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What Is Lenalidomide Used For?

By altering the actions of the immune system, lenalidomide can help slow down the progression of certain bone marrow diseases. Specifically, lenalidomide is approved for use in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome or multiple myeloma. This prescription drug can help prevent the growth of abnormal cells that occurs with these bone marrow problems. The drug is also approved for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma.

An Overview of Uses for Lenalidomide

Lenalidomide (Revlimid®) is a prescription medication that belongs to a group of medications known as immunomodulators. It is approved to treat people who have certain bone marrow diseases, specifically multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes. In addition, it is used to treat mantle cell lymphoma.

Using Lenalidomide for Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is cancer that begins in plasma cells. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies to help the body fight germs and other harmful substances. Plasma cells collect in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue found in the middle part of some bones.
Multiple myeloma occurs when plasma cells becomes abnormal. The abnormal cells, called myeloma cells, collect in the bone marrow and divide again and again, making more and more abnormal cells. Eventually, the abnormal cells crowd out normal, healthy blood cells.
In some cases, multiple myeloma does not cause any symptoms. However, as the cancer cells grow, they may cause bone or back pain. Other symptoms may include:
  • Bones that break easily
  • Frequent infections
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle weakness.
Eventually, the disease may cause damage to the bones, kidneys, or other organs.
(Click Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma for more information on possible symptoms of this condition.)
Lenalidomide is used in combination with dexamethasone to treat multiple myeloma in people who have already received at least one other treatment. The medication does not cure multiple myeloma, but may help delay the progression of the disease.
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Lenalidomide Drug Information

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