Current therapeutic indications of thalidomide and lenalidomide

Josep Ordi-Ros, Francisco Javier Cosiglio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Thalidomide is a synthetic glutamic acid derivative first introduced in 1956 in Germany as an over the counter medications. It was thought to be one of the safest sedatives ever produced as it was effective in small doses, was not addictive, and did not have acute side-effects such as motor impairment, but was quickly removed from market after it was linked to cases of severe birth defects. The Food and Drug Administration approved use in the treatment of erythema nodosum leprosum. Further, it was shown its effectiveness in unresponsive dermatological conditions such as actinic prurigo, adult Langerhans cell hystiocytosis, aphthous stomatitis, Behçet syndrome, graft-versus-host disease, cutaneous sarcoidosis, erythema multiforme, Jessner-Kanof lymphocytic infiltration of the skin, Kaposi sarcoma, lichen planus, lupus erythematosus, melanoma, prurigo nodularis, pyoderma gangrenosum and others. In May 2006, it was approved for the treating multiple myeloma. New thalidomide analogues have been developed but lack clinical experience. This paper is a review of the history, pharmacology, mechanism of action, clinical applications and side effects of thalidomide and its analogues.© 2013 Elsevier Espan a, S.L. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-364
JournalMedicina Clinica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2014


  • Lenalidomide
  • Thalidomide
  • Therapeutic


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