Recently Diagnosed or Relapsed? Stop Looking For a Miracle Cure, and Use Evidence-Based Therapies To Enhance Your Treatment and Prolong Your Remission

Multiple Myeloma an incurable disease, but I have spent the last 25 years in remission using a blend of conventional oncology and evidence-based nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle therapies from peer-reviewed studies that your oncologist probably hasn't told you about.

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“Serious Adverse Events” – Low-dose Revlimid Maintenance

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Serious adverse events were reported in 494 (45%) of 1097 patients receiving lenalidomide compared with 150 (17%) of 874 patients on observation. 

“Hi David- I was diagnosed with mm in sept. 2018 stage 2, I went into remission within a few months.  I did stem cell transplant First of March 2019. I have been on different maintenance treatments and still in remission it seems from the blood work. I do re-staging in November to make sure I’m still in remission. 

I was told they like to do 3 years of maintenance but I’m seriously thinking of not doing it that long. 

The drugs are terrible- I am currently on Ninlaro, Dex and Revlimed.” Sandra

Hi Sandra-
Your comment “they like to do three years of maintenance” is what is referred to as the standard-of-care.” The SOC treatments are those based on large studies when averages can be determined. The average of MM patients being tested experience a longer first remission aka progression-free survival. 
Unfortunately, as the study linked and excerpted below states, the number and severity of side effects was much greater in those who underwent maintenance therapy.
So yes, some MM patients undergo maintenance therapy do have longer first remissions. At the same time, many of these MM patients suffer with serious side effects. 
When you say “the drugs are terrible” I interpret you to mean that you suffer adverse events/side effects from chemotherapy and that you don’t want to undergo maintenance therapy. 
I don’t blame you. Many, many people email me asking for help with side effects. 
Here are several possible therapy plans for you-
  •  undergo low-dose revlimid maintenance therapy for three years- the SOC is 10mg a day, 21 days on, 7 days off
  • undergo low-dose revlimid maintenance therapy for three years- but half the dose- do 5 mg a day, not 10mg.
  • Undergo antioxidants such as curcumin, resveratrol, omega-3 fatty acids with 5 mg revlimid- see the supplements guide below. 
These are some ideas for you Sandra. Let me know if you have any questions.
Hang in there, 
David Emerson 
  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer 

Recommended Reading

Lenalidomide maintenance versus observation for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (Myeloma XI): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial,”  

“Another limitation of the trial is the lack of prospectively collected quality-of-life data. However, given that the time until first disease progression is often when patients with myeloma have a better quality of life, the improvement in progression-free survival and progression-free survival 2 seen in our study suggests the use of maintenance lenalidomide would be of benefit in the transplantation-ineligible setting


The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events for patients taking lenalidomide were haematological, including 

neutropenia (362 [33%] patients), 

thrombocytopenia (72 [7%] patients), and 

anaemia (42 [4%] patients). 

Serious adverse events were reported in 494 (45%) of 1097 patients receiving lenalidomide compared with 150 (17%) of 874 patients on observation. 

The most common serious adverse events were infections in both the lenalidomide group and the observation group. 460 deaths occurred during maintenance treatment, 234 (21%) in the lenalidomide group and 226 (27%) in the observation group, and no deaths in the lenalidomide group were deemed treatment related

Revlimid Side Effects by Likelihood and Severity

COMMON side effects

If experienced, these tend to have a Severe expression


Decreased Blood Platelets

Low Levels Of A Type Of White Blood Cell Called Neutrophils

Low Levels Of White Blood Cells

Trouble Breathing

If experienced, these tend to have a Less Severe expression

A Common Cold

A Skin Rash







Dry Skin


Fluid Retention In The Legs, Feet, Arms Or Hands

Generalized Weakness


Intense Abdominal Pain


Joint Pain

Low Energy

Muscle Tremors




Throat Irritation

Weight Loss

INFREQUENT side effects

If experienced, these tend to have a Severe expression

A Decreased Number Of Lymphocytes In The Blood

A Painful Condition That Affects The Nerves In The Legs And Arms Called Peripheral Neuropathy

