Cancer Home > Revlimid

Revlimid is prescribed to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that interferes with the ability of bone marrow to make enough healthy blood cells. This drug is also approved to treat multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells) in certain people, as well as mantle cell lymphoma. Side effects may include fatigue, diarrhea, and a rash. This medication comes as a capsule that is taken once daily.

What Is Revlimid?

Revlimid® (lenalidomide) is a prescription medication approved to treat myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a group of conditions in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells. It is also approved for use in combination with dexamethasone to treat multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells) in people who have already had at least one other treatment. In addition, it is used to treat mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
(Click Revlimid Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Revlimid is made by Celgene Corporation.

How Does Revlimid Work?

It is not entirely known how Revlimid works. The medication is in a class of drugs known as immunomodulatory drugs, which means it alters the actions of the immune system. The medication is thought to prevent or delay the growth of abnormal cells involved in multiple myeloma and MDS. It also blocks the growth of blood vessels around cancer cells, which prevents the cancer cells from obtaining the nutrition they need to grow.

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Revlimid include the following:
  • This medication comes in the form of a capsule. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
  • You should take your Revlimid dose with a large glass of water, with or without food. If it seems to bother your stomach, try taking it with food.
  • Revlimid capsules should be swallowed whole; do not open, break, or chew them.
  • Try to take your dose at the same time each day to keep an even level of the medication in your bloodstream.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking this medicine without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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