Are Revlimid and Lenalidomide the same drug?

Yes, they are the same drug. Lenalidomide is the active substance in Revlimid.

What is Revlimid?

Lenalidomide is an immunomodulating agent, which operates on the immune system (the body’s natural defences).

It works in a number of different ways: it blocks the development of abnormal cells, prevents the growth of blood vessels within tumours and also stimulates specialised cells of the immune system to attack the abnormal cells.

In myelodysplastic syndromes, Revlimid is used for patients who need blood transfusions to manage their anaemia.

Revlimid is used in patients who have a genetic abnormality (called deletion 5q) and are at a lower risk of AML.

What benefits Revlimid is shown to have had in patients with Myelodysplastic syndromes?

According to the European Medicine Agency (EMA) “Two main studies have also been carried out involving a total of 353 patients with lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes.

The first study did not compare Revlimid with any other treatment, while the second study compared it with placebo.

The main measure of effectiveness was the number of patients who did not need a blood transfusion for at least 8 weeks in the first study and 26 weeks in the second study.

In the first study, 97 out of 148 patients (66%) taking 10 mg Revlimid did not need a blood transfusion for at least 8 weeks.

In the second study, 38 out of 69 patients (55%) taking 10 mg Revlimid did not need a blood transfusion for at least 26 weeks, compared with 4 out of 67 patients (6%) taking placebo.”

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How is Revlimid administered?

Revlimid is available as capsules (2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 25 mg) to be taken by mouth.

The medicine can only be obtained with a prescription and treatment must be monitored by doctors who have experience in the use of cancer medicines.

It is recommended a starting dose of 10 mg orally, once daily, on days 1 to 21 of repeated 28 day cycles, with dose reductions (5.0 mg, 2.5 mg or 2.5 mg every other day) to manage adverse events.

The dosage is continued or modified by the clinicians on a patient by patient basis based on clinical and laboratory findings

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