Newly Diagnosed Patients
Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the nerves that causes decreased sensation or tingling or burning in the hands and feet. This disorder can occur among individuals with myeloma and is more likely among those treated with Thalomid. Peripheral neuropathy is usually mild or moderate (referred to as grade 1 or grade 2), but it can sometimes be more severe and painful (grade 3 or grade 4). Typically, neuropathy occurs after long-term treatment with Thalomid or the use of high doses of the drug.
If you have mild symptoms of peripheral neuropathy that do not progress, your doctor may continue the same dose of Thalomid. However, if symptoms become worse or severe, your doctor may reduce the dose or discontinue Thalomid. The best chance of resolving the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy is to discontinue Thalomid when the symptoms first appear. After symptoms have resolved, treatment with Thalomid may be started again, at a lower dose. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are sometimes not reversible.
Walking and other forms of exercise may help alleviate the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Avoiding tight shoes and socks with elastic may also be helpful.