This medication treats certain skin conditions related to Hansen’s disease (once known as leprosy) and a certain type of cancer (multiple myeloma). It works in Hansen’s disease by reducing swelling and redness (inflammation). It also reduces the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors.
This drug may also be used to treat certain conditions caused by cancer and HIV infection.
How to use thalidomide
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using thalidomide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily at bedtime at least 1 hour after the evening meal or as directed by your doctor. Swallow this medication whole with water.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.
Keep the capsules in their blister pack until ready to use. Do not open or break the capsules, or handle them any more than needed. If any of the powder from the capsule gets on your skin, wash the area with soap and water.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from broken capsules. All people should wash their hands thoroughly after handling this drug.
This medication passes into body fluids (e.g., urine). Avoid contact with body fluids from people taking this drug. Therefore, wear protective clothing (e.g., gloves) when handling these body fluids (e.g., during cleanup). If contact occurs, wash skin with soap and water.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. If you are taking this medication for Hansen’s disease, your skin condition may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens after 2 weeks.