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pomalidomide

Pronunciation: pom a LID oh mide

Brand: Pomalyst

What is the most important information I should know about pomalidomide?

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Never use pomalidomide if you are pregnant. Even one dose of pomalidomide can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects or death of a baby if the mother or the father is taking this medication at the time of conception or during pregnancy.

For Women: If you have not had a hysterectomy, you will be required to use two forms of birth control beginning 4 weeks before you start taking pomalidomide and ending 4 weeks after you stop taking it. You must also have a negative pregnancy test at 10 to 14 days before treatment and again at 24 hours before.

Pomalidomide is available only under a special program called Pomalyst REMS. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the dangers of this medication and that you agree to use birth control measures as required by the program.

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Pomalidomide may cause blood clots. Stop using pomalidomide and call your doctor at once if you have symptoms such as chest pain, wheezing, coughing up blood, or if you have pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs.

What is pomalidomide?

Pomalidomide affects the immune system. It helps promote immune responses to prevent inflammation in the body.

Pomalidomide is used to treat multiple myeloma (cancer resulting from a progressive blood disease). Pomalidomide is usually given after at least two other medications have been tried without success.

Pomalidomide is available only from a certified pharmacy under a special program called Pomalyst REMS. Your doctor must be registered in the program in order to prescribe pomalidomide for you. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the dangers of this medication and that you agree to use birth control measures as required by the program.

Pomalidomide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking pomalidomide?

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Pomalidomide can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects or death of a baby if the mother or the father is taking this medication at the time of conception or during pregnancy. Even one dose of pomalidomide can cause major birth defects of the baby's arms and legs, bones, ears, eyes, face, and heart. Never use pomalidomide if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if your period is late while using the medication.

For Women: If you have not had a hysterectomy, you will be required to use two forms of birth control beginning 4 weeks before you start taking pomalidomide and ending 4 weeks after you stop taking it. Even women with fertility problems are required to use birth control while taking this medication. You must also have a negative pregnancy test at 10 to 14 days before treatment and again at 24 hours before. While you are taking pomalidomide, you will have a pregnancy test every 4 weeks.

The birth control method you use must be proven highly effective, such as birth control pills, an intrauterine device (IUD), a tubal ligation, or a sexual partner's vasectomy. The extra form of birth control you use must be a barrier method such as a latex condom, a diaphragm, or a cervical cap.

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Stop using pomalidomide and call your doctor at once if you quit using birth control, if your period is late, or if you think you might be pregnant.

For Men: If a man fathers a baby while using pomalidomide, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment, and for up to 28 days after your treatment ends. You must agree in writing to always use latex condoms when having sex with a woman who is able to get pregnant, even if you have had a vasectomy. Contact your doctor if you have had unprotected sex, even once, or if you think your female sexual partner may be pregnant.

To make sure you can safely take pomalidomide, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease; or
  • if you smoke (smoking may make pomalidomide less effective).

Using pomalidomide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia or lymphoma. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

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It is not known whether pomalidomide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take pomalidomide?

Pomalidomide is usually taken once per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take the medicine at the same time each day.

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Take pomalidomide on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after a meal.

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Take each dose with a full glass of water. Swallow the capsule whole.

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Do not open the pomalidomide capsule. The medicine from inside the capsule can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken capsule.

Never give pomalidomide to another person, even if he or she has the same disorder for which you are being treated.

While using pomalidomide, you may need frequent blood tests.

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Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you are more than 12 hours late, skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking pomalidomide?

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Do not donate blood or sperm while you are using pomalidomide.

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This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid coming into contact with your body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). Chemotherapy can pass into body fluids. Patients or caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.

What are the possible side effects of pomalidomide?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • stabbing chest pain, wheezing, cough with yellow or green mucus;
  • numbness or tingly feeling;
  • chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs; or
  • swelling in your hands or feet.

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, confusion;
  • feeling weak or tired;
  • loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, constipation;
  • mild rash; or
  • back pain, joint pain, muscle pain or weakness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect pomalidomide?

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Taking pomalidomide with other drugs that cause dizziness or confusion can worsen these effects. Ask your doctor before taking pomalidomide with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Many drugs can interact with pomalidomide. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with pomalidomide, especially:

  • bosentan;
  • cyclosporine;
  • imatinib;
  • isoniazid;
  • nefazodone;
  • St. John's wort;
  • an antibiotic--azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin;
  • antifungal medication--itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;
  • heart medication--amiodarone, captopril, carvedilol, diltiazem, dronedarone, felodipine, nicardipine, quinidine, ranolazine, verapamil;
  • hepatitis C medications--boceprevir, telaprevir;
  • HIV/AIDS medication--atazanavir, delavirdine, efavirenz, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir, saquinavir, tipranavir;
  • seizure medication--carbamazepine, fosphenytoin, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone; or
  • tuberculosis medication--rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine.

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with pomalidomide. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about pomalidomide.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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