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Female Reproductive System ORGAN SYSTEMS

Thalidomide

Thalidomide, sold under the brand name Immunoprin, among others, is an immunomodulatory drug and the prototype of the thalidomide class of drugs.

Thalidomide, sold under the brand name Immunoprin, among others, is an immunomodulatory drug and the prototype of the thalidomide class of drugs.


A dark history:

Thalidomide was originally developed and prescribed as a cure for morning sickness in West Germany, but its use was discontinued when it was found to cause birth defects. The United States Food and Drug Administration (F&D) never approved thalidomide for use as a cure for morning sickness.

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1962: FDA pharmacologist Frances Oldham Kelsey receives the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service from President John F. Kennedy for blocking sale of thalidomide in the United States

Medical use

  • Multiple myeloma (First-line treatment)
    • In combination with dexamethasone or with melphalan and prednisone
  • Erythema nodosum leprosum
    • Acute episodes
    • Maintenance therapy
  • Graft versus host disease (second-line treatment)
  • Aphthous stomatitis (children) (second-line treatment)

Adverse effects

  • Teratogenicity
    • Birth defects
  • Blood:
    • Interfere with the formation of various kinds of new blood cells:
      • Risk of infection:
        • Neutropenia
        • Leukopenia
        • Lymphopenia
      • Bleeding risk:
        • Thrombocytopenia
      • Anaemia
  • Nerves:
    • Peripheral neuropathy

Contraindications

  • Absolute contraindications:
    • Breastfeeding or pregnant women
  • Relative contraindications:
    • Chronic infections like HIV or hepatitis B

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