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POMALYST® (pomalidomide) is a thalidomide analogue indicated, in combination with dexamethasone, for patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor and have demonstrated disease progression on or within 60 days of completion of the last therapy.


POMALYST + dex: A doublet therapy

Trial Design.1,9

POMALYST was studied in a Phase 3 multicenter, randomized, open-label study of POMALYST + low-dose dex vs high-dose dex in 455 patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma who had received at least 2 prior treatment regimens, including REVLIMID and bortezomib, and demonstrated disease progression on or within 60 days of last therapy.

Some key exclusion criteria for this trial included serum bilirubin >2.0 mg/dL, AST or ALT >3.0x upper limit of normal, and creatinine clearance <45 mL/min.

Patients in the POMALYST + low-dose dex arm (n=302) received 4 mg of POMALYST on Days 1-21 of 28-day cycles with 40 mg of low-dose dex once daily on Days 1, 8, 15, and 22. Patients in the high-dose dex arm (n=153) received 40 mg of dex once daily on Days 1-4, 9-12, and 17-20 of 28-day cycles. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival, and the key secondary efficacy endpoint was overall survival. Patients receiving POMALYST + low-dose dex were required to receive prophylaxis or anti-thrombotic treatment, as well as any other patient with a history of DVT or PE.

POMALYST® + dexamethasone Phase 3 Clinical Trial Design (N=455) with 2:1 randomization of treatment until disease progression; treatment was administered in 28- day cycles

*Patients >75 years received 20 mg of dex in the same respective schedules.

Patient population background.1

POMALYST® + dexamethasone Phase 3 Trial Baseline Characteristics

Data cutoff: March 1, 2013.

ALT, alanine aminotransferase; AST, aspartate transaminase; DVT, deep vein thrombosis; ECOG, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group; OS, overall survival; PE, pulmonary embolism; PFS progression-free survival.

POMALYST + low-dose dex was
studied vs high-dose dex.1


Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

  • POMALYST is contraindicated in pregnancy. POMALYST is a thalidomide analogue. Thalidomide is a known human teratogen that causes severe birth defects or embryo-fetal death. In females of reproductive potential, obtain 2 negative pregnancy tests before starting POMALYST treatment.
  • Females of reproductive potential must use 2 forms of contraception or continuously abstain from heterosexual sex during and for 4 weeks after stopping POMALYST treatment.

POMALYST is only available through a restricted distribution program called POMALYST REMS®.

Venous and Arterial Thromboembolism

  • Deep venous thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), myocardial infarction, and stroke occur in patients with multiple myeloma treated with POMALYST. Prophylactic antithrombotic measures were employed in clinical trials. Thromboprophylaxis is recommended, and the choice of regimen should be based on assessment of the patient’s underlying risk factors.


  • Pregnancy: POMALYST can cause fetal harm and is contraindicated in females who are pregnant. If POMALYST is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential risk to a fetus. 


  • Daratumumab is contraindicated in patients with a history of severe hypersensitivity (e.g. anaphylactic reactions) to daratumumab or any of the components of the formulation.


