What is this medicine?
POMALIDOMIDE (pom a LID oh mide) is a chemotherapy drug used to treat multiple myeloma. It targets specific proteins within cancer cells and stops the cancer cell from growing.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): POMALYST
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- history of blood clots
- irregular monthly periods or menstrual cycles
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- smoke tobacco
- an unusual or allergic reaction to pomalidomide, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Do not cut, crush, or chew this medicine. Take your medicine at regular intervals. 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 by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
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.
What may interact with this medicine?
This medicine may interact with the following medications:
- tobacco (cigarettes)
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop. You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
This medicine may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medicine. Contact your health care provider right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
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 can cause birth defects. Do not get pregnant for at least 4 weeks before, during, and for at least 4 weeks after taking this drug. 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 4 weeks 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 4 weeks 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 4 weeks 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.
Talk to your doctor about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medicine.
If you smoke, tell your doctor if you notice this medicine is not working well for you. Talk to your doctor if you are a smoker or if you decide to stop smoking.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
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
- fast heartbeat
- feeling faint
- low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding
- rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- signs and symptoms of a blood clot such as breathing problems; changes in vision; chest pain; severe, sudden headache; pain, swelling, warmth in the leg; trouble speaking; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg
- signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
- signs and symptoms of a stroke like changes in vision; confusion; trouble speaking or understanding; severe headaches; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg; trouble walking; dizziness; loss of balance or coordination
- tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
- trouble swallowing
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- back pain
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy