Drug Status in USA : Approved
Drug Status in Canada : Approved


pronounced as (tha li' doe mide)

Why is this medication prescribed?

Thalidomide is used along with dexamethasone to treat multiple myeloma in people who have been recently found to have this disease. It is also used alone or with other medications to treat and prevent skin symptoms of erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL; episodes of skin sores, fever, and nerve damage that occur in people with Hansen's disease

  • leprosy
). Thalidomide is in a class of medications called immunomodulatory agents. It treats multiple myeloma by strengthening the immune system to fight cancer cells. It treats ENL by blocking the action of certain natural substances that cause swelling.

How should this medicine be used?

Thalidomide comes as a capsule to take by mouth. Thalidomide is usually taken with water once a day at bedtime and at least 1 hour after an evening meal. If you are taking thalidomide to treat ENL, your doctor may tell you to take it more than once a day, at least 1 hour after meals. Take thalidomide at around the same time(s) every day. 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.

Keep the capsules in their packaging until you are ready to take them. Do not open the capsules or handle them more than necessary. If your skin comes into contact with broken capsules or powder, wash the exposed area with soap and water.

The length of your treatment depends on how your symptoms respond to thalidomide and whether your symptoms return when you stop taking the medication. Your doctor may need to interrupt your treatment or reduce your dose if you experience certain side effects. Do not stop taking thalidomide without talking to your doctor. When your treatment is complete your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.

What are the precautions to be followed?

Before taking thalidomide,
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to thalidomide or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and any of the following: antidepressants; barbiturates such as pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital, and secobarbital (Seconal); chlorpromazine; didanosine (Videx); medications for anxiety, mental illness, or seizures; certain chemotherapy medications for cancer such as cisplatin (Platinol), paclitaxel (Abraxane, Taxol), and vincristine;reserpine (Serpalan); sedatives; sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a low level of white blood cells in your blood, or seizures.
  • tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
  • you should know that thalidomide may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do other activities that require you to be fully alert until you know how this medication affects you.
  • ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking thalidomide. Alcohol can make the side effects from thalidomide worse.
  • you should know that thalidomide may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. To help avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
  • you should know that thalidomide is present in your blood and body fluids. Anyone who may come into contact with these fluids should wear gloves or wash any exposed areas of skin with soap and water.

What are possible side effects of this medication ?

Thalidomide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • depression or mood changes
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • bone, muscle, joint, or back pain
  • weakness
  • headache
  • change in appetite
  • weight changes
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • dry skin
  • pale skin
  • itching
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
  • rash
  • blistering and peeling skin
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • fever, sore throat, chills, cough, or other signs of infection
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • seizures

Thalidomide may cause nerve damage that can be severe and permanent. This damage may occur any time during or after your treatment. Your doctor will examine you regularly to see how thalidomide has affected your nervous system. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: numbness, tingling, pain, or burning in the hands and feet.

Thalidomide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

How to store the medication and dispose it of after its use later?

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.

Drug Category/Class

  • Leprostatic Agents
  • Teratogens
  • CYP2E1 Inhibitors
  • CYP2E1 Inducers
  • CYP2E1 Inducers (strong)
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 Inhibitors
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 Inducers
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9 Inhibitors
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9 Inducers
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C19 Inducers
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antineoplastic and Immunomodulating Agents
  • Other immunosuppressant
Prescribed For the acute treatment of the cutaneous manifestations of moderate to severe erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL). Also for use as maintenance therapy ...
Weight :258.2295
Structure Thalidomide
Generic Drug Thalidomide prescribed For the acute treatment of the cutaneous manifestations of moderate to severe erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL). Also for use as maintenance therapy ...


Thalidomide has 15 Brands listed

Immithal (100 mg)Immithal (50 mg)
Oncothal (100 mg)Talimyde (100 mg)
Thaangio (100 mg)Thalimax (100 mg)
Thalimax (50 mg)Thalix (100 mg)
Thalix (50 mg)Thaloda (100 mg)
Thaloda (50 mg)Thalon (100 mg)
Thycad (50 mg)Tolimid (100 mg)
Tolimid (50 mg)

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