Class: Biologic Therapy
Generic Name: Lenalidomide (len-a-LID-oh-mide)
Trade Name: Revlimid®
For which conditions is this drug approved? Lenalidomide is FDA approved for the treatment of low or intermediate-1-risk myelodysplastic syndromes in patients who are transfusion-dependent because of anemia associated with their disease and those who have a deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality. Lenalidomide is also approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma in patients who have received at least one prior therapy. It is important for patients to remember that physicians have the ability to prescribe medication for conditions other than those for which the drug has been approved by the FDA. Patients who have received a prescription of this drug for a condition other than for which it is approved may wish to discuss this issue with their physician.
What is the mechanism of action? Lenalidomide is classified as both an immunomodulatory agent and an antiangiogenic agent. Lenalidomide’s mechanism of action remains to be fully discovered. However, it is known that lenalidomide modulates the immune system, which includes reducing several inflammatory responses that are implicated in the development and/or spread of cancer. In addition, lenalidomide inhibits the development of new blood vessels, reducing the ability of cancer cells to spread and replicate.
How is lenalidomide typically given (administered)? Lenalidomide is taken orally in the form of a tablet.
How are patients typically monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while being treated with lenalidomide. Physical examinations, scans, or evaluations may be performed to assess side effects and response to therapy. Blood may be drawn to measure levels of blood cells as well as to monitor functions of some organs, such as the kidney. In addition, patients will have their lungs monitored as a rare but serious side effect affecting the lungs may occur. If patients experience a sudden shortness of breath, cough and/or fever, they should contact their healthcare provider. Women of childbearing age will also undergo pregnancy testing prior to the use of lenalidomide, as well as routine pregnancy testing during treatment with lenalidomide.
What are the common side effects (occurring in 30% or more of patients) of treatment with lenalidomide?
What are the less common side effects (occurring in 10% to 29% of patients) of treatment with lenalidomide?
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should consult their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
When should patients notify their physician? Patients should notify their physician when they experience the following:
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug by healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics, and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
Copyright © 2010 CancerConnect Last updated 07/10.
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