P.S. program to you
    • have you sign the Patient-Physician Agreement Form
  • Keep THALOMID in the blister pack until you take your daily dose.
  • Swallow THALOMID capsules whole with water.
  • THALOMID is taken one time each day, at least 1 hour after your evening meal. Bedtime is the preferred time to take THALOMID.
  • Do not open the THALOMID capsules or handle them any more than needed. If you touch a broken THALOMID capsule or the medicine in the capsule, wash the area of your body with soap and water.
  • If you miss a dose of THALOMID and it has been less than 12 hours since your regular time, take it as soon as you remember. If it has been more than 12 hours, just skip your missed dose. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
  • If you take too much THALOMID or overdose, call your healthcare provider or poison control center right away.

Females who can become pregnant:

  • will have pregnancy tests weekly for 4 weeks, then every 4 weeks if your menstrual cycle is regular, or every 2 weeks if your menstrual cycle is irregular.
    If you miss your period or have unusual bleeding, you will need to have a pregnancy test and receive counseling.
  • must agree to use 2 different forms of effective birth control at the same time, for 4 weeks before, while taking, during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment, and for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID®.

Males who take THALOMID, even those who have had a vasectomy, must agree to use a latex condom during sexual contact with a pregnant female or a female who can become pregnant. (If you or your partner is allergic to latex, please consult with your healthcare provider.)

What should I avoid while taking THALOMID?

  • Females: Do not get pregnant and do not breastfeed while taking THALOMID. Males: Do not donate sperm. See “What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?, Who should not take THALOMID?, and What should I avoid while taking THALOMID?”
  • Do not share THALOMID® with other people. It may cause birth defects and other serious problems.
  • Do not donate blood while you take THALOMID, during any breaks (interruptions) in your treatment, and for 4 weeks after stopping THALOMID. If someone who is pregnant gets your donated blood, her baby may be exposed to THALOMID and may be born with birth defects.
  • THALOMID can cause dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid drinking alcohol, operating machinery, and driving a car when taking THALOMID. Avoid taking other medicines that may cause drowsiness without talking to your healthcare provider first.

What are the possible side effects of THALOMID?

THALOMID may cause serious side effects:

  • See “What is the most important information I should know about THALOMID?”

THALOMID can also cause the following other side effects:

  • Drowsiness and sleepiness. See “What should I avoid while taking THALOMID?”
  • Nerve damage. Nerve damage is common with THALOMID. If the nerve damage is severe, it may not go away. Stop taking THALOMID and call your healthcare
  • provider right away if you have any of these early symptoms of nerve damage in your hands, legs, or feet:
    • numbness
    • tingling
    • pain
    • burning sensation
  • Dizziness and decreased blood pressure when changing positions. THALOMID may cause a decrease in your blood pressure, and you may feel dizzy when you go from a lying down or sitting position to standing up. When changing positions, sit upright for a few minutes before standing to help prevent this.
  • Decreased white blood cell count. THALOMID can cause decreased white blood cell counts, including neutrophils. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that is important in fighting bacterial infections. Your healthcare provider should check your white blood count before and regularly while you take THALOMID. If your neutrophils are too low you should not start THALOMID and if they are low during treatment, your dose of THALOMID may need to be changed.
  • Increased HIV virus in the blood. If you are HIV positive, your healthcare provider will check your blood tests for this problem after one month and three months of treatment, then every 3 months after that.
  • Allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can happen with THALOMID and may be severe. Call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms of allergic reaction:
    • a red, itchy rash
    • fever
    • fast heartbeat
    • feel dizzy or faint
  • Slow heartbeat (bradycardia). Tell your healthcare provider if this is a problem for you. Report specific symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness or shortness of breath, to your healthcare provider.
  • Serious skin reactions. Serious skin reactions can happen with THALOMID and may cause death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any skin reaction while taking THALOMID.
  • Seizures. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a seizure while taking THALOMID.

Common side effects of THALOMID include:

These are not all the possible side effects of THALOMID. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store THALOMID?

  • Store THALOMID at room temperature, between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Protect from light.