An Infection

Atrial Fibrillation

Blood Clot In A Deep Vein Of The Extremities


Chest Pain


Low Amount Of Calcium In The Blood

Low Amount Of Phosphate In The Blood

Low Amount Of Potassium In The Blood

Obstruction Of A Blood Vessel By A Blood Clot


Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Visible Water Retention

If experienced, these tend to have a Less Severe expression

A Feeling Of Pins And Needles On Skin

A Stuffy And Runny Nose

Basal Cell Carcinoma Of The Skin

Blurred Vision


Bruising Under The Skin


Chest Pains Unrelated To Heart Problems


Decreased Appetite


Difficulty Sleeping

Dry Mouth

Erythema Or Skin Redness

Excessive Sweating

High Blood Sugar

Inflammation Of The Tissue Lining The Sinuses

Loose Stools

Muscle Pain

Muscle Weakness

Pain In The Arms Or Legs

Taste Impairment

Urinary Tract Infection


RARE side effects

If experienced, these tend to have a Severe expression

A Blood Clot

A Clot In The Lung

A Condition With Low Thyroid Hormone Levels

A Condition With Muscle Tissue Breakdown Called Rhabdomyolysis

A Heart Attack

A High Alanine Transaminase Level

A Localized Weakening And Ballooning In An Artery Wall Called An Arterial Aneurysm

A Significant Type Of Allergic Reaction Called Anaphylaxis

A Skin Disorder With Blistering And Peeling Skin Called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

A Skin Disorder With Blistering And Peeling Skin Called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

A Stroke

A Sudden Loss Of Vision

A Systemic Inflammatory Response Called Sepsis Due To An Infection With Bacteria

A Type Of Allergic Reaction Called Angioedema

A Type Of Blood Cancer Called B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

A Type Of Blood Disorder With A Decrease In All Types Of Blood Cells Called Pancytopenia

A Type Of Cancer Of The Lymph Nodes Called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

A Type Of Significant Allergic Skin Reaction Called DRESS Syndrome

A Type Of Stomach Irritation Called Gastritis

Abnormal Liver Function Tests

Abnormal Peeling Of Skin

Acute Cerebral Infarction

Acute Liver Failure

Acute Myeloid Leukemia, A Type Of Blood Cancer

An Inability To Completely Empty The Bladder

An Increase In Uric Acid Due To Cancer Chemotherapy

Atrial Flutter

Bacteria In The Blood


Bleeding Of The Stomach Or Intestines

Bloody Urine

Cerebral Ischemia, A Lack Of Blood Supply To The Brain

Decreased Kidney Function

Decreased Oxygen In The Tissues Or Blood


Destruction Of Red Blood Cells By Body’s Own Antibodies


Diarrhea From An Infection With Clostridium Difficile Bacteria


Fluid Accumulation In The Brain

Fluid In The Lungs

Heart Failure

High Blood Pressure

Increased Eosinophils In The Blood

Inflammation In The Lungs Due To An Allergic Reaction

Inflammation Of A Vein

Inflammation Of The Liver Called Hepatitis

Inflammation Of The Liver With Stoppage Of Bile Flow

Inflammation Of The Skin With Blisters

Kidney Failure

Low Amount Of Magnesium In The Blood

Low Blood Pressure

Lymphedema, Or Swelling Due To Blockage Of Lymph Nodes

Mental Problems From Taking The Drug

Mental Status Changes

Myelodysplastic Syndrome, A Bone Marrow Disorder

Orthostatic Hypotension, A Form Of Low Blood Pressure


Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy, A Type Of Brain Infection

Reactivation Of Hepatitis B Infection

Rejection Of A Transplanted Organ

Renal Tubular Necrosis, A Kidney Disorder


Skin Rash With Sloughing

Supraventricular Tachycardia

Sweet’s Disease

Swollen Lymph Nodes

Thrombophlebitis, An Inflamed Vein Due To A Blood Clot

Vision Loss

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