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Lenalidomide (initially known as CC-5013 and marketed as Revlimid® by Celgene) is a derivative of thalidomide introduced in 2004. It was initially intended as a treatment for multiple myeloma, for which thalidomide is an accepted therapeutic modality, but has also shown efficacy in the hematological disorders known as the myelodysplastic syndromes. [Wikipedia] FDA approved on December 27, 2005.


Lenalidomide is used to treat certain cancers (multiple myeloma, mantle cell lymphoma-MCL). It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. It is also used to treat anemia in patients with certain blood/bone marrow disorders (myelodysplastic syndromes-MDS). Lenalidomide may lessen the need for blood transfusions.

Lenalidomide is not recommended for the treatment of a certain type of cancer (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) because of the increased risk of serious heart-related side effects and death. If you have this type of cancer, talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication.

What lenalidomide Is Used For:

Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

Treatment of transfusion-dependent myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients with deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality with or without additional cytogenetic abnormalities.

Treatment of Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)

Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.

What are some other side effects of Lenalidomide?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Back pain.
  • Bone pain.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Headache.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Dizziness.
  • Dry skin.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Nose and throat irritation.
  • Change in taste.
  • Not able to sleep.

How Lenalidomide Is Given:

Lenalidomide is taken as capsules by mouth.  Swallow whole with water. Do not break, chew, or open capsules.

If you miss a dose of Lenalidomide, take it as soon as you remember that day.  If you miss taking your dose for the entire day, go back to taking your regular dose the next day.  Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

Store Lenalidomide at room temperature, 59o to 86oF (15o to 30o C).

In order to receive Lenalidomide, there are strict guidelines that you must follow.  You will be required to participate in a special program called the "RevAssistsm program".

Your doctor will determine your exact dosage and schedule.  Dosage may be adjusted based on your blood count results.