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Health Canada Warns of Blood Clot Risk tied to Thalomid

Filed May 1st, 2013 Laurie

Health Canada is informing patients using Thalomid (thalidomide capsules) that there is a risk of blood clots in the arteries associated with the drug.

Thalomid is used with the drugs melphalan and prednisone to treat patients with multiple myeloma who are 65 years of age or older. According to Celgene Inc., the manufacturer of Thalomid, blood clots can occur in patients taking the drug, especially during the first three months of therapy. There have been reports of these blood clots breaking off and causing death by heart attack or stroke. This information has been added to the Consumer Information that comes with Thalomid, which already has information about blood clots in arteries.

The symptoms of a blood clot include chest pain, which can radiate to the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach. A patient who has difficulty seeing or speaking may be having a stroke due to a blood clot in the brain. Patients who experience any of these symptoms should seek medical help immediately. Before taking Thalomid, patients should inform their health practitioner if they smoke, have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, as these things can increase the risk of blood clots.

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