  • Embryo-Fetal Toxicity & Females of Reproductive Potential: See Boxed WARNINGS
    • Males: Pomalidomide is present in the semen of patients receiving the drug. Males must always use a latex or synthetic condom during any sexual contact with females of reproductive potential while taking POMALYST and for up to 4 weeks after discontinuing POMALYST, even if they have undergone a successful vasectomy. Males must not donate sperm.
    • Blood Donation: Patients must not donate blood during treatment with POMALYST and for 4 weeks following discontinuation of POMALYST therapy because the blood might be given to a pregnant female patient whose fetus must not be exposed to POMALYST.
    • Prescribers and pharmacies must be certified with the POMALYST REMS program by enrolling and complying with the REMS requirements; pharmacies must only dispense to patients who are authorized to receive POMALYST. Patients must sign a Patient-Physician Agreement Form and comply with REMS requirements; female patients of reproductive potential who are not pregnant must comply with the pregnancy testing and contraception requirements and males must comply with contraception requirements.
    • Further information about the POMALYST REMS program is available at or by telephone at 1-888-423-5436.
  • Venous and Arterial Thromboembolism: See Boxed WARNINGS. Patients with known risk factors, including prior thrombosis, may be at greater risk, and actions should be taken to try to minimize all modifiable factors (e.g., hyperlipidemia, hypertension, smoking). Thromboprophylaxis is recommended, and the choice of regimen should be based on assessment of the patient’s underlying risk factors.
  • Increased Mortality with Pembrolizumab: In clinical trials in patients with multiple myeloma, the addition of pembrolizumab to a thalidomide analogue plus dexamethasone resulted in increased mortality. Treatment of patients with multiple myeloma with a PD-1 or PD-L1 blocking antibody in combination with a thalidomide analogue plus dexamethasone is not recommended outside of controlled clinical trials.
  • Hematologic Toxicity: Neutropenia (46%) was the most frequently reported Grade 3/4 adverse reaction in patients taking POMALYST in clinical trials, followed by anemia and thrombocytopenia. Monitor complete blood counts weekly for the first 8 weeks and monthly thereafter. Patients may require dose interruption and/or modification.
  • Hepatotoxicity: Hepatic failure, including fatal cases, has occurred in patients treated with POMALYST. Elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase and bilirubin have also been observed in patients treated with POMALYST. Monitor liver function tests monthly. Stop POMALYST upon elevation of liver enzymes. After return to baseline values, treatment at a lower dose may be considered.
  • Severe Cutaneous Reactions Including Hypersensitivity Reactions: Angioedema and severe cutaneous reactions including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) have been reported. DRESS may present with a cutaneous reaction (such as rash or exfoliative dermatitis), eosinophilia, fever, and/or lymphadenopathy with systemic complications such as hepatitis, nephritis, pneumonitis, myocarditis, and/or pericarditis. Discontinue POMALYST for angioedema, skin exfoliation, bullae, or any other severe cutaneous reactions such as SJS, TEN or DRESS, and do not resume therapy.
  • Dizziness and Confusional State: In patients taking POMALYST in clinical trials, 14% experienced dizziness (1% Grade 3 or 4) and 7% a confusional state (3% Grade 3 or 4). Instruct patients to avoid situations where dizziness or confusional state may be a problem and not to take other medications that may cause dizziness or confusional state without adequate medical advice.
  • Neuropathy: In patients taking POMALYST in clinical trials, 18% experienced neuropathy (2% Grade 3 in one trial) and 12% peripheral neuropathy.
  • Second Primary Malignancies: Cases of acute myelogenous leukemia have been reported in patients receiving POMALYST as an investigational therapy outside of multiple myeloma.
  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS): TLS may occur in patients treated with POMALYST. Patients at risk are those with high tumor burden prior to treatment. These patients should be monitored closely and appropriate precautions taken.


  • Infusion reactions: Interrupt daratumumab infusion for infusion reactions of any severity. Permanently discontinue the infusion in case of anaphylactic reactions or life-threatening infusion reactions and institute appropriate emergency care.
  • Interference with cross-matching and red blood cell antibody screening: Daratumumab binds to CD38 on red blood cells (RBCs) and results in a positive Indirect Antiglobulin Test (Indirect Coombs test), which may persist for up to 6 months after the last daratumumab infusion. Type and screen patients prior to starting treatment. Inform blood banks that a patient has received daratumumab.
  • Neutropenia: Monitor complete blood cell counts periodically during treatment. Monitor patients with neutropenia for signs of infection. Dose delay may be required to allow recovery of neutrophils.
  • Thrombocytopenia: Monitor complete blood cell counts periodically during treatment. Dose delay may be required to allow recovery of platelets.
  • Interference with Determination of Complete Response: Daratumumab can interfere with the determination of complete response and of disease progression in some patients with IgG kappa myeloma protein.



  • Infusion Reactions: Premedication is required. Interrupt elotuzumab for Grade 2 or higher and permanently discontinue for severe infusion reaction.
  • Infections: Monitor for fever and other signs of infection and treat promptly.
  • Second Primary Malignancies (SPM): Higher incidences of SPM were observed in a controlled clinical trial of patients with multiple myeloma receiving elotuzumab.
  • Hepatotoxicity: Monitor liver function and stop elotuzumab if hepatotoxicity is suspected.
  • Interference with Determination of Complete Response: Elotuzumab can interfere with assays used to monitor M-protein. This interference can impact the determination of complete response.


The most common adverse reactions for POMALYST (≥30%) included fatigue and asthenia, neutropenia, anemia, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, dyspnea, upper-respiratory tract infections, back pain, and pyrexia.

