Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to see if it is working properly and to allow for a change in the dose. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Pregnancy tests are required before and during treatment with this medicine. Women who are sexually active must use 2 forms of effective birth control together to avoid pregnancy. You should begin using birth control 4 weeks before starting treatment with this medicine. Continue the birth control during treatment, even if the dose is stopped for a short time, and for at least 4 weeks after your last dose. Talk to your doctor about the most effective forms of birth control for you and your partner. Call your doctor right away if you think you are pregnant.

Men who are sexually active must protect their female partner from getting pregnant. Pomalidomide will appear in the semen so male patients must not donate sperm. If you are sexually active, you must use a latex or synthetic condom every time you have sex with a woman who could get pregnant even if you have had a vasectomy. Use a condom for sex during treatment with this medicine, even if the dose is stopped for a short time, and for up to 28 days after your last dose. Call your doctor right away if you think your sexual partner may be pregnant.

Do not donate blood while you are taking this medicine and for at least 1 month after your last dose.

Using this medicine may increase your risk for having blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks. Your risk for these serious problems is even greater if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or if you smoke cigarettes. Contact your doctor right away if you experience chest pain, confusion, difficulty speaking, double vision, headaches, an inability to move arms, legs or facial muscle, or an inability to speak.

Do not receive pembrolizumab together with pomalidomide or similar medicines and dexamethasone.

Pomalidomide can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor right away if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including angioedema, which may be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Check with your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, a large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs, trouble breathing, or chest tightness while you are using this medicine.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or a skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills with this medicine.

This medicine may cause a serious type of reaction called tumor lysis syndrome. Your doctor may give you a medicine to help prevent this. Call your doctor right away if you have a decrease or change in urine amount, joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, lower back, side, or stomach pain, a rapid weight gain, swelling of the feet or lower legs, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

This medicine may cause nerve damage. Check with your doctor right away if you have tingling, burning, numbness, or pain in your hands or feet. These could be symptoms of a nerve condition called peripheral neuropathy.

This medicine may make you dizzy or confused. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

Avoid cigarette smoking while using this medicine. The blood level may be lower than normal if you smoke.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.