Pomalyst comes as a capsule that is taken once daily to help treat a type of cancer called multiple myeloma. This prescription medicine is specifically designed for people who have tried at least two other medications but the cancer has still progressed. Most people who take this drug will experience some type of side effect, such as nausea, constipation, or tiredness.
What Is Pomalyst?
Pomalyst® (pomalidomide) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. It is specifically approved for use in people whose cancer has progressed despite treatment with at least two other multiple myeloma medications, including lenalidomide (Revlimid®) and bortezomib (Velcade®).
Pomalyst has been studied in clinical trials that included people with multiple myeloma whose cancer progressed during or soon after treatment with another multiple myeloma medicine. In one study, 7.4 percent of people who had failed other treatment responded at least partially to Pomalyst. When Pomalyst was used in combination with dexamethasone (Decadron®, Dexpak®, Maxidex®), 29.2 percent responded. People continued to respond to treatment for a median of 7.4 months (the median is the middle number of a group of numbers).
How Does Pomalyst Work?
Pomalyst is thought to work in several ways. It prevents myeloma tumor cells from multiplying and causes the cells to naturally destroy themselves (a process known as apoptosis). It may also block the growth of blood vessels around the cancer cells, which prevents the cells from getting the nutrition they need to grow.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed March 9, 2013.
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