In the phase III trial, nearly all patients treated with POMALYST + low-dose dex experienced at least one adverse reaction (99%). Adverse reactions (≥15% in the POMALYST + low-dose dex arm and ≥2% higher than control) included neutropenia (51.3%), fatigue and asthenia (46.7%), upper respiratory tract infection (31%), thrombocytopenia (29.7%), pyrexia (26.7%), dyspnea (25.3%), diarrhea (22%), constipation (21.7%), back pain (19.7%), cough (20%), pneumonia (19.3%), bone pain (18%), edema peripheral (17.3%), peripheral neuropathy (17.3%), muscle spasms (15.3%), and nausea (15%). Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥15% in the POMALYST + low-dose dex arm and ≥1% higher than control) included neutropenia (48.3%), thrombocytopenia (22%), and pneumonia (15.7%).


ADVERSE REACTIONS FOR POMALYST + dexamethasone + daratumumab

The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) included neutropenia (95%), lymphopenia (94%), thrombocytopenia (75%), anemia (57%), infusion reactions (50%), fatigue (50%), upper respiratory tract infection (50%), cough (43%), diarrhea (38%), constipation (33%), dyspnea (33%), nausea (30%), muscle spasms (26%), pyrexia (25%), back pain (25%), insomnia (23%), arthralgia (22%), vomiting (21%), dizziness (21%), and chills (20%).  Grade 3 or 4 hematology laboratory abnormalities included: neutropenia (82%), lymphopenia (71%), anemia (30%), and thrombocytopenia (20%).


ADVERSE REACTIONS FOR POMALYST + dexamethasone + elotuzumab

Adverse reactions (≥15% for Pd + elotuzumab and ≥5% higher than Pd) included constipation (22%, 11%), hyperglycemia (20%, 15%), pneumonia (18%, 13%), diarrhea (18%, 9%), respiratory tract infection (17%, 9%), bone pain (15%, 9%), and dyspnea (15%, 7%). Laboratory abnormalities worsening from baseline (≥20% for Pd + elotuzumab and ≥5% higher than Pd; criteria met for All Grades or Grade 3/4) included lymphopenia (98%, 91%), leukopenia (80%, 87%), thrombocytopenia (78%, 73%), hypoalbuminemia (65%, 56%), hypocalcemia (58%, 40%), hyperglycemia (40%, 25%), hyponatremia (40%, 18%), and hypokalemia (23%, 16%). Vital sign abnormalities (≥20% for Pd + elotuzumab vs. Pd) included heart rate <60 bpm (43%, 22%) and heart rate ≥100 bpm (23%, 24%). Grade 3 or 4 laboratory abnormalities worsening from baseline (≥20% for Pd + elotuzumab and ≥5% higher than Pd; criteria met for All Grades or Grade 3/4) included lymphopenia (70%, 35%), leukopenia (52%, 35%), and thrombocytopenia (17%, 20%).



Avoid concomitant use of POMALYST with strong inhibitors of CYP1A2. Consider alternative treatments. If a strong CYP1A2 inhibitor must be used, reduce POMALYST dose by 50%.


  • Pregnancy: See Boxed WARNINGS. If pregnancy does occur during treatment, immediately discontinue the drug and refer patient to an obstetrician/gynecologist experienced in reproductive toxicity for further evaluation and counseling. There is a POMALYST pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in females exposed to POMALYST during pregnancy as well as female partners of male patients who are exposed to POMALYST. This registry is also used to understand the root cause for the pregnancy. Report any suspected fetal exposure to POMALYST to the FDA via the MedWatch program at 1-800-FDA-1088 and also to Celgene Corporation at 1-888-423-5436.
  • Lactation: There is no information regarding the presence of pomalidomide in human milk, the effects of POMALYST on the breastfed child, or the effects of POMALYST on milk production. Pomalidomide was excreted in the milk of lactating rats. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for adverse reactions in a breastfed child from POMALYST, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with POMALYST.
  • Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness have not been established in pediatric patients.
  • Geriatric Use: No dosage adjustment is required for POMALYST based on age. Patients >65 years of age were more likely than patients ≤65 years of age to experience pneumonia.
  • Renal Impairment: Reduce POMALYST dose by 25% in patients with severe renal impairment requiring dialysis. Take dose of POMALYST following hemodialysis on hemodialysis days.
  • Hepatic Impairment: Reduce POMALYST dose by 25% in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment and 50% in patients with severe hepatic impairment.
  • Smoking Tobacco: Advise patients that smoking may reduce the efficacy of POMALYST. Cigarette smoking reduces the AUC of pomalidomide by 32% by CYP1A2 induction.

Please see full Prescribing Information for POMALYST, including Boxed WARNINGS. 

Information about POMALYST + dexamethasone + daratumumab and POMALYST + dexamethasone + elotuzumab does not appear in the POMALYST Prescribing Information (PI). Please see the daratumumab and elotuzumab full PI for a complete discussion of Important Safety Information at and, respectively.