The thalidomide is used in the treatment of multiple myeloma , often in conjunction with dexamethasone . It is used, both alone and together with other drugs, to prevent and treat the symptoms of leprosy nodular erythema .
A further use of Thalidomide is the treatment of some skin disorders associated with irritation and swelling , as well as some complications of HIV infection .
In the past, thalidomide has also found use in the treatment of other cancers , severe weight loss associated with weakening of the immune system, complications of bone marrow transplantation and Crohn’s disease .
What is Thalidomide?
Thalidomide works by strengthening the immune system , and hindering the action of substances that cause swelling. It is therefore an immunomodulatory agent .
How is Thalidomide taken?
The administration of Thalidomide takes place in the form of capsules, taken orally .
Side effects of Thalidomide
Thalidomide increases the risk of blood clots forming in the arms, legs or lung . This risk is present in the case of multiple myeloma, and is further intensified by taking other chemotherapeutics at the same time, such as dexamethasone.
Its other possible side effects include:
- depression or mood swings
- dry mouth
- dry skin
- uncontrollable tremors
- bone, muscle, joint or back pain
- changes in appetite
- weight changes
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or calves
- difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
The doctor should be contacted as soon as possible in case of:
- blisters and flaking
- difficulty swallowing
- fever, sore throat, chills, cough or other symptoms of infection
- slow or fast heart beat
- breathing difficulties
- feeling of tightness in the chest
- swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
Contraindications and warnings on the use of Tamolide
During pregnancy the use of Thalidomide is strongly discouraged .
Before starting a Thalidomide treatment, it is essential to tell your doctor:
- of any allergies to the active substance, its excipients, to any other drug, to foods or other substances;
- of medicines, phytotherapy and supplements taken , in particular antidepressants, barbiturates, chlorpromazine, didanosine, anxiolytics, psychotropic drugs, anticonvulsants, chemotherapy, reserpine, sedatives, drugs against insomnia and tranquilizers;
- if you have suffered or still suffer from HIV, AIDS, low white blood cells or seizures in the past ;
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding .
The Thalidomide may alter the ability to drive or operate dangerous machinery and cause severe dizziness when standing up quickly. This is why it is good to get up slowly, especially in the morning.
Some of the side effects of Thalidomide can be aggravated by alcohol .
No blood should be donated during treatment with Thalidomide, and up to four weeks after the end of treatment . The men and women of childbearing age who are undergoing treatment with thalidomide must take at least two kinds of effective contraception four weeks before starting treatment, throughout treatment, and four weeks after the end of treatment.