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Thalidomide - Carers UK Forum


For issues related to specific conditions and disabilities.
Image Hi Guy's as Gordon puts his hand up again, I have just spotted a small paragraph in our local paper, saying that Thalidomide is being approved for use by the European Medicines Agency to treat bone marrow cancer. I was under the impression it had been approved and is in use, at least it is with Alice's consultant. Does anyone know any different please?
Many thanks
Gordon Image
Hi Gordon,

This link will take you to 8 relevant articles about this.You might find what you're looking for among them.

http://news.google.co.uk/news?hl=en&cr= ... 1126856801
Rosemary, thank you for that it is very interesting. The reason I posted that is because we might have to make that decision soon, The side effects are not for the fainthearted.
Many thanks
Gordon Image
You're welcome Gordon.

All I would add is be careful when reading articles.As much as they can give us information and background I always feel its best talking face to face with doctors/consultants etc.
Ultimately, decisions are ours to make or our loved ones themselves but it does no harm to do some research.Means you can prepare ahead of meetings and have questions ready.

Keep us posted how you get on please.

x x x
Hi Gordon

According to the latest edition of the BNF (British National Formulary), the drugs listing, prescribing guidance, etc. used by doctors and pharmacists, Thalidomide is currently unlicensed but can be given under specialist supervision. Although I appreciate that Thalidomide is rather different, it's not that unusual for unlicensed drugs to be prescribed, for example, drugs unlicensed for use in children due to the ethical problems of using children in clinical trials but licensed for use in adults are nevertheless given to children, I'm also aware of at least one other drug which was withdrawn from use in Europe and the USA being later licensed for use in the UK in only very limited circumstances, in this case for for the condition it was originally licensed for.

If you want to read more, there's not a great deal of information, the BNF website is here:


You have to register to use it; the information you might be interested in on Thalidomide can be found in Section 8.2.2 Corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants or just put thalidomide into the search engine (the other section on Thalidomide relates to treatment for leprosy for which it 's been in use for some time). I hope that this is helpful.
Many thanks once again Rosemary, parsifal, You are quite right Rosemary forwarned is in this case anyway forarmed. I will look at the BNF site as well thank you. Thalidomide was the second choice we had a few months ago now, because of the side effects i.e. DVT(deep vein thrombosis) (Osteoprosis) Alice chose the first offered which was Interferon. our next visit is in two weeks, it is possible that because of the changes taking place it was discussed that a combination of the two might be offered as a way of reducing the size of the spleen. Sorry I am rambling on here. Many thanks once again.
Gordon Image