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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Thalidomide

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking thalidomide, stop taking thalidomide and call your doctor immediately. Thalidomide can kill the fetus or cause severe birth defects.Before starting treatment, women of childbearing age should have a pregnancy test. Your doctor will not give you a prescription for thalidomide until a negative pregnancy test has been obtained. Your doctor will order pregnancy tests often during your treatment; it is important that you keep these appointments. Women of childbearing age who are taking thalidomide should not have sexual intercourse or should use two forms of birth control for at least 1 month before beginning thalidomide therapy, during thalidomide therapy, and for 1 month after stopping thalidomide therapy. If your period is irregular, late, or you miss a period during treatment with thalidomide, call your doctor immediately.If you are a sexually active male, you will need to use barrier contraception, such as condoms, while taking thalidomide.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Thalidomide is used to treat and prevent skin conditions caused by erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL).

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Thalidomide comes as a capsule to take by mouth. Thalidomide is usually taken once a day at bedtime, but at least 1 hour after the evening meal. Take thalidomide with a glass of water. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take thalidomide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

Thalidomide may also be used to treat Kaposi's sarcoma, primary brain malignancies, chronic graft versus host disease, Behcet's disease, aphthous ulcers, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), adult Langerhans cell histiocytosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Jessner's lymphocytic infiltration of the skin. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking thalidomide,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to thalidomide or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including amprenavir (Agenerase), barbiturates, carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol), chlorpromazine (Ormazine, Thorazine), griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grifulvin, Grisactin, others), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), phenytoin (Dilantin), reserpine (Serpalan, Serpasil, others), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), ritonavir (Norvir), saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase), and vitamins. If you are using oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy while taking thalidomide, you should be aware of medications that may affect the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Ask your pharmacist for more information.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), or neutropenia.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how thalidomide will affect you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and sun lamps and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Thalidomide may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
  • be aware that you should not give blood or donate sperm during treatment with thalidomide.
  • thalidomide may cause dizziness and decreases in blood pressure that could result in falls. After lying down, you should sit upright for a few minutes before standing up.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from thalidomide are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • slow heartbeats

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • rash
  • numbness, tingling, pain, or a burning sensation in the hands or feet
  • fever

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order laboratory tests to monitor your response to thalidomide.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. Tell your doctor if your skin condition gets worse or does not go away.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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