Categories: Side effects

Serious side effects of thalidomide

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Discover the side effects of thalidomide.

The thalidomide belongs to a class of drugs called immunomodulatory agents, which began to be marketed in 1957 as a painkiller.

At that time, some of its adverse effects were not specified in the leaflet, especially harmful to pregnant women and their future babies; For this reason, in the sixties, it caused numerous births of babies affected by phocomelia, which produces malformations especially in the extremities.

Currently, thalidomide is contradictory for pregnant women. At HBO we explain in more detail what the side effects of thalidomide are.What are the side effects of thalidomide


Steps to follow:


First of all, it should be noted that thalidomide is a drug that should only be taken under a prescription.

Today, it is a substance used for the treatment of multiple myeloma: a type of cancer that appears focused at different points in the bone marrow.

Likewise, this drug is also included in the treatment of leprous erythema nodosum.



Although this drug does not usually have tolerance problems, adverse reactions to thalidomide treatment are possible.

This includes symptoms of nerve damage such as numbness or itching, constipation, tremors, vertigo, and dizziness, swelling in the hands and feet, or intestinal problems.


It should also be noted that anemia, a decrease in white blood cells or platelets is common in people taking thalidomide.

It follows that patients may feel tired.



In addition to these side effects of thalidomide, it is necessary to emphasize that there is a risk of serious birth defects, so that pregnant or potentially pregnant women should not take thalidomide.


A single dose of this drug during pregnancy can cause birth defects or even death in the baby.


Thus, it is essential that fertile women are not pregnant at the beginning of treatment and, during the intake of thalidomide, pregnancy tests will be carried out frequently.

If a patient treated with thalidomide suspects that she may be pregnant, treatment should be stopped immediately and reported to a medical specialist.


In the same way, because it is not known for sure if there are adverse effects of thalidomide in breast milk, patients with newborn babies will never be able to breastfeed the baby during treatment with this medicine.


Thalidomide is also known to pass into semen, so men who are taking it and have sex with pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should use a condom.



Also, you cannot donate blood while you are taking thalidomide or for 4 weeks after the end of treatment.


In the event of any adverse symptoms during the intake of thalidomide, you should see your doctor immediately for an examination and, if necessary, stop treatment.

This article is merely informative, at HBO we do not have the power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any type of diagnosis.

We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.


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