Cancer Home > Pomalyst Side Effects

As with other cancer drugs, side effects are common with Pomalyst. Most people who take it will develop some type of reaction. Tiredness, constipation, and nausea are some of the most commonly reported problems. More serious reactions, such as infections and allergic reactions, may require medical attention.

An Introduction to Pomalyst Side Effects

As with any medicine, Pomalyst® (pomalidomide) can cause side effects. And, like many other cancer treatments, the side effects can be significant. In fact, the majority of people who take Pomalyst will experience at least one side effect during treatment.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Pomalyst. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects With Pomalyst

Pomalyst has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking Pomalyst were carefully documented. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred and how often they appeared.
Based on clinical studies, common Pomalyst side effects included but were not limited to:
  • Tiredness and weakness -- in up to 63 percent of people
  • Low white blood cell count, which could increase the risk for infection -- up to 52 percent
  • Shortness of breath -- up to 45 percent
  • Low red blood cell counts (anemia) -- up to 39 percent
  • Constipation -- up to 36 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 36 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 34 percent
  • Upper respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold -- up to 32 percent
  • Back pain -- up to 32 percent
  • Fever -- up to 30 percent
  • Pneumonia -- up to 29 percent.
Other common side effects, occurring in 10 percent to 25 percent of people, included but were not limited to:
  • Swelling due to fluid retention, especially of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet
  • Low platelet counts, which could cause increased bruising or bleeding
  • Muscle, joint, or bone pain
  • Cough
  • Decreased appetite
  • Rash
  • Dizziness
  • High levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia)
  • Muscle spasms
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Excessive sweating
  • Arm and leg pain
  • Increased blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Night sweats
  • Changes in weight (weight gain or loss)
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood sodium levels (hyponatremia)
  • Low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia)
  • Low blood potassium levels (hypokalemia)
  • Kidney failure
  • Tremor
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Dry skin
  • Itching
  • Numbness, tingling, or pricking sensations of the arms or feet.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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