thalidomide - oral, Thalomid (cont.)
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking thalidomide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.This medication should not be used if you have a certain medical condition. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a certain immune system problem (neutropenia).Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: numbness/tingling of arms/legs, seizures.Caution is advised when using this drug in people with HIV because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. While thalidomide is used to treat muscle wasting and other HIV-related conditions, the drug might affect the amount of HIV in your system (viral load). Therefore, the manufacturer recommends having HIV tests from time to time.This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.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.Thalidomide must not be used during pregnancy due to the risk of severe birth defects and other serious, sometimes fatal harm to an unborn baby. If you are female and become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, if your period is late or you have unusual menstrual bleeding, or if you stop using 2 forms of birth control, stop taking thalidomide and tell your doctor immediately. If you are male and have had unprotected sex with a woman who can become pregnant, or if you think your sexual partner may be pregnant, tell both of your doctors immediately. (See also Warning section.)It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: drugs that may cause nerve damage (e.g., certain HIV drugs including didanosine/zalcitabine, certain cancer drugs including paclitaxel/cisplatin/vincristine, quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin).Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: alcohol, certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.It is very important for women to use 2 forms of effective birth control while taking this medication. Some drugs may cause hormonal birth control (such as pills, patch, ring) to work less well by decreasing the amount of birth control hormones in your body. This effect can result in pregnancy. Examples include griseofulvin, modafinil, rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifabutin), St. John's wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as barbiturates, carbamazepine, felbamate, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate), HIV drugs (such as nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir), among others.Tell your doctor when you start any new drug, and discuss if you should use additional reliable birth control while using the new drug and for 1 month after stopping the drug.This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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