Pharmacokinetics of thalidomide in patients with impaired renal function and while on and off dialysis

Tommy Eriksson, P. Höglund, I. Turesson, A. Waage, Burl R Don, J. Vu, M. Scheffler, George Kaysen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


There is a renewed interest in thalidomide for use in malignancies and systemic inflammatory diseases. Reduced renal function is not uncommon among patients with these disease states but the pharmacokinetics has not been fully investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics of thalidomide in haemodialysis patients while on and off dialysis and in myeloma patients with varying degrees of renal function. Two studies were performed. To establish the pharmacokinetics of thalidomide in patients with mild to moderate renal failure, blood samples were taken over 12 weeks from 40 patients with multiple myeloma. A second study was performed in six patients with end-stage renal disease both on a non-dialysis day and before and during a haemodialysis session. Thalidomide concentration was determined by HPLC. A one-compartment open model with first-order absorption and elimination was used to fit total thalidomide concentration to population pharmacokinetics and statistical models using the NONMEM program. Clearance and volumes were slightly below 10 Lh-1 and 1 L kg-1, respectively, in both patient groups. The inter- and intra-patient variability was low. Clearance was doubled during dialysis. There was no correlation between thalidomide clearance and renal function. In conclusion, the pharmacokinetics of thalidomide in patients with renal failure are very similar to values reported by others for patients with normal renal function. Although clearance during dialysis is doubled, thalidomide dose need not be changed for patients with decreased kidney function. There is also no need for a supplementary dose due to haemodialysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1701-1706
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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