Re: [MOL] thalidamide as treatment for colon cancer/Reply [01236] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] thalidamide as treatment for colon cancer/Reply



What does thalidomide do?
THALIDOMIDE (Thalomid™) alters the body's immune response. Thalidomide is used to treat diseases and symptoms of diseases caused by abnormalities in the immune system. Thalidomide also may be useful in the treatment of various types of cancer. Thalidomide causes severe birth defects or death to an unborn child and now is only available under strict guidelines.

What should my health care professional know before I take thalidomide?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
•pregnant or planning to get pregnant
•breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed
•tingling or numbness in hands or feet or other nerve pain
•low white blood cell count
•low blood pressure

How should I use this medicine?
Thalidomide capsules are taken by mouth with water. Make sure to follow the directions on your prescription bottle. If you are only taking thalidomide once a day, take your dose at bedtime at least 1 hour after the evening meal to decrease the drowsiness effects.

NEVER give this medicine to anyone else.

What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, consult your prescriber or health care professional. You may need to miss a dose or take a double dose, depending on your condition and treatment. Do not take double or extra doses without advice.

What other medicines can interact with thalidomide?
•any medicines that may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills
•alcohol or any medicines that may cause drowsiness - thalidomide may increase this effect
•any medicines which may cause tingling, numbness or nerve pain

Tell your prescriber or other health care professional about all other medicines you are taking including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also, tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check before stopping or starting any of your medications.

What side effects may I notice from receiving thalidomide?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
•irregular menstrual bleeding
•missed menstrual cycle
•new or increased tingling or numbness in hands or feet
•muscle cramps
•rash

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
•constipation
•drowsiness
•dizziness
•headache

What do I need to watch for while I receive thalidomide?
Thalidomide causes severe birth defects or death to an unborn child even after just ONE capsule. Both men and women must agree to take precautions against exposure of thalidomide to an unborn child. All patients will receive counseling about the potential birth defects and must agree to follow the conditions outlined in the System for Thalidomide Education and Prescribing Safety (STEPS) Program. The STEPS Program is a program to prevent exposure of thalidomide to an unborn child. The program involves required pregnancy testing, required birth control measures for men and women, doctor and patient education, registration of doctors, pharmacies and patients, and patient consent forms.

You may not donate blood while taking thalidomide. Men are not permitted to donate sperm while taking thalidomide.

Thalidomide causes drowsiness that will decrease as you continue taking the medicine. Be careful driving or operating machinery while taking thalidomide. Take thalidomide at bedtime to decrease this effect.

Thalidomide may cause dizziness. Make sure to sit upright for a few minutes before standing up from a lying or seated position to avoid falling.

You should take a stool softener (docusate) or fiber-product to avoid constipation while taking thalidomide.

Where can I keep my medicine?
Thalidomide may only be prescribed and dispensed by doctors and pharmacies registered in the STEPS program. Pharmacies may only fill a prescription if it is less than 7 days old and may only give you a 28—day supply.

Keep thalidomide out of reach of children and never share this medication with anyone. Return any unused thalidomide to the pharmacy where your prescription was filled. Your pharmacy will accept all unused thalidomide as part of the controlled distribution program.

Do not use beyond the expiration date on the package. Store this medicine at room temperature 59—86[0] F (15—30[0] C) and protect from light.

----- Original Message -----
From: VIRGINIA WRIGHT
To: mol-cancer@lists.meds.com
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 1999 8:22 PM
Subject: [MOL] thalidamide as treatment for colon cancer

I work for a home health agency and we have a patient who is receiving thalidamide as a treatment for colon cancer.  I am interested in finding out what thalidamide does and how it acts in the treatment of colon cancer.  Please respond to my e mail address.  ronvirg1@prodigy.net.  Thank you for your help