Keep THALOMID and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about THALOMID

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not take THALOMID for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give THALOMID to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them and may cause birth defects.

This Medication Guide provides a summary of the most important information about THALOMID. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about THALOMID that is written for healthcare professionals. You can also call 1-888-423-5436 or visit www.THALOMID.com.

What are the ingredients in THALOMID?

Active ingredient: thalidomide

Inactive ingredients: pregelatinized starch and magnesium stearate.

The 50 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide and black ink. The 100 mg capsule shell contains black iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and black ink. The 150 mg capsule shell contains FD&C blue #2, black iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and black and white ink. The 200 mg capsule shell contains FD&C blue #2, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and white ink.

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/23/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Disclaimer

Thalomid Consumer

IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

THALIDOMIDE - ORAL

(tha-LID-oh-mide)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Thalomid

WARNING: Women who are pregnant must not use thalidomide. Women must avoid becoming pregnant while taking this medication. Even a single dose of thalidomide has caused severe (often fatal) birth defects when used during pregnancy. You must have a negative pregnancy test 24 hours before you start treatment with thalidomide, repeating the test at least monthly. Do not start or continue thalidomide treatment unless you have a negative pregnancy test result.

Female patients must use 2 effective forms of birth control (or completely avoid sexual intercourse) for 1 month before starting thalidomide, during use, and for 1 month after stopping this drug. Talk to your doctor about reliable birth control choices. If your period is late, or if you have sexual intercourse at any time without using 2 effective forms of birth control, stop taking this medication and contact your doctor immediately. (See also Precautions section.)

Because thalidomide also passes into semen, men who use this drug and have sex with women must use a latex condom during all sexual contact, even if they have had a vasectomy. Continue using condoms and other birth control as directed until 1 month after thalidomide treatment has been stopped.

Only patients who have signed an informed consent and agree to the requirements of the STEPS program may obtain and use thalidomide. Only physicians enrolled in STEPS may prescribe thalidomide, and only pharmacies enrolled in the program may dispense it. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details about the STEPS program and for more information about the risks and benefits of using this medication. These requirements apply in the United States. If you live in Canada or any other country, consult your doctor and pharmacist for your country's regulations.

When used to treat a certain type of cancer (multiple myeloma), thalidomide can increase the risk of serious blood clots in the legs or lungs. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop shortness of breath, chest pain, or arm/leg swelling. While you are taking thalidomide, your doctor may also direct you to take aspirin or other "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin) to lessen the risk of these types of blood clots. Talk to your doctor for more information. (See also Side Effects section.)

USES: This medication is used to treat or prevent certain skin conditions related to Hansen's disease, once known as leprosy (erythema nodosum leprosum). Thalidomide is also used with other drugs to treat a certain type of cancer (multiple myeloma). Thalidomide belongs to a class of drugs known as immunomodulators. It works in Hansen's disease by reducing swelling and redness (inflammation). It also reduces the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used to treat certain conditions caused by cancer and HIV infection.

HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using thalidomide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily at bedtime at least 1 hour after the evening meal or as directed by your doctor. Swallow this medication whole with water.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.

Keep the capsules in their blister pack until ready to use. Do not open or break the capsules, or handle them any more than needed. If any of the powder from the capsule gets on your skin, wash the area with soap and water.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from broken capsules. All people should wash their hands thoroughly after handling this drug.

This medication passes into body fluids (e.g., urine). Avoid contact with body fluids from people taking this drug. Therefore, wear protective clothing (e.g., gloves) when handling these body fluids (e.g., during cleanup). If contact occurs, wash skin with soap and water.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. If you are taking this medication for Hansen's disease, your skin condition may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens after 2 weeks.

Disclaimer

Thalomid Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.

Drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, weakness, and dry skin may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Thalidomide may cause possibly severe nerve damage, which may be permanent. This may occur during treatment or after treatment has stopped. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: numbness/tingling/pain/burning in the feet or hands, muscle weakness/cramps, feeling of tightness in the feet.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, anxiety), shaking (tremor).

