Revlimid in combination with dexamethasone is used to treat adult patients who have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects the white blood cells that produce antibodies.

Why have I been prescribed Revlimid?

  • Revlimid in combination with dexamethasone is used to treat adult patients who have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
  • Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects the white blood cells that produce antibodies.

How does it work?

Revlimid belongs to a group of medicines called immunomodulatory medicines, which can modify or regulate the functioning of the immune system.

When and how do I take it?

  • Revlimid is taken in combination with dexamethasone.
  • Always take Revlimid and dexamethasone exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • You should swallow the Revlimid capsules whole, preferably with water, once a day. Do not break or chew the capsules.
  • The Revlimid capsules can be taken either with or without food.
  • You should take Revlimid at about the same time each day.

What’s the dose?

Revlimid dosage

  • The usual starting dose is 25 mg once per day. Revlimid is taken in treatment cycles, each cycle lasting 28 days.

Treatment cycle:

  • On days 1-21: take 25 mg of Revlimid once per day
  • On days 22-28: do NOT take Revlimid
  • After completing each cycle, start a new one.

Your doctor may adjust your dose of Revlimid or stop your treatment based on the results of your blood tests and on your general condition.

Could it interact with other tablets?

Please tell your doctor or pharmacist of all other medicines that you are taking or have recently taken, including medicines obtained without a prescription.

In particular tell him/her if you are taking or have taken any of the following:

  • dexamethasone
  • digoxin
  • warfarin
  • The following types of medicine may interact with Revlimid:
  • medicines that affect the blood
  • medicines that can cause blood clots
  • hormone replacement therapy
  • medicines that are damaging to the bone marrow
  • oral contraceptives

Herbal products should also only be taken after talking with your doctor.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

It is important to note that Revlimid may reduce the number of white blood cells that fight infection and also the blood cells which help the blood to clot (platelets). Revlimid may also cause blood clots in the veins (thrombosis).

Therefore you must tell your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • any fever, chills, sore throat, cough, mouth ulcers or any other symptoms of infection
  • any bleeding or bruising in the absence of injury
  • any chest or leg pain
  • any shortness of breath

Very common side effects are given below. You should consult your doctor if you experience any of these:

  • A fall in the number of white blood cells (the cells that fight infection), platelets (the cells that help the blood to clot, which may lead to bleeding disorders) and red blood cells (anaemia leading to tiredness and weakness)
  • Constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, increase and decrease in weight, rash, sleep disturbance, muscle cramps and muscle weakness, tiredness, swelling of the peripheries.

Common side effects are given below. You should consult your doctor if you experience any of these:

  • Infections of all types, fever and flu like symptoms
  • Loss of appetite, retention of fluid, dehydration, raised blood sugar levels, changes to the calcium, potassium or magnesium in the blood
  • Confusion, seeing or hearing things that do not exist (hallucinations), depression, aggression, agitation, mood changes, anxiety, nervousness, irritability
  • Stroke, paralysis, fainting, memory disturbance, numbness, tingling or burning sensation to the skin, pains in hands or feet, dizziness, headache, tremour, sleepiness, taste disturbance or taste loss, giddiness
  • Blurred or reduced vision, cataract, increased tear production
  • Leg pain (which could be a symptom of thrombosis), increased blood pressure or a fall in blood pressure especially on standing (which may lead to dizziness or fainting when standing), flushing, chest pain or shortness of breath (which may be a symptom of blood clots in the lungs), irregular heart beat, palpitations
  • Cough, hoarseness, hiccoughs, nosebleed
  • Vomiting, indigestion, abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, sore inflamed mouth, dry mouth, excessive wind, blood in the stools
  • Swelling of the face, dry skin, itching, redness of the skin, inflammation of the hair follicles, increased pigmentation of skin, increased sweating, hair loss, bruising
  • Muscle, bone, back, limb or joint pains or weakness, general feeling of unwellness, generalised swelling
  • Production of much more or much less urine than usual (which may be a symptom of kidney failure), passing blood in the urine
  • Difficulty in obtaining an erection, breast enlargement, nipple pain, abnormal menstruation
  • Chest pain spreading to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach, feeling sweaty and breathless, feeling sick or vomiting (which may be symptoms of a heart attack/myocardial infarction)

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

  • There are no known interactions between alcohol and Revlimid.
  • Always ask you doctor or pharmacist however as other medications you are taking may have a bearing on this.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

  • You must not take Revlimid if you are pregnant, as it is expected to be harmful for an unborn baby. In addition, you must not become pregnant while taking Revlimid.
  • If you do become pregnant during the treatment with Revlimid, you must stop the treatment and inform your doctor immediately.
  • For men taking Revlimid - if your partner becomes pregnant whilst you are taking Revlimid, you should inform your doctor immediately. It is recommended that your partner seeks medical advice.

Breast-feeding

  • You should not breastfeed when taking Revlimid, as it is not known if Revlimid passes into human milk.

 

If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note
: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.

References:

http://www.themmrf.org/multiple-myeloma-knowledge-center/myeloma-drugs-guide/revlimid/

http://www.revlimid.com/

http://www.drugs.com/revlimid.html

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/Drugsafety/ucm111335.pdf

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/Revlimid.aspx