Lenalidomide is in the class of drugscalled an immunomodulating agent. This affects the way the immune system works.This has anti-angiogenic and anti-neoplastic properties. Lenalidomide is aprescription used for the treatment of multiple myeloma in adults.

Multiple myelomas are an uncommontype of cancer that alters blood’s plasma cells and affects the bone marrow. Plasmacells are a type of white blood cell that is responsible for recognizing foreigninfections. These help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognizeand attack germs. Plasma cells live in your bone marrow which is the softtissue that fills hollow bones. Bone marrow is responsible for producing otherhealthy blood cells. Multiple myelomas lead to a build-up of cancer cells inyour bone marrow. The cancer cells eventually overtake healthy blood cells andyour body becomes unable to produce disease-fighting antibodies. Instead, itcreates harmful proteins that damage your kidneys and cause other signs and symptoms.Signs and symptoms of this condition are not always easy to detect. You may notexperience any of the symptoms during the early stages. As cancer progresses, symptomsvary greatly. Some signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma may include:

  • Nausea
  • Bone pain especially in your spine or chest
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Mental fogginess or confusion
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent infections
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weakness or numbness in your legs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. This is supplied as a capsule for oral use. Lenalidomide is available in the dosage strengths of 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 25 mg.

Howdoes Lenalidomide work?

Lenalidomide works by stoppingthe cancerous plasma cells from increasing. In the immune system called naturalkiller cells, this drug also enhances the action of cells. These attack abnormalcells including cancerous cells naturally. In order to grow, cancerous cells needa blood supply that provides them with nutrients and oxygen. They also needthis blood supply to spread. Cancerous cells stimulate blood vessels to growinto the tumor. Another of this medicine is to stop this development of newblood vessels. This is used in combination with other medications for thetreatment of multiple myeloma in people who have already received at least oneprevious therapy. This drug can reduce the production of healthy blood cellsleaving people susceptible to infection. Regular blood tests are needed to monitorlevels of blood cells.

Howto use Lenalidomide?

The capsule is to be taken bymouth depending on the dosage that will be prescribed to you. Swallow the capsuleas a whole with a full glass of water. Do not open, chew, or crush it. Drinkplenty of fluids while having this medication. The given dosage is based onyour medical condition and response to the medication. Take each dose exactlyas it is given by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or forlonger than the prescription. Your doctor may give you a lower dose to startand gradually increase it.

Lenalidomide is to be taken asdirected by your doctor. This is usually taken once a day. Each dose may betaken with or without a meal. Take it regularly for the best benefit of thisproduct. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Letyour doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse. Do notsuddenly stop this treatment without the consent of your doctor. For the treatmentof certain conditions, you may be instructed to take this drug in cycles. Itmay be once a day for 21 days then stopping the medications for 7 days. If youmissed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time foryour next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.

Whatare the side effects of Lenalidomide?

Common side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Dry or itchy skin
  • Constipation
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

Let your doctor know if you have theseserious side effects such as:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Worsening of your tumor
  • Risk of new cancers
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Fetal risk
  • Serious skin reactions
  • Liver problems (loss of appetite, upper stomachpain, dark urine, or clay-colored stools)
  • Low blood cell counts (chills, swollen gums, mouthor skin sores)
  • Signs of a stroke or blood clot (severe headache, suddennumbness or weakness, shortness of breath, or swelling or redness in yourarm/leg)

Call for medical emergencyassistance right away if you have signs of an allergic reaction such as:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling in your lips, face, throat, or tongue

Warningsand Precautions

  • Before using Lenalidomide, let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to it. Tell as well if you have any allergies. This product may have an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
  • Do not use this for the treatment of other diseases.
  • This drug may make you dizzy. Do not use any machinery or do any activity that needs your full alertness.
  • If you have any medical history especially of liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, chickenpox, and shingles, or organ transplant tell it to your doctor right away.  
  • While having Lenalidomide, limit alcoholic beverages.
  • This drug can reduce the number of blood cells in your blood. A low white blood cell count can increase your susceptibility to infections and increase the risk of bleeding.
  • This may rarely cause liver problems. For this reason, your liver function should be monitored at the same time as your blood cells.
  • Lenalidomide should be used with caution in elderly people, those with any disease of the nerves, with extensive cancer before the treatment is started, and those with angina or a history of a heart attack.
  • This drug is not recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Keep this at room temperature, far from heat, moisture, and reach of children.