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: shortness of breath, arm/leg swelling, fast/slow heartbeat, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), seizures.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the Thalomid (thalidomide) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking thalidomide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have a certain medical condition. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a certain immune system problem (neutropenia).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: numbness/tingling of arms/legs, seizures.

Caution is advised when using this drug in people with HIV because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. While thalidomide is used to treat muscle wasting and other HIV-related conditions, the drug might affect the amount of HIV in your system (viral load). Therefore, the manufacturer recommends having HIV tests from time to time.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from broken capsules.

Thalidomide must not be used during pregnancy due to the risk of severe birth defects and other serious, sometimes fatal harm to an unborn baby. If you are female and become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, if your period is late or you have unusual menstrual bleeding, or if you stop using 2 forms of birth control, stop taking thalidomide and tell your doctor immediately. If you are male and have had unprotected sex with a woman who can become pregnant, or if you think your sexual partner may be pregnant, tell both of your doctors immediately. (See also Warning section.)

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Disclaimer

Thalomid Consumer (continued)

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: drugs that may cause nerve damage (e.g., certain HIV drugs including didanosine/zalcitabine, certain cancer drugs including paclitaxel/cisplatin/vincristine, quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin).

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: alcohol, certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).

Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

It is very important for women to use 2 forms of effective birth control while taking this medication. Some drugs may cause hormonal birth control (such as pills, patch, ring) to work less well by decreasing the amount of birth control hormones in your body. This effect can result in pregnancy. Examples include griseofulvin, modafinil, rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifabutin), St. John's wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as barbiturates, carbamazepine, felbamate, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate), HIV drugs (such as nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir), among others.

Tell your doctor when you start any new drug, and discuss if you should use additional reliable birth control while using the new drug and for 1 month after stopping the drug.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: prolonged sleep.

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others. Do not donate blood, organs, eggs, or sperm while taking thalidomide.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., pregnancy tests, white blood count) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember if it is less than 12 hours after the time you would usually take it. If more than 12 hours have passed, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Keep capsules in the original blister pack until ready to use. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-800-854-1166 (USA) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Information last revised May 2012. Copyright(c) 2012 First Databank, Inc.

Thalomid Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Thalomid

Generic Name: thalidomide (Pronunciation: tha LID o mide)

What is thalidomide (Thalomid)?

Thalidomide affects the immune system. It helps promote immune responses to prevent inflammation in the body.

Thalidomide is used to treat and prevent the debilitating and disfiguring skin sores caused by erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL), an inflammatory complication of leprosy. It is also used together with another medicine called dexamethasone to treat multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer).

Thalidomide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of thalidomide (Thalomid)?

Stop using this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, coughing up blood;
  • pain or swelling in your arm, thigh, or calf;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • slow heartbeats, shallow breathing, feeling like you might pass out;
  • a red, blistering, peeling skin rash;
  • a red, raised skin rash (especially if you also have fever, fast heart rate, and dizziness or fainting);
  • numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling; or
  • seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • feeling drowsy or sleepy;
  • anxiety, confusion, tremors or shaking;
  • bone pain, muscle weakness;
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • nausea, constipation, loss of appetite.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Thalomid (thalidomide) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

What is the most important information I should know about thalidomide (Thalomid)?

For Women: You will be required to use two reliable forms of birth control beginning 4 weeks before you start taking thalidomide and ending 4 weeks after you stop taking it. Any woman who has not had a hysterectomy or has not been in menopause for at least 24 months in a row must agree in writing to use birth control before, during, and after taking thalidomide. Even women with fertility problems are required to use birth control while taking this medication. You must also have a negative pregnancy test within 24 hours before you start thalidomide treatment. While you are taking thalidomide, you will need to have a pregnancy test weekly during the first month of treatment, and then every 4 weeks thereafter.

Stop using thalidomide and call your doctor at once if you quit using birth control, if your period is late, or if you think you might be pregnant.

