This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Thalidomide is an immunomodulatory agent. It can exert anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-infective effects. It was approved by the FDA on 16th July 1998 for its medical use. 

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Thalidomide reduces inflammation and regulates the immune system. It works by enabling the body’s immune system and attacking the cancer cells. It stops the development of cancer cells by inhibiting the growth of blood vessels in tumors. It also modifies the production and activity of cytokines (growth factors) that are involved in the growth and metabolism of cancer cells.

Uses of undefined

Thalidomide is used to treat moderate to severe leprosy in combination with dexamethasone and is indicated for treating patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. It is also indicated as maintenance therapy for the prevention and suppression of the cutaneous manifestations of erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL) recurrence. Thalidomide is also sometimes used to treat certain skin conditions involving swelling and irritation.

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

Temozolomide is a prescription drug available as an oral capsule. The drug will be prescribed by the healthcare professional. Your physician will determine the medicine's dose, dosage form, and frequency. Take the capsule as a single dose at bedtime. Swallow the capsule whole with water. Avoid crushing or chewing the capsule. Wash your skin carefully with soap and water in case of contact with a broken capsule. 

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


If thalidomide is taken during pregnancy, it can cause severe birth defects or embryo-fetal death. It should never be used if you are pregnant, suspecting to be pregnant, or trying for pregnancy. Even one capsule regardless of its strength, taken during pregnancy can cause severe harmful effects on the fetus. Inform your physician if you are pregnant during the treatment or planning to get pregnant.  Increased risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in patients with multiple myeloma taking thalidomide with dexamethasone.


This drug may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives; using two reliable methods of contraception is necessary. The drug may cause allergic reactions; notify your doctor if you see any signs of rash, itchy skin, redness, Swelling of your lips or tongue, sudden cough, and low blood pressure.  Inform your physician if you have any kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease, blood/bleeding problems, or infection and about all the other prescribed, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, or herbal medications you take. Avoid consuming alcohol while taking Thalidomide. Female patients with reproductive potential should take pregnancy tests frequently. Avoid consuming alcohol or operating heavy machinery after taking this medication. 

Side Effects

The common side effects of thalidomide are sleepiness, rashes, headache, dizziness, impotence, decreased energy or strength, pain, tenderness, low calcium, and blood count levels, swelling of hands and feet, constipation, numbness or tingling sensation, nausea, and reduced appetite, anxiety, depression, confusion and mood swings, fever, weight loss or weight gain, indigestion, vomiting, dry mouth, muscle cramps, blurred vision, ear problems, and kidney damage. Other serious effects include nerve damage, decreased blood pressure, low WBC count, slow heartbeat, serious allergic reactions, tumor lysis syndrome, sudden pain in the chest or difficulty breathing, pain and swelling in the legs, and bleeding or bruising without injury.

Word Of Advice

Women who are pregnant or suspect they may be pregnant should not use this medication. Hence, it is advised to use effective birth control for at least 4 weeks before beginning treatment, during treatment, and at least 4 weeks after stopping Thalidomide treatment. Handle this medication with disposable gloves since it may come into contact with the skin. It is advised to refrain from donating blood or sperm both during treatment and for seven days after treatment with this drug.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. Celgene Europe B.V, Electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC), [Revised on Aug 2021] [Accessed on 21/02/2023],
  2. Celgene Corporation, US Food and Drug Administration, [Revised on Jun 2019] [Accessed on 21/02/2023],
  3. Douglas F. Lake and Adrienne D. Briggs, Immunopharmacology, Lange’s Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 14th Edition, 2018, 977-1002.
  4. D.H. Dockrell, S. Sundar, B.J. Angus, R.P. Hobson, Infectious Disease, Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine, 22nd Edition, 2014, 293-386.


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you can receive this treatment.