Highlights for thalidomide
thalidomide Side Effects
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- muscle cramps
- new or increased tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- unusual swelling or pain in arms or legs
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- constipation or diarrhea
thalidomide May Interact with Other Medications
- alcohol or any product that contains alcohol
- barbiturates, like phenobarbital
- certain antidepressants or tranquilizers
- certain antihistamines used in cold medicines
- medicines that may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills
- medicines which may cause tingling, numbness or nerve pain
- muscle relaxants
How to Use thalidomide
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. If you are only taking this medicine once a day, take your dose at bedtime at least 1 hour after your evening meal to decrease the drowsiness effects. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you before each treatment. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 12 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- low blood pressure
- low white blood cell count
- seizure disorder
- tingling or numbness in hands or feet or other nerve pain
- an unusual or allergic reaction to thalidomide other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
- breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If your next dose is to be taken in less than 12 hours, then do not take
the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take double or extra doses.
This medicine is available only through a special program. Doctors, pharmacies, and patients must meet all of the conditions of the program. Your health care provider will help you get signed up with the program if you need this medicine. Through the program you will only receive up to a 28 day supply of the medicine at one time. You will need a new prescription for each refill.
This medicine causes severe birth defects or death to an unborn child. This can happen after just ONE capsule. Both men and women must agree to take steps to prevent exposure of this medicine to an unborn child. Females with child-bearing potential will need to have 2 negative pregnancy tests before starting this medicine. Pregnancy testing must be done every 2 to 4 weeks as directed while taking this medicine. Use 2 reliable forms of birth control together while you are taking this medicine and for 1 month after you stop taking this medicine. If you think that you might be pregnant talk to your doctor right away.
Men must use a latex condom during sexual contact with a woman while taking this medicine and for 28 days after you stop taking this medicine. A latex condom is needed even if you have had a vasectomy. Contact your doctor right away if your partner becomes pregnant. Do not donate sperm while taking this medicine and for 28 days after you stop taking this medicine.
Do not give blood while taking the medicine and for 1 month after completion of treatment to avoid exposing pregnant women to the medicine through the donated blood.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine.
You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
Keep out of reach of children. Return any unused portion of this medicine to the pharmacy where your prescription was filled. Your pharmacy will accept all unused medicine as part of the controlled distribution program.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Protect from light. Do not use any expired medicine.
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Last Updated: February 19, 2013