IMF Nurse Leadership Board Side Effects Fact Sheets

Managing Steroid-Associated Side Effects of Novel Agents for Multiple Myeloma

Steroids have been an effective treatment for multiple my-eloma, alone and in combination with other drugs, for many years and still are used as an important part of treatment with newer drugs known as novel therapies (thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib). Steroids cause a wide range of side effects, affecting nearly every system of the body. Identifying the side effects early and managing them quickly will contribute to successful treatment and ulti-mately improve overall quality of life. Do not stop or adjust your medications without discussing it with your healthcare provider.

Preventing Peripheral Neuropathy From Novel Agents for Multiple Myeloma

Peripheral neuropathy is a change in feeling in the arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, or other body parts. It can be a symptom of multiple myeloma or related to the use of medications to treat myeloma, such as novel therapies tha-lidomide and bortezomib. Managing peripheral neuropathy can reduce pain and other symptoms and can allow you to receive the best treatment for your myeloma. Your healthcare provider may change your dose or medication schedule to help manage your symptoms.

Managing Myelosuppression From Novel Agents for Multiple Myeloma

Novel therapies used to treat multiple myeloma include thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib. The drugs can cause myelosuppression, which is a decrease in bone mar-row activity, resulting in fewer red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells (neutropenia), and platelets (thrombocy-topenia). The risk of side effects varies with each medica-tion. Managing the side effects can reduce your discomfort, prevent serious complications, and allow you to receive the best treatment for your myeloma. Your healthcare provider may change your dose or schedule of medication to help manage your symptoms. Do not stop or adjust medications without discussing it with your healthcare provider.

Managing Gastrointestinal Side Effects of Novel Agents for Multiple Myeloma

Novel therapies used to treat multiple myeloma include thali-domide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib. Each of the drugs, alone or in combination, may be associated with gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. Managing the side effects can reduce your discomfort and can allow you to receive the best treatment for your myeloma. Your healthcare provider may change your dose or schedule of medi-cation to help manage your symptoms. Do not stop or adjust medications without discussing it with your healthcare provider.

Preventing Blood Clots and Thromboembolic Events With Novel Agents for Multiple Myeloma

Patients with cancer are at increased risk for developing blood clot (throboembelic events).  Patients with multiple myeloma may have an even higher risk of developing blood clots.  Novel therapies used to treat myeloma include thalidomide and lenalidomide. These drugs, in combination with other medications, may increase the incidence of clots. Prevention of blood clots can reduce complications and contibute to successful treatment. changes in your medication may be made by a healthcare provider based on your symptoms.