FDA-Approved Drugs

The following drugs have been approved since the year 2000 for the treatment of multiple myeloma:

Revlimid (lenalidomide)

FDA approved for multiple myeloma June 2006

Lenalidomide, taken daily as a pill, is approved for use in patients with multiple myeloma who have had at least one prior treatment. The precise way in which the drug works is unclear, but it appears to boost the immune system and to prevent the development of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. This drug causes severe, life-threatening birth defects or death to an unborn child and is only available under strict guidelines. To get lenalidomide, you must be registered in the RevAssist program. Your healthcare provider will explain the program to you and have you sign an agreement form. You will only receive up to a 28 day supply of the medicine at one time. You will need a new prescription for each refill.

Thalomid (thalidomide)

FDA approved for multiple myeloma May 2006

Thalidomide, taken daily as a pill, is approved for use in patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The precise way in which it works is unclear, but it appears to boost the immune system and to prevent the development of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. This drug causes severe, life-threatening birth defects or death to an unborn child and is only available under strict guidelines. Both women and men must commit to strict guidelines when receiving thalidomide. To receive thalidomide, you, your physician, and your pharmacy must be registered in the System for Thalidomide Education and Prescribing Safety (STEPS) Program. You may only receive up to a 28-day supply of thalidomide at a time, and you will need a new prescription for each refill. Your prescription must be filled within seven days of your doctor's office visit.

Velcade (bortezomib)

FDA approved May 2003

This drug, given as an injection, approved for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. Velcade is the first in a new class of anticancer agents known as proteasome inhibitors.

Zometa (zoledronate)

FDA approved February 2002

This drug, given as an IV injection, helps slow the action of cells called osteoclasts, which break down bone. It is approved for use in people with multiple myeloma.

This drug also reduces the release and breakdown of calcium from bone. It is used when you have a high amount of calcium in your blood to lower the blood calcium levels. High blood calcium levels can make you confused and tired and cause stomach pain and muscle weakness. Zoledronic acid helps to relieve these symptoms.