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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Revlimid

Generic Name: lenalidomide (Pronunciation: LEN a LID o mide)

What is lenalidomide (Revlimid)?

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

Lenalidomide treats anemia (a lack of red blood cells in the body) and multiple myeloma (cancer resulting from a progressive blood disease). It is used in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome caused by an abnormal chromosome. This disorder is also called deletion 5q MDS, because part of chromosome 5 is missing. In people with this disorder, the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells.

Lenalidomide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of lenalidomide (Revlimid)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

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;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding or weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • lower back pain, blood in your urine;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth;
  • muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes;
  • fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, feeling short of breath, confusion, fainting;
  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild.

Less serious side effects may include:

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.

What is the most important information I should know about lenalidomide (Revlimid)?

Lenalidomide can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects or death of a baby if the mother or the father is taking this medication at the time of conception or during pregnancy. Even one dose of lenalidomide can cause major birth defects of the baby's arms and legs, bones, ears, eyes, face, and heart. Never use lenalidomide if you are pregnant.

For Women: You will be required to use two reliable forms of birth control beginning 4 weeks before you start taking lenalidomide 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 lenalidomide. Even women with fertility problems are required to use birth control while taking this medication. You must also have a negative pregnancy test at 10 to 14 days before treatment and again at 24 hours before. While you are taking lenalidomide, you will have a pregnancy test every 4 weeks.

Stop using lenalidomide 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 lenalidomide 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.

Lenalidomide is available only under a special program called RevAssist. 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 measures as required by the program.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Never give lenalidomide to another person, even if he or she has the same disorder for which you are being treated.

Do not donate blood or sperm while you are using lenalidomide.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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