What are the most common side effects of pomalidomide?

FAQ Library published on August 16, 2012 in Comorbidities/SEs
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Beth Faiman, PhD, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, AOCN
Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
Cleveland, Ohio

Hello. My name is Beth Faiman. I am a nurse practitioner at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. And I am commonly asked, “What are the most common and serious side effects of pomalidomide?” Pomalidomide is a new oral third-generation immunomodulatory drug. It is similar to its cousins thalidomide and lenalidomide in that it has antitumor effects and an oral route of administration. It is also important to remember that if your patient starts on pomalidomide, he or she should not contribute to pregnancy, meaning if you are a female of child-bearing potential, you should not get pregnant and men should not contribute to pregnancy. It is also important to remember that there is an increased risk for venous thromboembolic events (VTE) when patients are receiving pomalidomide. Therefore, each individual patient should be screened for their individual risk, such as patients who are obese, or having surgery, receiving erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESAs). Everybody should start taking aspirin, 81 mg to 325 mg a day, or be started on low molecular weight heparin therapy if they have an increased risk. Finally, myelosuppression is also really important to remember. Patients who are receiving pomalidomide should have their blood counts monitored regularly. I am pleased to report that pomalidomide does not seem to contribute to the worsening of peripheral neuropathy in patients who receive it. Pomalidomide is an exciting new drug for treatment of multiple myeloma and we look forward to hopeful future studies that share more side effect and safety information.

Reviewed on January 17, 2017 for clinical relevance.

Last modified: February 8, 2017
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