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Thalidomide Definition

Thalidomide Definition


There are no expected pharmacokinetic interactions between thalidomide and other medicines due to its neutral effects on p-glycoprotein and P450 cytochromes. It may interact with sedatives due to its sedative action. It may also interact with bradycardic agents due to its bradycardia-inducing effects. The risk of peripheral neuropathy may be increased by concomitant treatment with other agents known to cause peripheral neuropathy.[15] The risk of venous thromboembolisms with thalidomide seems to be increased when patients are treated with oral contraceptives or other cytotoxic agents (including doxorubicin and melphalan) concurrently. Thalidomide may interfere with the contraceptive effects of various contraceptives and hence it is advised that women of reproductive age use at least two different means of contraception to ensure that no child will be conceived while they are receiving thalidomide.

What is thalidomide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Thalidomide is an oral medication used for treating the skin conditions of leprosy, a disease caused by a parasite, Mycobacterium leprae. The mechanism of action of thalidomide is not well understood. The immune system reaction to Mycobacterium leprae plays an important role in producaing the skin manifestations of leprosy. Scientists believe that thalidomide modifies the reaction of the immune system to Mycobacterium leprae and thereby suppresses the skin reaction. Thalidomide also is being evaluated as a treatment for HIV and several other conditions. Thalidomide was approved by the FDA in July 1998.

Thalidomide listen

A drug used with another drug to treat multiple myeloma in patients who have just been diagnosed. It is also used to treat a painful skin disease related to leprosy. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Thalidomide may help the immune system kill cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of immunomodulating agent. Also called Thalomid.


As of 2013 eighteen cases of overdoses had been reported with doses of up to 14.4 g, none of them fatal.No specific antidote for overdoses exists and treatment is purely supportive.


Thalidomide should not be used by people who are breast feeding or pregnant, trying to conceive a child, or cannot or will not follow the risk management program to prevent pregnancies. The prescribing doctor is required to ensure that contraception is being used, and regular pregnancy tests must be administered. Some people are allergic to thalidomide and should not take it. It should be used with caution in people with chronic infections like HIV or hepatitis B


  • neutropenia, bradycardia, peripheral neuropathy, hypotension, underlying malignancy, history of seizures or risk of seizures, risk of tumor lysis syndrome
  • concurrent use of drugs that slow cardiac conduction, drugs that cause peripheral neuropathy (such as alcohol, amiodarone, bortezomib, cisplatin, disulfiram, docetaxel, metronidazole, paclitaxel, phenytoin, vincristine), and hormonal contraceptives
  • concurrent use of opioids, antihistamines, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety agents, or other CNS depressants (avoid use)
  • breastfeeding patients (use not recommended)
  • children younger than age 12 (safety not established).

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