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Thalidomide

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Adult, Cancer-related

Thalidomide - What is it for

​Thalidomide is a medication that can be used in the treatment of certain cancers, immune-related conditions and some skin conditions.  

Thalidomide - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Thalidomide cause?

  • Drowsiness or lack of energy
    Be careful when performing tasks that require alertness. Avoid alcohol. 
  • Headache
  • Tingling or numbness of the hands and feet
  • Constipation
  • Swelling of hands or feet due to fluid retention
  • Dizziness when changing position
    Rise slowly from a seated or lying position. 
  • Decreased white blood cell count

Inform your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Severe skin rash or itch
  • Fever of 38°C or higher, sore throat
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising or black sticky stools
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden onset of cough, shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Severe or unusual swelling of hands or feet
  • Side effects that are severe

Before taking Thalidomide, what precautions must I follow?

  • Do not donate blood during treatment and for at least 1 month after stopping Thalidomide.
  • Effective birth control measures should be taken by both men and women as Thalidomide can cause severe birth defects.
  • For men: Do not donate sperm during and for 1 month after stopping treatment.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Thalidomide?

Thalidomide - Dosage and How to Use

How should Thalidomide be used?

It is a capsule taken by mouth and swallowed whole with water. Take it once daily, at least one hour after a meal and preferably at bedtime

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can if it is within 12 hours of your missed dose. However if more than 12 hours have passed, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

​If you overdose on this medication, inform your doctor immediately.

Thalidomide - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Thalidomide safely?

Do not open, chew or crush the capsules.

How should I store Thalidomide?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

How should I dispose of Thalidomide safely?

Thalidomide - Additional Information

  • Updated on Tuesday, March 12, 2019
  • Article contributed by Department of Pharmacy National Cancer Centre Singapore

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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