For Men: You must not cause a woman to become pregnant while you are taking thalidomide because the medicine may affect your sperm and cause birth defects in the baby. You must agree in writing to always use latex condoms when having sex with a woman who is able to get pregnant, even if you have had a vasectomy. Avoid ejaculating without a condom because thalidomide can be passed in your sperm.

Side Effects Centers

Thalomid Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking thalidomide (Thalomid)?

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to take thalidomide, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment:

  • liver or kidney disease;
  • heart disease, history of stroke or blood clots;
  • HIV or AIDS;
  • epilepsy or seizures;
  • a weak immune system; or
  • nerve problems, such as numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.

It is not known if thalidomide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

For Women: You will be required to use two reliable forms of birth control beginning 4 weeks before you start taking thalidomide and ending 4 weeks after you stop taking it. Any woman who has not had a hysterectomy or has not been in menopause for at least 24 months in a row must agree in writing to use birth control before, during, and after taking thalidomide. Even women with fertility problems are required to use birth control while taking this medication. You must also have a negative pregnancy test within 24 hours before you start thalidomide treatment. While you are taking thalidomide, you will need to have a pregnancy test weekly during the first month of treatment, and then every 4 weeks thereafter.

The birth control method you use must be proven highly effective: hormonal birth control (pills, implants, or injections), an intrauterine device (IUD), a tubal ligation, or a sexual partner's vasectomy. The extra form of birth control you use must be a barrier method such as a latex condom, a diaphragm, or a cervical cap.

Stop using thalidomide and call your doctor at once if you quit using birth control, if your period is late, or if you think you might be pregnant.

For Men: You must not cause a woman to become pregnant while you are taking thalidomide because the medicine may affect your sperm and cause birth defects in the baby. You must agree in writing to always use latex condoms when having sex with a woman who is able to get pregnant, even if you have had a vasectomy. Avoid ejaculating without a condom because thalidomide can be passed in your sperm.

Thalidomide is available only under a special program called "System for Thalidomide Education and Prescribing Safety" (S.T.E.P.S.). You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the dangers of this medication and that you agree to use birth control as required by the program. For patients between 12 and 18 years, a parent or legal guardian must read and sign all written requirements for the S.T.E.P.S. program. Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 12 years old.

How should I take thalidomide (Thalomid)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Swallow the capsule whole, without breaking it open.

Thalidomide is usually taken at bedtime. Take the medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour after eating a meal.

While you are using thalidomide, you will be required to be listed on a patient registry and participate in occasional telephone surveys. You will be limited to a 28-day supply of thalidomide each time your prescription is refilled. You may continue getting refills only if you participate fully in the S.T.E.P.S. program and commit to all agreements.

Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

You must not donate blood or sperm while you are using thalidomide. Avoid exposing another person to your blood or semen through casual or sexual contact.

Never give thalidomide to another person, even if he or she has the same disorder for which you are being treated.

Store thalidomide at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep each capsule in its blister pack until you are ready to take it.

Do not allow another person to handle your medicine without wearing disposable gloves. Caregivers should avoid handling broken capsules or inhaling the powder from a damaged capsule.

Side Effects Centers

Thalomid Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Thalomid)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Thalomid)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking thalidomide (Thalomid)?

Thalidomide may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of thalidomide.

What other drugs will affect thalidomide (Thalomid)?

Cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by thalidomide. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these medicines.

  • HIV medicines such as tipranavir (Aptivus), indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), ritonavir (Norvir), atazanavir (Reyataz), or nelfinavir (Viracept);
  • griseofulvin (Gris-PEG, Grifulvin V, Grisactin, or Fulvicin);
  • rifampin (Rimactane, Rifadin);
  • rifabutin (Mycobutin);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin); or
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol).

If you rely on hormonal birth control during your treatment with thalidomide, tell your doctor about all other medicines you use. You may need to replace your hormonal birth control method with another effective form of contraception. Not having sexual intercourse (abstinence) is the most effective method of preventing pregnancy.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with thalidomide. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has more information about thalidomide written for health professionals that you may read.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. 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 drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02. Revision date: 12/15/2010.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read,understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement,which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

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Side Effects Centers

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